NBA All-Star and Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady will join the front office of the Orlando Magic as special assistant to CEO Alex Martins, the team announced Friday. McGrady played for the Magic from 2000 to 2004, making the All-Star Game all four seasons. The team said the 38-year-old McGrady will be available to… Continue reading “Magic hire McGrady as special assistant”
By James Blackburn
Orlando (0-3) vs. Nets (2-1)
Nets win 94- 91
James continues his scouting of the NBA summer league games in Orlando, where many rookies are getting their first chance to prove themselves in the NBA.
Derrick Favors (25 min, 2-5 FG, 5 reb, 7 fls, 4 tp)- Good rebounder, showed some nice post moves- good hook shot, foul prone, solid effort today.
Terrence Williams (36 min, 8-26 FG, 0-3 3pt, 6-11 FT, 4 reb, 6 ass, 2 st, 22 tp)- Very good and willing passer, does a great job attacking the basket. Takes a lot of shots- b/c he is one of the only sources of offense for Nets. Big time dunk in traffic going to his right. Had a nice runner in lane. Needs to work on consistency on jumper.
Damion James (34 min, 9-18 FG, 3-5 3pt, 9-11 FT, 3 reb, 2 ass, 30 tp)- Highest scoring game this week for any player. Solid scorer who is a good shooter. High volume shooter with athleticism. Shoots well off screens and can create own shot. Has a nice post game. Best game this week for the rookie out of Texas.
Jeff Adrian (22 min, 2-4 FG,4- 8 FT, 4 reb, 1 st, 8 tp)- Great hustle player, free throws are flat. Very strong is a beast on the boards- protects the ball well. Showed improved offensive game since college- nice hook shot and can shoot the 10-15’ jumper. Will find himself on a opening day roster.
Joe Crawford (28 min, 10-13 FG, 4-5 3 pt, 5-8 FT, 29 tp)- High volume and efficient scorer- but strictly a scorer, nothing else. Great shooter- probably the best in summer league. Has a nice floater- can score in a variety of ways. Holds his ground- strong on D.
Daniel Orton (17 min, 4-6 FT, 1 ass, 1 blk, 4 tp)- Best game yet as a pro- even though he did not put up numbers or fill up the stat sheet- he looked alive and actually looked like he wanted to play today. He looked energetic and more comfortable today. Played solid defense- was a presence in paint. Gets post position and had a couple of nice passes out of post. Definitely needs to improve offense. The Magic still do not have a legit scoring center.
Patrick Ewing Jr. ( 31 min, 4-10 FG, 0-2 3 pt, 3-4 FT, 7 reb, 11 tp) – Not a great showing from the coaches son, who continues to lead the team in minutes played, but did show some good things. Plays good defense with active hands. Has a nice bank shot from wing area. Decent passer too.
By James Blackburn
Game 1 – 1:00 game
Utah (1-1) vs. Orlando (0-2)
Jazz win 78-73
• One of the Officials is like 6’10” – he’s also a good official.
• Utah is playing good P and R team defense- doing a great job rotating.
• Utah is running in transition to start the game.
• Orlando is turning the ball over a lot.
• Orlando is having a tough time even getting the ball in bounds.
• Jerry Sloan is sitting a few seats down from me on the front row.
Image Source: AP
Gordon Hayward ( 19 min., 3-5 FG, 1-2 3 pt, 7-8 FT, 2 reb., 2 ass, 1 blk, 14 tp)- Hayward came out looking a lot more comfortable than yesterday. He was also more assertive and looked to score a little bit more. He had a really nice athletic block on Ewing Jr. He continues to make the right play whether it be in half court or on the break. He is a great shooter, and he hit a big 3 at the end of the game, and also hit his FT’s. He is also a strong rebounder. Look for him to continue to improve every game.
Sundiata Gaines (20 min, 3-6 FG, 1-3 FT, 3 reb., 3 ass, 7 TO, 7 tp)- Gaines is most known for hitting a game winning 3 in his first NBA game after being called up last season. He struggled with TO’s today, but is a good and willing passer. He also did a good job changing speeds in P and R situations, and was able to attack the basket several times and finish.
Tyrese Rice (16 min., 2-5 FG, 2-2 FT, 1 reb, 4 ass, 5 TO, 6 tp)- Tyrese did not have as good of showing as yesterday, but still played a solid game. He struggled today when Sean Singletary was guarding him. He showed good anticipation on defense, getting a few steals. Is a good passer. Had a nice acrobatic tip in too. Is too out of control to make a roster and he gives up too much on the defensive end.
Jeremy Evans ( 15 min. , 3-6 FG, 5 reb, 2 ass, 2 blks, 6 tp)- Jeremy Evans, Utah’s second round pick, played a solid game. Evans is super athletic and can finish with contact. He is a good passer too. He is very long and runs the floor well. Good timing on blocking shots. He is an intriguing player with lots of upside.
Trey Gilder ( 12 min., 1-2 FG, 2 blk., 3 tp)- His stats wont impress you, but this young man, who played in the D-League last year, can really play. He is very long, lanky, and this enables him to play great defense. He plays the passing lanes well. He has a high release on his jumper. Definitely a guy to keep an eye on.
Patrick Ewing Jr ( 27 min., 7-12FG, 2-4 3pt, 1-2 FT, 3 reb, 2 blk, 17 tp)- Another solid game from Ewing today. He continued to show he can shoot, both of the screen or off the dribble. He tends to fade on his jumper though. He also continued to show off his athleticism. Had a very nice block on Koufos.
Daniel Orton (17 min., 0-6 FG, 2-4 FT, 2 reb, 1`blk, 2 tp)- Daniel had another rough game today. We will start with what he did well. He did display some more patience today in the post, but was not able to capitalize. He altered/blocked several shots in the paint today. Now the bad- He looked really tired/out of shape today- several times he only ran to half court, and had his hands on his knees only several minutes into the game. He sets poor screens, and sometimes falls asleep on defense, losing sight of the ball. He recovers too late on defense and does a poor job rotating. He is not effective at all at he high post, and needs to do a better job finishing. He definitely would have benefited from at least 1 more year of school, may be 2.
Sean Singletary (13 min., 2-5 FG, 1 reb., 1 ass, 4 tp) – Sean had a pretty solid game today after registering a DNP yesterday. Sean is a very good defensive player, who has quick hands and moves his feet well. He also does a good job fighting over picks. He was a little shaky at the beginning, mis-communicating on several passes and committing a few unforced TO’s, but shook it off and settled in. Showed that he can still shoot, either off the dribble or a set shot. He has picture perfect form- a very calm, fluid looking stroke. Is a good passer too- should have had more assist-put his teammates in very good positions to score.
By James Blackburn
Game 2- 3:00 game
Orlando (0-1) vs. Indiana (1-0)
Pacers win 86-77
• Larry Bird was sitting one row behind me during the game and was complaining to the officials the entire time. It reminded me of Michael Jordan at Bobcats games, he does the same thing. Its humorous listening to him and Coach Jim O’Brien, who is sitting beside of Bird, go back and forth. You get the feeling sitting there that Larry Bird probably wishes he could get out there and play again, as he was getting frustrated several times with certain plays or players (especially Josh McRoberts)
Image Source: AP
|• Josh McRoberts and Daniel Orton both got ejected midway through the 3rd quarter after they got into a pushing match.|
Lance Stephenson ( 30 min., 8-10 FG, 5-8 FT, 4 reb, 3 ass., 21 tp)- Lance proved a lot of critics wrong in his first professional game, leading his team to the victory while running the PG the majority of the game. Lance looked very comfortable and in his element through out the game. He is deadly in the open court, where you can see his NYC street ball side come out. Lance is very strong and takes it to the rim with out any fear, with the ability to finish. Several outlets questioned Lance’s athleticism, and while he is not the most athletic player on the floor, he did exhibit good speed and quickness at the PG, and one nice one handed dunk in traffic after splitting the double team from the P and R. He is great in P and R situations, as he changes speeds incredibly well, and has the ability to see and hit the open roll man. He covers a lot of ground and few dribbles and is quick in the open court. Has a good feel for the ball, although sometimes he got himself into trouble by over dribbling. He was smart and was able to establish good post position against the smaller Jerome Randle and get easy scores in the paint. He had one incredible no look pass in the 4th quarter which led to a lay up. He did not shoot often from the perimeter, but when he did he showed a quick release and his jumper was falling today. Sometimes he carries the ball, and picks his dribble up to early in certain situations. Overall, a great showing for the second round pick, showing that his style is more suited for the pro game.
Josh McRoberts (16 min., 3-7 FG, 2-4 3 pt, 2 reb., 10 tp) – Before getting himself ejected for fighting, Josh had a decent game, although it was up and down. One minute he would be showing off his much improved 3 ball and the next minute he would commit a stupid foul. We will see in the coming games if he can put it all together and keep his cool.
Paul George (25 min, 2-7 FG, 1-5 3pt, 7-7 FT, 4 reb, 12 tp)- Paul George is going to be a project. You can see why the Pacers picked him. He is extremely athletic with a pretty decent looking jumper. He can run the floor like a deer and is active on the boards. He sometimes over dribbles and forced some bad shots. Larry Bird better hope he doesnt become the next Julian Wright.
Thomas Heurtel (16 min., 2-6 FG, 1-5 3 pt, 4 reb, 4 ass, 6 tp)- Heurtel’s numbers don’t exactly stand out, but the young PG from France played a solid game. Thomas is very savvy and smart with the basketball. He makes the right play and doesn’t force shots. He is a good passer and makes the right decision on P and R plays. He plays under control and knows his limitations and limits. He is also a good shooter and has a nice pull-up, even though the stats don’t indicate it.
Stanley Robinson (20 min., 1-4 FG, 7 reb., 2 ass., 4 tp)- Stanley showed me what I already knew before coming into this game. I knew he was athletic and a good rebounder. He has great body control in the air and is active on both ends on the boards. He grabs rebounds with 2 hands and secures them. He also showed me some good defense on George. He must continue to work on his jumper and his handle.
Patrick Ewing Jr (30 min., 7-17,3 reb., 15 tp)- It was interesting to see Patrick Ewing coach his son on the court. Jr is not afraid to shoot the ball. He has good form on his jumper with good rotation. Sometimes he tends to fade when he shoots though. He is also very athletic and acrobatic.
Jeff Adrian (20 min., 2-4 FG, 9-15 FT, 10 reb., 13 tp)- Adrian is a beast to put it mildly. His arms are the size of my legs. Adrian did well in his time on the court. He is a very strong, physical rebounder, who grabs the ball with 2 hands. He can finish at the rim, one time almost bringing the goal down with a 2 handed dunk. Needs to work on his offensive game, as he looks lost on that end. Could be the next Brandon Bass.
Daniel Orton (13 min. 1-8 FG, 3 reb., 5 FL, 3 tp)- Very poor showing from the first round pick out of Kentucky. Not only did he get ejected for fighting, but when he was on the floor he did nothing. He did display a good box out and ability to establish good post position, while giving a target hand. But when he gets the ball he is in too much of a hurry and puts up a poor shot. He does have the ability to draw fouls, with a wide body. He should have attended another year of school to get more reps.