Archive for the ‘Orlando Magic’ Category

Now that we’re three games in to the NBA Finals, things really start to slow down in the basketball world. With no games to watch four nights out of the week, there’s a lot more time to do non-basketball stuff. This past weekend I watched parts of “Sherlock Holmes” and “Bad Teacher,” which is something I’d never consider during the season and kind of wish I hadn’t done anyways.

Nonetheless, we all have a lot more free time now that there’s only one series to watch. That’s why it’s too bad the new Chinese movie that Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard are starring in isn’t out yet. I’d love to waste some time watching that. From SportsGrid’s translation of a Chinese movie rating site:

“The movie … is intended to show a few urban white-collar basketball fans realized the truth of life in basketball the face of temptations. The hero of the film played by Huang Xiaoming is a game tester, testing a new “virtual reality basketball game, this virtual world is not so simple, even accidentally involved in some thrilling adventure.”

So basically, original “Tron” meets “Like Mike,” with a little “Lawnmower Man” and “Thunderstruck” thrown in for good measure. Sounds awesome. All of the Oscars, please. Golden Globes too, while you’re at it.

Alongside Dwight and Carmelo, the soon-to-be-legendary flick also features Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson, Yi Jianlian and Wang Zhizhi on the big screen, making for a stronger first six than that of either the Magic or Knicks. I’m not entirely sure how we’ll get a chance to see this, since it’s going to be Chinese release. But we definitely need to get our hands on it, because this has the potential to make “Space Jam” and “Just Wright” look like “Hoosiers” and “He Got Game.”

Earlier this morning, news broke that the Orlando Magic would be making a “major announcement” this afternoon. They’ve had such a weird season that us here in the TBJ offices legitimately considered the possibility that the Magic had fired Stan Van Gundy in the middle of a playoff series or found a way to move Dwight Howard after the trade deadline. It’s been a weird year.

However, as it turns out, the major announcement is just to tell everyone that Ryan Anderson is this season’s Most Improved Player. And really, I think that pretty well sums up this award. Ryan Anderson won Most Improved? Really?

To put things in perspective, not only did Ryan Anderson not make our final ballot for Most Improved Player, he didn’t even make our covert Google Documents short list. It’s not that wasn’t good this year — he definitely was, becoming an All-Star for the first time and one of just 37 players in the league with a PER greater than 20 — it’s just that he didn’t improve the most, which is literally the name of the award. A Wolf Among Wolves nailed it:

Ryan Anderson has won MIP because he played more minutes and took more shots this season on a playoff team. That’s it. [...] Ryan Anderson was exactly as good last year as he was this year, except this year he had a different role on the team.

That role? Shoot more threes because you’re really good at shooting. In three less games than last season, Anderson shot 81 more threes, knocking them in at the exact same 39.3 percent clip. Thanks to 10 extra minutes a game, his per game scoring average rose six points and his per game rebounds average rose by two boards. That looks like a huge improvement, but when you consider his per 36 minutes stats show an increase of 0.2 points and a 0.4 rebounds decrease, it’s pretty obvious that his bigger numbers this year are thanks to the extra playing time.

This is a Best Player Whose Numbers Went Up award, not a Most Improved Player award. Ryan Anderson had a wonderful season and his normal box score numbers definitely went up. This is why he won the trophy, even though Ersan Ilyasova and Nikola Pekovic would have been far better choices.

No one really cares about this award, which is exactly why Andrew Bogut got a first place vote even though he played 12 games this year. Ryan Anderson is this year’s 2011-12 Most Improved Player. Congratulations to him and at least Jeremy Lin didn’t win for playing 35 games. So it goes.

The Magic lost home court advantage last night, getting punked in Orlando to the tune of a 23-point defeat at the hands of the Indiana Pacers. Their best player is out thanks to back surgery, their second-best player took six shots and made two, and they don’t have a third-best player. Instead, they rock a bunch of random guys who are sometimes the third-best on the team and sometimes disappear. Last night, Glen Davis leapfrogged from third to first, going 10-18 from the field and scoring 22 points, joining J.J. Redick as the only Magic to actually show up for the game.

But all of that is irrelevant in the face of the extraordinary internet content that Big Baby gifted us with during last night’s loss. Up top, you see his incredible interview with his super cute baby. Down below, you see his other incredible interview, interspersed with the backwards high knees thing he pulled in the first half. As well as he played, these top-notch moments of hilarity trump that performance.

Read the rest of this entry »

Can’t wait to see what Patrick Ewing comes up with next year if he’s coaching the Bobcats. I imagine it’ll be something like this, but we’ve got a while before that happens.

For now, let’s just marvel at how much he nailed this description of everything that’s gone on in Orlando this season. 100 percent perfect and totally accurate.

Just kidding. You’ll totally guess.

From Sports Illustrated:

Which coach would you like to play for the…

MOST?

Doc Rivers, Celtics 22%

Mike D’Antoni, 21%

Gregg Popovich, Spurs 16%

Rick Carlisle, Mavericks 6%

Rick Adelman, T-Wolves 5%

LEAST?

Stan Van Gundy, Magic 22%

Scott Skiles, Bucks 14%

Either NBA players don’t like playing for defensive-minded coaches who constantly scream, call them out in the press, require consistent effort on both sides of the court to get playing time and occasionally air their dirty laundry and make them look like idiots or Dwight Howard voted 22 times as often as the rest of the players surveyed. One of the two.

“The only thing I could probably say that I could have done better is probably just keep my mouth shut more.”Dwight Howard, on what he’d change about his year-long dissertation on how not to handle the media when making a trade request

(via BDL)

Is Lil’ Penny coming back?

If you were a basketball fan in the 1990s, you probably loved Penny Hardaway’s alter ego, Lil’ Penny. What’s not to love about a wise-cracking puppet that’s voiced by Chris Rock? The commercials still hold up, I still have a copy of “Knee High and Livin’ Large” in my mom’s basement and people are still ripping off these legendary spots to move units.

That’s why the following blockquote is so potentially awesome. Penny and Chris Rock got together yesterday on the Bottom Line Sports Show to talk about their commercials and that’s when they dropped what might be the greatest news of 2012. It starts around the 59 minute mark.

Penny: I got something that my guy, Mark Doshay, and I were talking today. And this isn’t putting Chris on the spot, you know he’s a busy person or whatever and we can contact later. But we’ve got the Penny 5 — it’s a new sneaker that’s coming out of the collection — and he told me that he’d love to sit down and talk about things to negotiate something and then try to do something with the Penny 5.

Rock: OK!

Penny: That’s up to you. If it doesn’t happen it’s fine. I think this is big, but if we’re past it, we’re past it. I hope that’s not putting you on the spot.

Rock: No no no. Let’s do it. Let’s figure it out. Let’s do it.

Obviously, this isn’t a done deal because it’s pretty much just Penny Hardaway saying, “Hey, we should do this” and Chris Rock not wanting to be a party pooper, but still. If Penny Hardaway is getting another signature shoe even though he’s been retired for four years — he is, they look great — then they should definitely bring Lil’ Penny out of retirement. It’s a no-brainer.

I don’t know how we guarantee that this happens, but I’m guessing it’ll involve a letter writing campaign. If we all send letters (NO EMAILS) to Penny Hardaway, Chris Rock, the advertising executives at Nike, Weiden+Kennedy, Phil Knight and Tyra Banks, then I think we should be good. Meet you at the post office.

(via Nice Kicks)