Friday, February 6, 2009

The Magic React to the Tyronn Lue trade

As the Magic await tip-off at the Conseco Fieldhouse TPASTBM reporters Terry and the Pump Fakes and OCTB were able to catch up with the good guys and get their thoughts on the GINOURMOUS Tyronn Lue trade.

Hedo Turkoglu: “I like this that I’m not ugliest player anymore.”

Dwight Howard: “You know, I didn’t come here to preach to you tonight. But, you know…when I see these contestants-ahh! For the Miss…Black Awareness Pageant-ahh! I feel good!”

JJ Redick: “WWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHH!!!!" (Raises the Roof while screaming)

Marcin Gortat: “He reminds me of first bear I dunk on as small boy."

Keith Bogans: “Muthah-#%@#!”

Courtney Lee-"Didn't she used to be in the WNBA?"

Adonal Foyle-"How is Brian Cook still here?"

Brian Cook-"How am I still here?"

Jameer Nelson- "Well I know my job is not in jeopardy."

Anthony Johnson-"Why they keep bringin in these youngins to try and compete with me."

Jeremy Richardson-"Finally I do not have to bring doughnuts to Cook every morning. By the way how the heck is he still here."

Krispy Kreme Orlando: "We fight to see another day!"

100% of Nothing is Everything

Hamed Haddadi might be the worst player in the NBA, and he gives me incredible hope for basketball. I should back up.

I’ve often found it easy to forget that the world is rapidly shrinking. With a shrinking planet comes an increased tension between parts of the planet. As planets get smaller, potential border conflicts are escalated, and non-bordering nations become far more capable of border-like conflicts.

It’s well known in world history that the softening of tensions between America and China in the 1970s stemmed in large part on the actions of, of all things, two champion ping pong players who decided, amongst themselves, to stop acting like assholes whose countries hated each other and to start acting like people. On a cosmic scale, that action is essentially meaningless, but within the confines of international politics on this island, Earth, it was a catalyst for the path that lead to two world leaders meeting for the first time in decades.

For all the problems I have with David Stern, and there are a great many, and for all the things he does that make me believe him to be largely a buffoon, and there are a great many, one thing I’ve always appreciated and admired about the man was his foresight regarding the expansion of the game to a global level. While some really goddamn annoying Canadians might try to argue that their country invented basketball, which conveniently ignores the fact that the Canadian who invented the game did so at a YMCA in Massachusetts, no one could dispute with any credibility that the game of basketball is, at least in terms of the sports mythology, an American sport. The game is historically, mythologically described through the lens of the great American basketball folk hero. Wilt scoring 100 in a game. Jerry West hitting from half-court at the buzzer in the Finals. Russell dominating the paint. Kareem shooting the sky hook. George Gervin and the finger role. Dr. J and the greatness/lunacy of the old ABA. Magic vs. Bird. Michael F&$@!*g Jordan. Shaquille O’Neal, with his dominant play in the paint and his god awful movie career. And now we’ve seemingly entered a new era, one that will be dominated by players named Lebron James, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Dwayne Wade, and Deron Williams: all of whom are great, all of whom are marketable, all of whom are American.

And if I was trying to write some Toby Keith inspired, “pour some America on that sumbitch and watch the freedom rain!” crap, I’d likely stop writing after that paragraph, but my intentions are much more malicious. I actually want MORE non-Americans in the NBA, and I want more non-Americans interested in the sport as a whole.

Sports have always been and will always be a language that speaks largely universally because it’s a language spoken almost entirely through body language, intensity and emotion, a fact known to anyone who’s ever played a pickup game with strangers. Within minutes of the game’s start, racial connotations of your teammates and opponents will slide away, and you’ll be left rapidly reforming opinions and annotations for those players based off their games and what they bring to the table. Who cares about a person’s race, religion or creed as long as they’re rebounding well and can hit open shots? In basketball, as in most sports, your value to the team and to the game as a whole and your identity are largely intertwined. Styles are often stereotyped through the races that often practice them (i.e. blacks play more athletically, whites shoot jumpers and play fundamentally, Euros play efficiently and flop like fish, etc), but the constant building up of those stereotypes almost makes it that much more fun when those same stereotypes fail utterly (Pau Gasol is a somewhat stereotype Euro big man; his brother is not). And still the game expands.

Perhaps the greatest achievement of the original Dream Team, besides giving us one opportunity to see what it would look like if maybe the three greatest players ever played on the same team (it looked awesome), was the almost Biblical inspiration it provided for opposing teams. Stories have been repeatedly told about opposing teams would, before and after the Barcelona games against Team USA, ask for autographs and pictures with the American players. It was the crux of the matter in that day: these were the greatest players in their respective countries, but what good is being the best player in Lithuania when you’re staring at Larry F&$@!*g Bird? Every single player on those teams knew the Dream Team players. They got to see first hand what basketball as a sport can be, not just what it is, or rather was for them at the time. Anyone, or at least any basketball fan, who thinks that that inspiration, that that experience, that that moment, that that Olympics didn’t matter for basketball far more than America saying “Yeah, our pieces are still the biggest” is stupid.

Is it really a coincidence that the boom we’re seeing now of Europeans playing in America (and Americans playing in Europe) began in the years following those Olympics? Dirk Nowitzki was 14 during those Olympics. Manu Ginobili 15. They were kids who played basketball, and were given an opportunity to see, on a world stage, what basketball could mean and what basketball could become. And then they came, and they changed the game again. The “Euro style” that people like Bryan Colangelo love was created outside the NBA, and now world competition and the shrinking planet have forced the two into an unholy marriage of…something. Dr. J and the ABA changed the NBA forever, combining new rules with old rules, and forcing the game to evolve. Now, foreign players like Andrea Bargnani, whose style matched not at all with the prototype American, NBA style playing style become contributors of sorts by finding ways to mesh one with the other, and the game evolves again. New ideas are created, pushed, and absorbed into the consciousness of the game, but the mythology stays constant. Jordan is still Jordan. Wilt is still Wilt. But 20 years from now, we’ll also be having conversations about these proto-shooting bigmen like Dirk. That’s awesome.

That’s why Hamed Haddadi excites me. I’m fully cognizant of the fact that he’s, fundamentally, a big, slow, American styled big man who moves like he’s running through molasses with cinderblocks strapped to his feet, and I don’t care. He’s an Iranian playing basketball in the United States. Independent of everything else, that means nothing. But outside the realm of independence, it means that citizens of two countries whose leadership seems locked in a perpetual pissing contest since the 1970s can, if only for 48 minutes on a given night, put aside years of ethnic stereotyping and play basketball. That matters. There are Americans playing in professional basketball leagues in Iran. That matters. There are now street basketball groups in the Middle East. That matters. It matters because it’s a window. If one Iranian basketball player and one American basketball player can get along, why can’t 10 each? Why not 100? Why not everyone? Basketball in Tehran represents an opportunity both for basketball as a sport and the world as a whole. Basketball, as I said, has within it, its own language, and if that language can become dialogue between Iranians and Americans, then well, lets just stand back and say “F%$* yes!” Iranians playing basketball can, should, and most likely will change the game, and basketball will evolve again. And then, maybe years from now you'll be playing some pickup game at your home in Nowhereville, USA, and you'll see some young kid who tailored his game after Manu, or Dirk, or Jose Calderon, or some other foreign player yet to come, and it'll force you and your perception of what basketball is to evolve. And, fates willing, the world will evolve too. And that’ll be ok.

And maybe, if all that happens, people will look back on Hamed Haddadi as a catalyst for positive change in both basketball and the world as a whole.

This is the sort of the thing I think about while driving home from a coed rec league game at midnight when the only thing my radio will pick up is a soft rock station playing Bette Midler's "From A Distance", which really is the creepiest goddamn song I've ever heard.

Credit for the photos

Thursday, February 5, 2009

In honor of Tyronn Lue, TPASTBM Presents: "Overvaluing Your Roster For Dummies"

*TPASTBM members "Jareth Cutestory" and "Maxwell Effort" contributed to this post.

Ever since talk of the Magic gaining a back-up point guard started, the inane, hysterical rabble in Magic Land has increased to the level of a Jonas Brothers concert.
The average Magic fan posting on the interwebs feels one of two ways: 1) that Orlando Magic GM Otis Smith is an idiot for risking our salary cap to acquire a solid point guard with multiple years left on his deal or, 2) that Otis Smith is an idiot for trading for a point guard who’s contract expires this season but has the basketball skills of Bill Murray. Oh and by the way, at some time in the last two days, Keith Bogans became the second coming of Jimmy Chitwood.

Unfortunately, we can’t have it both ways. A sacrifice must be made, one way or the other. But certainly we cannot assume that any other team or GM assigns the same value to our roster that we do.

So, since the Magic have now traded Keith Bogans for Tyronn Lue and cash, the folks at TPASTBM got together and have come up with an idiot-proof template for viewing the true value of the Orlando Magic’s roster. You know, for the next time such a disaster strikes.
Feel free to print this out, roll it up, and use it to slap some sense into the nearest hysterical Magic fan.

  • Status Level “Elite:” Dwight Howard
  • Status Level “Superstar:” Rashard Lewis
  • Status Level “Above Average/Getting Close to Superstar If You Do It Another Season:” Jameer Nelson
  • Status Level “I’d like to Say You’re Above Average but I Have Fears of Doing So Since You Scare Me at Times and Only Know How To Shoot Fadeaways:” Hedo Turkoglu
  • Status Level “You Make Me Smile:” Courtney Lee and Mickeal Pietrus
  • Status Level “You Scare My Children:” Marcin “The Warlock” Gortat
  • Status Level “Meh, You're OK, but I Won’t Cry When You’re Gone:” Tony Battie, JJ Redick, and after last night, maybe Anthony Johnson
  • Status Level “Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out:" Keith Bogans, Mike Wilks, Jeremy Richardson, Adonal Foyle
  • Status Level “Could You Even Fit Through the Door?:” Brian Cook
Credit for the photo

Magic offering Bogans & Blue Man Group for PG Lue

We usually don't like to post rumors here at TPASTBM, however, this one is might have some legs to it. Despite using a horrible pun as a headline for the rumor, Frank Isola of the NY Daily News reports the Magic are looking to acquire PG Tyronn Lue from the Bucks for SG Keith Bogans.

While not a blockbuster, this move could benefit both teams as a both players don't "wow" anybody. Bogans is a solid bench guy who can come in and play some D and hit the occasional 3, while Lue will offer PG depth incase the AJ/Lee/Turk three headed monster begin to show signs of failing.

For those of you who don't remember, Lue was part of the critically acclaimed 03-04 Magic squad that went 21-61, and was then traded in the infamous Steve Francis trade.

How it might work out a second time around, we'll have to wait and see. The guy hasn't even been traded yet. However, the Magic have to take a gamble (see what I did there?) on someone, so it might as well be an experienced veteran like Lue right? It won't hurt the Magic, since SG depth doesn't seem to be an issue right now with Pietrus healthy. Also, it doesn't affect the plans to resign Hedo in the offseason, since Lue is expiring as well. Stay tuned.

*Update* 12:26 PM EST

According to Andrew Wojnarowski at Yahoo! Sports

"Orlando’s search for a point guard to help deflect the blow of losing All-Star Jameer Nelson has the Magic nearing an agreement with the Milwaukee Bucks to acquire Tyronn Lue for guard Keith Bogans, league executives familiar with the discussions said Thursday morning.

Sources don’t expect any snag that would stop the deal from being completed Thursday."

Credit for the Lue photo, and the Orlando Sentinel for the Bogans photo

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Finding something positive out of tragedy

The Orlando Magic might have lost their All-Star point guard for the season. The Magic nation is freaking out, some are jumping from buildings, others are wrestling alligators, while many more are wrestling bears. There appears to be no reason to live or continue watching, because the season is over.

I disagree. Yes, possibly losing Nelson for the season is a big blow for the team that was fighting for the title and after many mediocre, and some terrible seasons, where finally being thought to be among the elite of the league. We have to remember we still have Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis, and Hedo Turkoglu on the team. Two All-Stars, and another great player. Also remember that when we missed Nelson early in the season, Anthony Johnson delivered, and the team went 5-1, or something like that.(*I promise I'll check my sources/numbers next time).

But think about this for a second, yes I'm talking to you directly, our record stands at 36-11, with 35 games left in the season. Can this team be a .500 club? I don't see why not. That means we can go 18-17 the rest of the way and finish the season with a record of 54-28. That's 54 wins. Better than last year, and probably good enough to still be third in the East. Going .500 is very realistic, hell they might even do better than that.

Sure we would all love to continue with the winning ways, How long has it been since we can all feel like no matter who we play we will win? But it's not as bad as some think. A 50 plus win team is considered a success. We know that the real goal is to win the championship. I know we all wanted to see that this year. But it's OK, the team will be back stronger next year, while Boston gets even older and Lebronland is one injury away from imploding.

So Magic fans, look at the bright side…We will still have the third best record in the East. We will still lead the Division. We will still got to the Playoffs. We will still win the first round series. We will still be here to celebrate together.

Credit: for the photo

Free Tickets to Magic vs. Clippers

Congratulations to "richnba" on winning a ticket to tonight's game against the Clippers! Thank you to all who participated!

Hey kids!

As a special promotion for our new blog, and because I can't make it to the game tonight, I am giving away two tickets to tonight's Magic-Clips contest.

So go ahead, Orlando, let myself and the rest of TPASTBM staff know why you deserve this wonderful opportunity! Post your thougts below, we will decide who gets the tickets based on your comments. Could be someone deserving, could be the post that made us laugh the hardest, could be the nose that came away the brownest, who knows!

It also couldn't hurt your chances to sign up as one of our blog followers!

~Paul Ego

Game vs Clippers or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Anthony Johnson

Tonight will be the first of many games the Orlando Magic will have to play without All-Star PG Jameer Nelson. For now, they look to start 34 year old journeyman Anthony Johnson, and spell him with the likes of Courtney Lee and Hedo Turkoglu. Alot of Magic fans are worried about AJ being the starting PG on a championship contending team, myself included. However, let's take a look at some of the benefits of having him be our no.1 guy for the time being.

  • Experience: AJ knows what it takes to get the job done. Despite his shortcomings on the offense end, and his lack of athleticism, he knows what not to do and what to do to get the W. He's averaging less then 1 turnover a game in 18 minutes played. While his other stats (4.3 pts, 2.6 assists) don't jump out at you, that is good ball management by the veteran.
  • He's been here before: When Jameer was out with injury earlier in the year, AJ stepped in and had some of his best games of the season with the starting unit, including a 12 assist game against the Wizards. Maybe he just needs to have a better supporting cast around him to be able to succeed, instead of having only 1 star forward and Tony Battie to work with. No offense Tony....
  • He has no neck: That has to count for something. Whether it be intimidation, or just making his opponent marvel at the fact that they are guarding someone who is the complete opposite of a giraffe, the no neck factor is key to AJ's success.
  • He'll give you a sock in the mouth if you try to go for a layup: Reference the picture to the right if you don't believe me.
  • He owns a custom door and window company: Beat that Chris Paul.
So tonight, the Clippers will be first to experience the AJ era as we close the door possibly on Jameers exciting All-Star season. Atleast there is a bright side, AJ gave us a discount on that door. Bazing!

Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images

So what do the Magic do now?

Yesterday was a dark day for Magic fans. It's looking like Jameer Nelson will be out for the season with a torn labrum. Lovely. Here at TPASTBM, tears were shed, walls were punched, whiskey was chugged, and the existence of God was questioned. Now that the sun has risen again, it's time to get solutions oriented. That said, we each put on our Otis Smith glasses and size 14 designer dress shoes and got to work.

What do the Magic do now?

The Big Train - The key is not to panic. Obviously a point needs to be brought in, the question is who, where, and for what price. The answer: Carlos Arroyo. He knows Van Gundy and the system. He is currently over in Israel, and from what I have heard is not too happy. The only problem would be that the Magic would have to buy out his contract. Get on the phone with Tel Aviv and make it work so Carlos is ready to go right after the All-Star break. What this also does is allow the Magic to still make a move for more rebounding help down low, which until yesterday was the biggest hole on the team. Also, perhaps more importantly, this does not tie up money for this summer when Hedo opts out. The same couldn't be said if Orlando traded for Tinsley, Atkins, or Watson.

Jareth Cutestory - The answer is simple: Kill the Batman. Excuse me, I thought I was in a warehouse discussing illegal financial transactions, and not sitting at my computer ready to discuss what to do to keep my Magic from missing out on an opportunity to play for the Larry O'Brien trophy at the end of the season. While the news of Nelson's injury has depressed nearly every Magic fan, the sun will rise another day and we still have the most dominant center in the league, along with an all star forward and Hedo Turkoglu. An Eddie Gill isn't going to cut it to be a prominent factor in leading this team to the promised land. My suggestion is the Magic look to trade some spare parts such as Brian Cook and Keith Bogans for a serviceable PG. Guys such as Jamal Tinsley and Earl Watson could be had for the right price. If nobody wants the talents of those 2 studs, then I would look overseas at guys such as Jannero Pargo or Earl Boykins. If all else fails, there is always Smush. That last one was a joke.

The Nickel Steak - I'd argue that the most important thing to do is not panic. There are teams in this league with assets that they have no use for that the Magic can use. There is no reason to do something asinine, like trading for an overpriced possible starter like Beno Udrih or Jamaal Tinsley, because we need a point guard. The first thing the team should do is figure out if Jameer's back for the playoffs or not. Any move made should be made with knowledge of that, and based accordingly. There's no reason to bring in a spot starter if Jameer is back in 2 months for the playoffs. The Magic's best bet may be to dump expirings for an aging vet like Watson. That's a short term solution, which is a good thing. Even if Jameer's done for the year, he'll still be back in October. There's no reason to pretend the world just ended, even if this is a serious blow.

Paul Ego - Jefe, would you say that I have a plethora of options? Do we turn to free agency and pick up a guy currently sitting at home watching the NBA on TNT? Do we look to the NBDL for a guy looking for his chance? Do we make a trade to get us through the year? Do we try to bring back Carlos? Best case scenario. Nelson opts for rehab (with surgery over the summer), and is back in 3 weeks. We turn the reigns over to Johnson/Turk/Lee in the meantime, just like we did when Nelson sat earlier this year, and hope for the best. This also opens up some playing time for JJ or Bogans. Worst Case. Nelson opts for surgery now, and misses the rest of the season. We pick up someone that does not cost us a player or pick (unless that player is Cook or Bogans). Someone like JWill, a player from the D League, or Carlos Arroyo. If Carlos steps in and the team doesn't miss a beat, there is no way he doesn't get a decent contract next season somewhere in the NBA. I think trading for a more expensive PG at this point in the teams plans is not an option. It is going to be difficult enough going forward to retain talent like Hedo and pick up pieces the team needs to improve. Trading for a PG now (unless its a move that brings in a decent PG and PF with guys like Cook and Battie outbound) will hamper the ability of Otis to bring in solid pieces later. With our future struggles on the horizon (re-signing Turk for example), that would be tantamount to shooting ourselves in the, uhm, shoulder, so to speak.

Vile Feminista - I will try my hardest to ground myself in reality and not waste my time lamenting the loss of Mr Travis Diener, it will be hard. I am in panic mode, it may not be the most logical emotion but that cannot be easily altered. I know it may not be the sexiest choice but I would talk to White Chocolate. We do not need someone long term and I have always loved his game. He may not even want to play anymore but if he did it wouldn't be long and he should be fine with that. I'm sure he would come cheap, if at all and I definitely think he would be worth the conversation.

Maxwell Effort Well I after crying, getting angry, I now have to think. The first thing I do is decide I am not going to make a panic move. I bring in a guy like Eddie Gill for the next few games and act like everything is great! See although everyone thinks my leverage is shot there is a harsh reality out there which is the economy. Teams that are struggling are going to want to save money anyway they can. Heck Mark Cuban called this summer nuclear winter. If I were a competing team I would shoot for the moon right now because that is your job. But I know the more I wait the more teams should loosen up but when reality should set in. If a competing GM can save 6.5 million by trading say Earl Watson or Luke Ridnour they make that move. That also gives the Magic nice expiring deals next season in say Watson or Ridnour. If the asking price is raised to high to my liking then I stick with my D league guy because the difference between Earl Watson and a D leaguer is not as big as you think. I would also invest in some oxygen tanks for AJ.

Jackie Moon - Trade the team's washing machine for veteran PG Ed Monix. What do you mean he and I are not real??? The point is we can sit here and propose all the fantasy land trades we want but the problem is that replacing Jameer Nelson is nearly impossible without giving up a core player or taking on a bad contract (i.e. Tinsley or Watson). Even then it is unlikely to find a player who can keep this team playing at the elite level it had achieved. So I would propose adding a vet like Jason Williams who will cost the team almost nothing in the way of trade assets and leave our roster intact in case Jameer gets back for the playoffs. The good news is this team is still young and likely has more championship runs left in them than the aging Celtics and Cavs. The key now is not to overreact and screw up the future to get a player who is a gamble anyway or he wouldn't be available.

Terry and The Pump Fakes - Says another season another shoulder injury. I was just getting used to expecting wins every night so this is a big hit for me. I think we can still win quite a few games without Jameer and I think we can still take a top 3 seed into the playoffs but what is going to sting the most is not having Jameer there to hit those cold blooded daggers that downed teams like the Lakers. If he is done for the year we need to make a move for a vet that can defend and shoot and has 1-2 yrs left on his contract. We aren't going to find someone that can attack, defend and shoot on the cheap but I think a guy like Earl Watson wouldn't be a bad choice in the short term.

Ayo! - It's very difficult seeing Mighty Mouse go down like that. While my gut tells me I want him playing again as soon as possible (rehab route) so he can help this team in the playoffs, I have to think about the long-term investment. But the decision is up to him. Depending on what Jameer decides in the next couple of days, I will tailor my view at the available options accordingly. I have a lot of confidence in Turk and Courtney to fill in behind AJ, but I'm also looking for deals that could benefit the team. What I do know is that teams are probably going to increase their asking price for a player knowing that we have a need for another PG. If that's the case, I don't do business with them. I have plenty of options in mind to get us by, and I have great confidence in our squad to step it up in Jameer's absence.

OK, so you want to know what players really interest me? I'll list them for you in no particular order. Carlos Arroyo, Sergio Rodriguez, Ramon Sessions. Carlos already has experience with SVG and is a crafty minded PG, that's what I like most about that option. Sergio Rodriguez might be in a situation where the Blazers might not need him anymore once Blake gets back. He has a good eye for the game, can score and make the necessary pass. I like Ramon Sessions because he's a young kid who has shown flashes of being a good PG in this league, most specifically with his assists. He's also quite quick. If he doesn't work out for us this year, he can sign with another team if he likes.

I have some D-League players in mind, but I'll explore those options if it comes down to it. At this point in time, I'm remaining vigilant, and keeping my eyes open for a sound decision.

El Fantasma de Carlos Arroyo - So the incredible all-star run from our little guard might have come to an end. El Fantasma believes it is my fault because of the post I made the night of the game. I know, I know, Carlitos might be gone but his ghost is still here. I have been running around RDV and the O-rena looking at Nelson's rise to stardom a little jealous because my other half is playing in Israel. With that said, and because I am very very close to the man, I know Carlitos would love to come back. All that bombing and terrorism on that side of the world has him worried about the family. I know it wouldn't be easy, but it would be great if someone he could come back, but of course this will never happen.

It all depends on what Nelson decides to do.

Rehab and finishing the season -This would be great if there is no more risk of permanent damage for him. We do still remember Grant Hill's glass ankle. I would hate that for Nelson. If this happens, I say we go with the team as is, maybe pick up a free agent third stringer or a D-leaguer.

Out for the Season - Ready for this....I still say, we go with the team as is, maybe pick up a free agent third stringer or a D-leaguer. That's right, I said it.

As crazy as that might sound, the Magic can't go out there and break up a championship caliber team for a half season patch for an imaginary title run. Fact is no trade or signee will bring us what Nelson had, unless we trade someone on our core group(Hedo, Lee, Pietrus) for a star/starting PG. But why do that for half a season, knowing Nelson will be back next year. That would be retarded.

I say you try your best. Let your players bring up their game and make them be better and get better. Do we really want to win a championship without Nelson on the court? I want to see all of our guys in there, winning it all. If it happens I won't be upset, I will be extremely happy. But if we panic and trade one of our core guys for a Nelson replacement, we can say bye bye to a title run next year, and the year after, etc, etc.


So there you have it people. Anyone know what time the liquor store opens this morning?

Credit for the Otis image.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Breaking News: Nelson has torn Labrum

Update: 4:00 PM:

It's looking like the season is over for Jameer. The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that "at some time" Nelson has to have surgery. The question is rather to try to rehab it for awhile and then attempt to play through it or go ahead and have the surgery and be ready for next season. The Sentinel also caught up to Jameer and got his reaction.


Earlier report:
Magic point guard Jameer Nelson underwent an MRI on his injured right shoulder on Tuesday morning, which revealed a torn labrum.

Nelson dislocated his right shoulder with 9:11 remaining during the third quarter of the Magic's loss to the Mavericks on Monday night.

The course of treatment for the injury will be determined during the next week. At that point, his playing status will be evaluated.

Via Press Release

More news over at the Orlando Sentinel

Jameer reacts via the Florida Today.

``It’s the first time I’ve ever injured a shoulder in terms of it popping out of place,’’ Nelson said Monday night. ``As a point guard you get nicks and bruises. You injure your shoulder all the time running through picks, but nothing like this.``It’s tough. Obviously I still want to play. You never want to get injured. But at the same time it comes with the territory and things happen.’’
ESPN's Chad Ford chimed in during his chat today:
Nimesh Patel (Orlando): Who are the Magic going to get at PG???

Chad Ford: (1:38 PM ET ) If Nelson is out for the season or even for a month or two, they are in serious trouble. Anthony Johnson isn't a starting point guard. They may be a team that could make a run at someone like Jamaal Tinsley. The problem is they don't really have the assets to get much more unless they are willing to trade Hedo Turkoglu. This is really bad news for the Magic. We know their starting 5 was rock solid, but their bench has always been a serious concern. Now it's showing.

Courtney Lee Has No Fear

The OCTB is a popular cat, as you all know, and so I’m always a welcome site in the Magic locker room, especially after a win. So let me tell you about a locker room visit I made after the big win over the LeBron Crabaliers last Thursday.

In his post-game press conference, Stan Van Gundy (aka BCE – Best Coach EVER) talked about how the plan was to have Hedo Turkoglu guard LeBron (yo! BCE! What’s up with THAT!). But the offensive scheme the Cavs were running forced a switch and rookie Courtney Lee was on LeBron. Turns out, Lee wanted the assignment so much, he asked BCE if he could keep it the rest of the game! I was so impressed to hear this that I just had to get it from the rookie himself.

So after quickly recounting what BCE had said about him, I asked Lee to comment on it. To paraphrase, he said “Man, I’m just having fun out there. It’s exciting! I’m playing against all of these all-stars each game, even in practice (a nod to the THREE all-stars on his own team!) and its just fun to play against the best in the world.”

What I didn’t hear Lee say was that he was scared. He didn’t say that he wasn’t up to the challenge. He didn’t say that he was nervous in the least. Now, while I’m sure that all NBA players get nervous now and then, especially in big games, I wouldn’t begrudge a rookie a whole, uh, basket of nerves. But on this night, going up against the game’s most dynamic player for the first time, Lee not only held his own on defense (as good as you can do against the Crab-man) but took it strong on offense. The highlight for me was his hard drive to the rim with LeBron right on him. Lee took it straight to the top and finished it.

Lee is still a rookie for sure (last night in a loss to the Mavs he was only 2 for 8), but he doesn’t lack confidence, doesn’t hesitate, and he doesn’t show fear. Those three qualities by themselves are the reason the Magic have finally broken the string of wasted 1st round picks.

Credit for the photo: AP Photo by John Raoux

Breaking down Jameer's injury

12:30 Update:
The Orlando Sentinel is reporting Jameer tore his labrum. Options are rehab or season ending surgery. Regardless, it will be a lot of time out of the lineup.


First, the Magic fell to the Mavericks last night 105-95 in what was a rather poor effort. During the 3rd quarter Jameer Nelson hurt himself chasing a loose ball near the Maverick bench. Favoring his right side he immediately went to the locker room.

ESPN highlights highlights

An MRI comes today. Word is a dislocated shoulder. Of course, injury time varies. Recently Brandan Wright was put on the shelf for a minimum of 3 weeks. Larry Hughes was lost "six to eight weeks" and Elton Brand missed a month. But whatever, I'm not a doctor.

So, what does this mean to the Magic, both short and long term?
  • This obviously changes Jameer and the All-Star game. He was confirmed as a participant in the skills competition and was certainly going to assist Dwight in the dunk contest. This also opens the door for Mo Williams, the Cleveland point who was the biggest snub in the East.
  • If Jameer is out for a significant amount of time it will certainly change the seating of the Eastern Conference's elite. Whoever ends up first in the East, whether that be Orlando, Boston, or Cleveland, will have a huge advantage as they will not have to face one of the other two until the 3rd round.
  • If Jameer were to be out for a month or longer, now is a much better time than two months from now when the playoffs are looming.
  • Another point guard will need to be brought in. AJ is a suitable backup but will have a problem handling the minutes of a starter. So who should the Magic bring in? Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel seems to think Jason Williams might work. Marbury? Tinsley? Carlos Arroyo? One thing is for sure, Otis Smith is not about to bring in a questionable character that might negatively influence this already great locker room.
  • Before the season, after the injury to Mike Wilks, there was talk of Courtney Lee potentially moving over to the point for some minutes. The injury to Jameer might force this and further help develop this rookie who is having a stellar year. Courtney aside, everyone is going to have to take it up a notch and shot a bit better than 3-20 from three point range...
  • Talk recently has been that Orlando needs help for Dwight down low. Not anymore.
  • Jameer missed 5 games earlier this year and the Magic went 4-1 with the only loss being a 107-88 beat down to the Celtics.
  • It's interesting that before the season many people were saying that Orlando couldn't win it all with Jameer. Now it sounds like people are saying Orlando can't win it without him.
How do I feel about this? It certainly rains a bit on our parade, but I don't doubt that we will be fine in the end. If Dwight is the superstar he is suppose to be, he will put this entire team on his shoulders.

Thanks to NBullsBasketball for the Jameer image.

Mavs at Magic: 3's Abound

The Magic made 3 3's last night. I have read Live by the 3 die by the 3 3 times this morning and today is the 3rd of the month. With that said here are 3 points from last night that nobody is discussing.

  1. Unless you are holding Jameer's medical report you are not breaking the news on his injury. Jameer will be out 1 game to 6 months. You heard it here first.
  2. That, kids, is a shot chart. Scroll down to Dirk and you will see he took one shot in the paint all night and missed! Sometimes when you got it going you got it going.
  3. This week's schedule is not the most daunting in the world. Clips and Nets with an Indy road game in between. I see no reason for 3-0.

Three, it's a magic number.

Credit for the photo: Reuters Pictures

Monday, February 2, 2009

El efecto de la salida de Carlos Arroyo en Jameer Nelson

La pasada temporada todos los fanaticos de Orlando vimos la salida de el base armador de la isla del encanto. Muchos pensaron que el equipo necesitaba sus servicios, y que era un error grande el dejarlo ir sin intentar de volverlo a contratar. Muchos pensamos que Jameer Nelson no era la solución para la posición para el equipo, y teníamos la idea de que simplemente fracasarían. Nelson nunca fue consistente, no tomaba buenas decisiones, y muchas veces intentaba hacer demasiado en la cancha. Lo bueno era que el equipo tenia otra opción en el banco con Carlos Arroyo, y también Kenyon Dooling, de ser necesario.

Pero ahora, ¿Qué podriamos esperar?

Hemos pasado la mitad de la temporada. Los Magic de Orlando tienen una marca de 36-10, que es bueno para liderar su división, el tercer mejor record de la conferencia, y cuarto en la liga, y han comprobado ser uno de los equipos elite de toda la liga. Tienen la mejor marca en partidos jugados como visitantes con 18-6, lideres en tiros de 3 puntos intentados y muchas otras cosas mas. En un momento has estaban como numero 1 en la lista de poder.

¿A que se debe esto?

No hay duda de que es el efecto de varias variables. El hecho de que Dwight Howard encontrara el monstruo defensivo que estaba durmiendo dentro de si, líder en rebotes y tapones esta temporada, mientras continua siendo una fuerza ofensiva, es gran ayuda. Rashard Lewis nos ha impresionado con su juego combinado de tiros largos y penetración. Pero los dos ya mencionados han sido estrellas en años pasados.

La razón principal para mi, Jameer Nelson. Y ¿Por qué esta jugando baloncesto como nunca antes? Mi opinión es el efecto Carlos Arroyo. El no tener a Carlos como suplente a ayudado a empujar a Jameer a incrementar su producción. En los últimos años, si Jameer cometía un error, no estaba enfocado, o lo que sea, Carlos (o Dooling) podía entrar en el juego y correr la ofensa y todavía ganar el partido. Ahora no hay una opción viable para Jameer. Anthony Johnson a sido decente para jugar los 10 minutos, mas o menos, que le dan para que Jameer descanse, pero no es una opción para la temporada entera.

Esto ha obligado a Nelson a jugar enfocado, no cometer errores, y seguir jugando a un nivel sin precedentes. Un buen base armador es el que guía un equipo a tener éxito. Y Nelson a demostrado ser la respuesta en lo que va de temporada. Prueba mayor que ser nombrado como reserva en el juego de estrella no existe. El verdadero Jameer Nelson ha llegado para quedarse. Y todos nosotros los fans de Orlando, tenemos que darle las gracias a Carlitos por eso. Asi que aquí le va.

Carlos…."Muchas Gracias"…

The Carlos Arroyo effect on Jameer Nelson.

Last season all of us fans of the Orlando Magic saw the exit our point guard from the island of enchantment. A lot of us thought that the team needed his services, and that it was a mistake to just let him walk, without trying to sign him back or doing nothing. Many of us thought that Jameer Nelson was not the answer for the team and thought they will not be successful this year. Nelson was never consistent enough, would make bad decisions and many times tried to do way too much on the court. The good thing for the team is that they always had another good option off the bench in Carlos Arroyo (or Kneyon Dooling) if needed.
So now, What can we all wait for?

We have passed the mid point of the season. The Orlando Magic have a record of 36-10, which is good to lead their division, it’s the third best record in their conference, and fourth in the league and they have proven to be one of the elite teams in the league. They have the best record on away games at 18-6, are leading in 3 points attempted, and so on. At one point they where even #1 in the power rankings.

What is the reason for this success?

There is no doubt that it is because of a few reasons. The fact that Dwight Howard has found a defensive monster that was sleeping inside of him, he is the leader in rebounds and blocks, while continuing to being an offensive force is a big help. Rashard Lewis has impressed us all with his inside outside game this year. But these two have already been All-Stars before.

The main reason to me is Jameer Nelson. But, Why is he playing basketball at a level he has not before? My opinion, The Carlos Arroyo Effect. Not having Carlos as a sub, has pushed Nelson to increase his production. The last few years, if Jameer made a costly mistake, he wasn't playing focused, or whatever else might have been happening, Carlos (or Dooling) could come into the game, take over, run the offense and win the game. Now there is no other viable option for Nelson. Anthony Johnson has been decent while playing 10 minutes or so to give Nelson a rest, but he wouldn't be the option for a full season.

This has forced Nelson to play focused, not make many mistakes, and to play at level we had not seen before. A good point guard is the key to a good team. Nelson has proven to be the answer this season. The biggest prove of this has been his selection as a reserve point guard for the All-star game. The real Jameer Nelson has finally showed up to stay. And all of us Orlando Magic fans have to thank Carlitos for this. So here it goes.

Carlos…"Muchas Gracias"…

*imagen cortesia de yahoo sports.

Music Monday

In honor of Orlando being the only team with 3 All-Star selections we have a wonderful little piece from Smash Mouth, titled All Star. The 90's had some great music... Then there was Smash Mouth. Also, is that Dane Cook in the first few seconds?!?

Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me
I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed
She was looking kind of dumb with her finger and her thumb
In the shape of an "L" on her forehead

Well the years start coming and they don't stop coming
Fed to the rules and I hit the ground running
Didn't make sense not to live for fun
Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb

So much to do so much to see
So what's wrong with taking the back streets
You'll never know if you don't go
You'll never shine if you don't glow

Hey now you're an All Star get your game on, go play
Hey now you're a Rock Star get the show on get paid
And all that glitters is gold
Only shooting stars break the mold

It's a cool place and they say it gets colder
You're bundled up now but wait 'til you get older
But the meteor men beg to differ
Judging by the hole in the satellite picture

The ice we skate is getting pretty thin
The waters getting warm so you might as well swim
My world's on fire how about yours
That's the way I like it and I never get bored

[Repeat Chorus 2x]

Somebody once asked could you spare some change for gas
I need to get myself away from this place
I said yep what a concept
I could use a little fuel myself
And we could all use a little change
Well the years start coming and they don't stop coming
Fed to the rules and I hit the ground running
Didn't make sense not to live for fun
Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb
So much to do so much to see
So what's wrong with taking the back streets
You'll never know if you don't go
You'll never shine if you don't glow

[Repeat Chorus]

Thanks to for the lyrics.

edit: It is Dane Cook! I regret selecting this for Music Monday.

How the Arizona Cardinals and Orlando Magic are somewhat alike.

The Arizona Cardinals lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers last night, though came very close to pulling off the upset. Many sports pundits doubted whether or not the Cardinals were a legitimate playoff team, let alone a Superbowl team up until kickoff of the game. After last nights showing, they proved they were, yet came up short regardless.

The Orlando Magic are coming off one of their most successful road trips to date, a thumping of the Cavs, and are riding high in the league. However, sporting one of the best records in the NBA still doesn't prove to the brass of the sports world that they are legit. A team with the best big man in the league, 2 All-Star reserves at the foward and guard positions, and a record of 36-10 is not considered a legitimate title contender. And why is that?

So 2 teams, 2 different sports, yet are comparable in terms of talent and the respect they receive. Let's take a look...

  • Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin are the most dynamic and exciting receiving duos in the NFL. Both have 1,000 yard and multiple touchdown seasons year after year. Yet both are constantly overlooked when talked about as the "stars" of the league.
  • Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu. Both average nearly 20 points a game. Both help their team in other categories nearly every night, whether it be rebounding or dishing out some assists. And both are key players to a team that is 36-10. Yet, both are constantly overlooked when talked about as the "stars" of the league. Now, some can make an argument about considering these two players "stars", however, how many people would mention their names when talking about the top 15 forwards in this league?
  • Both teams have rookies who have surpassed expectations in their young careers. Dominique Rodger-Cromartie has turned into one of the best young cornerbacks in the game, while Courtney Lee has shown he could one day develop into one of the best defenders in the league.
  • Ken Whisenhunt and Stan Van Gundy. Both, err....remind me to send Whisenhunt an email to grow a stache.
Both teams have surpassed expectations that the ESPNs and other sports analysts gave them in the beginning of the season. While the Magic still have a while to go before the playoffs, it's safe to assume barring a complete and utter meltdown that they are a lock for one of the top seeds in their conference. Both teams are very young and hungry for a championship their respective franchises have lacked in their history. And both teams are severly underrated when talked about among their leagues "elite".

The Cardinals surprised alot of people this year, but if you paid any attention, you knew this team was bound to breakout after putting the right pieces on that team. The Magic are doing the same, and if the Cardinals proved anything this year it's that anything is possible, and the Magic have a legitimate shot at playing for that championship this year. Let's just hope the outcome is slightly different for us.

Credit: John Raoux (AP) and Getty Images for the photos.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Magic Bullets - Magic @ Toronto

The Magic travel up to Toronto to play the Raptors in another Sunday morning game. Let's start the bullets.

11:55 AM
  • Yes, I know, 'Magic Bullets' is a pun. Hypocryte? Yeah, probably.
  • Just before the Magic game on Sun Sports is the Billy Donovan show. Memories.
  • Here is ESPN's preview. Their simulation gives the Magic a 75% chance of winning this afternoon.
12:00 PM
  • Went and saw Slumdog Millionaire last night. VERY good film.
  • Dwight had 39 last time these two teams faced each other. Toronto still won the game. SVG is right, it all starts at the defensive end of the court.
  • Now there is no doubt that Michael Phelps is a jackass.
12:20 PM
  • A lot of respect for Raptor fans. They support their team.
  • Steele let us know that Toronto is 11-20 since firing Sam Mitchel.
  • Dwight throws down two monstrous dunks.
  • Isn't there a football game on tonight?
12:30 PM
  • The Magic are still sitting #2 in Hollingers Power Rankings.
  • Halfway through the 1st Orlando is up 14-10. Dwight and Jameer each have 6.
  • Here is the Orlando Sentinel's preview of the game.
  • Jameer checks out. 10 pts, 4-4 FG.
12:45 PM
  • Magic up 6 after 1.
  • Toronto is a very good FT shooting team. In fact, they are best in the league.
  • Game tied. Orlando calls timeout.
  • NBA League Pass costs 99 bucks for the rest of the season? Seems pricey.
1:00 PM
  • Solomon fires an airball and the boo's are pretty loud.
  • Pietrus takes it hard to the basket and get fouled. I'm afraid he is going to get hurt every time.
  • How was that not a foul on Dwight on the followup dunk?
  • Calderon is a solid basketball player, but man, he's ugly.
  • Dwight just passed Tracy McGrady for all time FT's made for the Magic. Congrats D12.
  • Tract McGrady and Shaq each played 295 games for the Magic.
  • Beautiful and-1 for Dwight. He misses the FT.
1:15 PM
  • 25% of Canada's population lives in Toronto.
  • Chris Bosh missed a FT. It will be the only one he misses today.
  • Nice win in OT yesterday for UCF. They move to 5-2 in C-USA.
  • Matty is rambling.
  • Pietrus is struggling this afternoon. He shouldn't be a player that settles for jump shots.
  • Insert Polish Hammer. He gets dunked on.
  • Dwight has 18 at halftime. Magic are up 53-47.
1:45 PM
  • Magic are 30-3 this year when leading at halftime.
  • Magic up 16. Toronto calls timeout.
  • Am I the only one getting tired of the Tobacco Free Florida adds?
  • For those in Orlando, it's a beautiful day. Go do something outside... After this game is over of course.
  • Magic had a 21 point lead just a few minutes ago. Toronto has made a run.
2:03 PM
  • The boo's are back.
  • Magic outscore the Raptors 32-18 in the 3rd.
  • Piss poor possession to start the 4th.
  • Little known fact about Raptors: They were feathered and only 3 feet tall.
  • Pietrus goes down hard again. Magic fans collectively hold their breath.
  • The Cavs and Pistons play at 2:30 over on ABC.
  • Joey Graham and his brother Stephen played college ball at UCF before transferring to Oklahoma State.
  • Blue Man Group commercial. Ahh, I can't wait for the Arrested Development movie. "Michael, I'm afraid I just blue myself."
  • Turk has not had a good game.
2:25 PM
  • Anyone else hear that guy yelling "Hoooowwwaaarrrdddd" during Dwight's FT's? Hats off to him.
  • Canadian Bacon was a good movie.
  • Quote of the day by David Steele: "They list him at 280. I'd put him at a happy meal shy of 320."
  • No JJ or Bogans today...
  • Final score: Orlando 113, Toronto 90. Dwight has 29 points, 14 rebounds. Pietrus puts up 22.
  • Jameer had 18 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds. Impressive.
  • Here is the box score.
  • Dallas comes to town tomorrow night.
Big Train. Out.

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