The Magic will take on the Boston Celtics tonight. You can read my preview of tonight’s game here.
Rashard Lewis declared Friday night’s game a second-chance “statement game.”
“It’s a big game for us,” Lewis said. “We’re playing against one of the best teams in the NBA. I think it’s a statement game, just like the Cleveland Cavaliers game was a statement game. They came in and beat us. It’s going to be tough going into Boston, but at the same time, I think we’re going to see where we’re at.”
Joshua Robbins has the full story here.
Hardwood Houdini discusses the matchup between Dwight Howard and Kendrick Perkins here.
The guys over at Hardwood Houdini will also be hosting a game day chat before the game tonight so check that out and welcome them to the Fansided network.
Cetlics Blog wonders why this game isn’t getting the hype that it deserves.
The Celtics players know that this is a big game.
“They’re the team everybody’s chasing in the East,” coach Doc Rivers said of the Magic after practice Thursday. “They won the championship of the East last year. As far as we’re concerned, they’re the favorite and Cleveland’s the second favorite and we’re the third — going by the results of last year. So, it will be good to see where we’re at.”
Said captain Paul Pierce: “It’s definitely a big game for us. Just try and make a statement against one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference. You’re talking about a team that’s going to be there in the end, one of the best records in the league. So, we’re playing for home court advantage and this is a team that we have to beat.”
Kevin Garnett (knee) missed the playoffs and has returned to average just more than 30 minutes a game this season.
“I’m just looking forward to playing them,” Garnett said. “Their record says they’re one of the best teams. They’re deep, they’re very deep. People are not really talking about their depth, but the onus is on us. This should be a good test for us.”
Read the full story here.
Speaking of hype, J.J. Redick has some interesting comments about LeBron James.
“We’re a small market, so we’re going to get less attention. Plus, we don’t have LeBron. Seriously, if the guy (James) said tomorrow that he was going to run for President, (CNN’s) Anderson Cooper would be on SportsCenter for 30 minutes talking about why he’d make a good president.’’
John Denton has the story here.
Stan Van Gundy met with Dwight Howard to discuss Van Gundy’s negativity. Van Gundy has vowed to limit his negativity.
“I think, as a team, there was a lot of negativity and it’s not like Stan’s a negative guy,” Howard said before the Magic left for Boston to face the Celtics on Friday night. “But it’s like there’s always some clashes and focusing so much on our mistakes. Instead of bringing each other down, we have to pull each other up.
“That’s the only thing I wanted from coach.”
Van Gundy told the Sentinel that his negativity was “draining the enthusiasm” from his team. He vowed to change his tactics — from practices to press conferences to the bench on game nights — after listening to Howard’s concerns.
Read Brian Schmitz’s full story here.
Mike Bianchi has a follow-up to this story here.
Call me Pollyanna if you want, but I don’t think this is such a bad thing. It’s a positive. I give Howard and Van Gundy credit for handling this like a team – a real team — is supposed to handle it. This is the polar opposite of the Magic’s palace coup of several years ago when Penny Hardaway destructively went behind former coach Brian Hill’s back and led a team mutiny that eventually cost Hill his job.
This isn’t Howard being an immature prima donna; it’s Howard being a mature team leader.
Jonathan Abrams has an excellent article about the pick-and-roll. He discusses how much it is run in the league now and why it can be so effective.
“When it comes down to it, that’s what we’re going to be in when the game’s on the line,” Magic Coach Stan Van Gundy said of basketball’s most reliable play. “I say it all the time: I don’t care how good you are, you can’t take away everything.”
See the full story here.
Dwight Howard has graced the cover of Slam Magazine. You can see that here.
Kevin Pelton discusses Orlando’s defensive struggles here.
Rashard Lewis is making his presence felt. Alex Kennedy has the full story here.
Howard the Dunk is going to be adding a new writer in the very near future so we will be bringing you even more Magic coverage. Keep your eyes peeled for that.
The Orlando Magic have expanded their radio coverage.
ORLANDO MAGIC ANNOUNCE EXPANDED RADIO NETWORK
-New weekly radio show is also added to the lineup-
Orlando, Fla. – Anchored by flagship station AM 580 WDBO, the Orlando Magic radio network has expanded its coverage with four new affiliates this year, growing its network to 11 affiliates for the 2009-10 season. With the expanded network, fans can now hear Magic games as far north as Jacksonville to just north of West Palm Beach.
The four new affiliates to the Magic radio network include WBOB in Jacksonville, WSJZ in Sebastian, WFLN in Arcadia and WSRQ in Sarasota. The addition of WBOB and WSRQ mark the first time the Magic will broadcast in both Jacksonville and Sarasota, while WHBO in Tampa/St. Petersburg returns for a second season with the Magic, as last year was the first season the team was on the air in the Tampa market.
Orlando Magic affiliates include:
WPSL-Port Saint Lucie
The Orlando Magic’s growing number of affiliates also received a boost from the Magic’s partnership with Skyview Satellite Networks, the new network provider for the Magic. Skyview will support the Magic’s English and Spanish radio networks with full automation and inventory management systems, allowing the Magic to increase its network size.
The Magic also have a new addition to their weekly radio lineup with “Magic and More,” a radio show featuring Dante Marchitelli and Kevin Holden, which will air on Monday mornings at 9 a.m. on AM 740. The “Stan Van Gundy Coaches Show” (5:30 p.m. select Tuesdays and Thursdays) will also air on AM 740, while AM 580 will continue its coverage of Magic games with “Inside Magic” with Scott Anez prior to the network pregame radio broadcasts. ESPN Radio (AM 1080) also hosts “Magic Behind the Scenes” every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 5 p.m. along with “Magic Insider” with General Manager Otis Smith at 5 p.m. on Monday, and fans can join Magic Spanish radio play-by-play announcer Joey Colon on “Inside Magic en Espanol,” which can be heard Mondays at 6 p.m. on La Grande AM 1030 WONQ.