The Orlando Magic defeated the Utah Jazz 104-99 last night. Find out how they did it here.
J.J. Redick was excellent last night. Joshua Robbins credits Redick’s improvement to his confidence.
“He is playing with great confidence — and for good reason,” Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. “Success breeds confidence, and he’s playing very, very well. On top of the confidence, the guy is just so focused and tough. He’s on top of everything.”
Read that story here.
John Denton also praised Redick’s performance.
“The thing that we talked about is that it’s a continual process with your career,’’ said Redick, who noted that he called Coach K to wish him a Merry Christmas. “Not that I’m comparing myself to him by any means, but Kobe Bryant is constantly working to master his craft. What I’ve come to understand is that you have to work all the time. It’s a continual process and I there’s a lot of things I have to do better.’’
See Denton’s postgame analysis here.
Kelly Dwyer goes behind the box score.
Magic fans may have a better example for me – a contest on a Wednesday, with 11 other games playing, or a Saturday night Orlando win that saw me away from the TV and in a loud room attempting to purchase something amber with water and ice all over it – but this is the best I’ve seen Dwight play, all year, on the defensive end. And you’re just going to have to believe me when I tell you that his (fantastic) five blocks have little to do with that observation.
He just changed things, obsessively. Just hung around the paint in the right way, changing people’s minds, changing people’s arcs and follow-throughs and the way they went about their job. And that’s what you’re after, really. A guy that doesn’t let his opponents make the donuts in their preferred manner.
Read BDL’s Behind the Box Score here.
See Utah’s point-of-view from Ross Siler of the Salt Lake Tribune.
Rashard Lewis talk about Monday night’s win.
That game was so tight and changing hands all night it almost felt like a playoff game. Well, it didn’t have the same intensity as a playoff game, but anytime you play Utah you know you are going to have to fight hard against those dudes. They play hard and it’s a grind to beat them.
I was so into the game that I even got hit with a tech in the second quarter for arguing a call with the ref. You guys know that I normally don’t say a lot to the refs, but this time I had to speak up. He called the ball off on me as it went out of bounds and I told him it was a terrible call, but I may have put a small little cuss word in there, too. Can’t remember. Lol
Read Lewis’ blog here.
Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy praised Dwight Howard’s defense.
“He’s a better pick-and-roll defender, probably, than Alonzo was and a better shot-blocker than P.J. was,” Van Gundy said. “There’s just not much he can’t do defensively. I think as a big guy he’s as good as anybody I’ve been around.”
Read that story and other Magic notes here.
Dwight Howard was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week.
Dwight Howard talked about hanging out with his Olympic teammate and friend, Jazz Power Forward Carlos Boozer.
When Booz came to the house on Sunday, we hung out and watched a lot of the NFL games on TV. Of course, everybody was asking me if we talked about playing together since he’s going to be a free agent this summer. Of course, that would be a dream come true for both of us, but we’ll have to see what happens. Booz will have to make a decision on his own and do what’s best for him and his family. That has to come first in any decision.
We were playing a little game, talking about which other NBA great player we’d most like to play with. We were throwing out all the names like Kobe and LeBron and D-Wade and Joe Johnson. For me, I gotta say D-Wade because he’s just a really good dude and I think we’d fit well together with him on the outside and me on the inside.
Who knows if any of us will ever get a chance to play together, but I can at least think about what it would be like. It would be cool to be on the same team with one of those guys like Booz who is one of my best friends.
Read Dwight’s blog here.
Tim Povtak wonders if these two friends could be teammates.
“Who wouldn’t want to play with Superman?” Boozer asked FanHouse, referring to Howard’s nickname, after Utah’s Monday morning workout at Amway Arena. “It would be great. We’re like brothers. On top of his competitiveness, and his dominance on the court, he’s so much fun to be around. Yes, the two of us could work well together, two dominant inside players. But we’ll just have to see what happens.”
Read that story here.
Vince Carter’s charity has done even more good in Volusia County. Read about that here.
Brandon Ribak thinks that the Magic are the beasts of the east.
For an NBA Finals contending team to alter their roster and suffer as many injuries as much as Orlando has and still be able to remain as one of the most elite teams in the league is undoubtedly an extremely difficult task to overcome.
At 21-7, the Magic currently rank third in the league (behind LA and Boston) record-wise, while still averaging 102 PPG (8th best in NBA).
Read that story here.
The Basketball Jones went Christmas caroling. There’s even a song about our very own Dwight Howard towards the end of the video. Watch it here.