Orlando Magic News & Notes: Almond Waived

Pacers Magic Basketball

The Magic have waived Guard Morris Almond following last night’s win over the Pacers. Their roster now stands at 14.

The Magic defeated the Pacers 117-87. Click here to see my recap.

Jason Williams looked good last night and he has undoubtedly locked down the backup Point Guard spot.

Someone yelled to Jason Williams while he was warming up an hour-and-a-half before the Orlando Magic faced the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night at Amway Arena.

“White Chocolate!” said Pacers assistant coach Lester Conner.

“White Chocolate’s gone for good,” Williams replied, with a smile.

White Chocolate — the alias that Williams played under in his young, flashy Harlem Globetrotter-like days — might be gone for good.

But J-Will — Jason Williams — is back. And back in a big way.

See the story by Brian Schmitz here.

Tania Ganguli has a story about Dwight Howard and his struggles at the free throw line.

“I want to make it so bad that I put too much pressure on myself when I’m shooting in the game,” Howard said. “The guys said they’re going to start joking with me, [to] keep my mind free of the free throw itself.”

See the full story here.

Here is Ganguli’s mid-morning buzz for stories from around the league.

Sports Illustrated’s annual basketball preview came out. Here’s what an opposing scout had to say about the Magic.

Last year with New Jersey, Carter showed he still has a lot left in the tank. Scorers like him aren’t easy to find, and this team obviously needed someone who can score so thatDwight Howarddoesn’t always have to be the guy — especially after realizing they weren’t going to keep Turkoglu. Now that he’s playing with Howard andRashard Lewis, Carter won’t have the scoring burden that he would’ve had in New Jersey, which means he can be more efficient in how he plays by scoring 20 but with a higher field-goal percentage. I’ve never thought of him as a selfish player, though there’s no question scoring is what he does best. I don’t think coachStan Van Gundywill allow Carter to become a one-on-one player here. After all, this is the first time Carter has been on a real contender. He’s never been out of the second round, and with this opportunity before him, I’m sure he will adjust to the needs of the team as a scoring complement to Howard and their other guys. At 32, he has become more of a jump shooter who is very good from the three-point line, but I remain worried about him driving it. He doesn’t do it as often, but you still have to guard against it.

Click here to see what else the opposing scout had to say.

The Orlando Sentinel ranked the Magic third in their power poll and then were bashed for NOT being homers in the comments section. You can’t win…

“Grab a Handle” is the Orlando Magic’s official team motto for this season. “Championship or Bust” would be just as appropriate. The Magic have gone all-out to return to the NBA Finals, going into the luxury tax to add depth and give Coach Stan Van Gundy the weapons to keep pace with the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers. With Jameer Nelson back healthy and Rashard Lewis set to begin the season with a 10-game suspension, the Magic will open their season without four-fifths of the starting lineup that won three playoff series last season. Can the team adjust? And how will it handle last season’s success?

See the story here.

Around the league:

Fully Clips takes a look at how the experts view the Clippers.

Lake Show Life also checks out what the experts think.

Rip City Project discusses Lamarcus Aldridge and his big extension.

Around the Network:

Take a look at the college hockey player of the week.

The Rat Trick recaps the Panthers and the Sabres.

Green man is going back to the World Series.

Here’s the latest on the Royals who are playing in the AFL.

We’re Bucked gives us their thoughts on college football.

Click here to see mine.

Predominantly Orange breaks down the AFC West.

Niner Noise discusses the 49ers’ offense and how it has performed so far.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger. Subscribe to his RSS feed and add him on Twitter to follow him daily.)

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