Kobe Bryant Adds Another Win To His Resume, Seals Oscar for Best Short Film Animated

Kobe Bryant is a future hall of fame basketball player. And now he has entered the world of film as an award winner.

Kobe Bryant never envisioned he would win an Oscar after his basketball career ended a couple of seasons ago. But he did just that.

At the 90th annual Academy Awards Show, Kobe Bryant took home his first Oscar Award. The award for Best Short Film Animated was awarded to Bryant’s film titled “Dear Basketball.”

“Dear Basketball” was written by Bryant in 2015 as he decided to announce his soon to be retirement from NBA. Kobe Bryant narrates the film, based on his same titled poem, as he speaks about his love for the game and what brought him to play basketball.

Disney animator Glen Keane shared the award with Kobe Bryant on stage.

Bryant clearly was a bit shocked as he accepted the award but delivered a powerful message in his acceptance speech. A message that athletes have voices beyond sports.

“I don’t know if it’s possible,” Bryant stated. “I mean, as basketball players, we are really supposed to shut up and dribble but I am glad we do a little bit more than that.”

The message was a direct shot at Fox News host Laura Ingraham who recently commented on NBA superstars LeBron James and Kevin Durant to “shut up and dribble” as James criticized President Donald Trump.

Afterwards, he thanked his family who was in attendance and spoke a few words of Italian to them telling them, “You are my inspiration.”

On Nov. 29, 2015, Kobe Bryant announced that he would be ending his career after the season. For that day’s Laker’s game, a copy of the poem was distributed to every fan at Staples Center.

Two years later, Bryant’s film was presented to the arena before his iconic jersey’s of #24 and #8 were retired by the Laker’s on December 18, 2017.

Kobe Bryant was a five-time champion with the Los Angeles Lakers and now is a one-time Golden Award winner.

Cheers to Kobe.

On and off the court.

Analyzing the Elfrid Payton Trade and Whats Next For the Orlando Magic

The 2018 NBA trade deadline is yesterday’s news. The Orlando Magic were inclined to begin making changes to the roster. And dealing point guard Elfrid Payton was the first move to make.

The Orlando Magic only made one deal before Thursday’s 3p.m. trade deadline. The team decided to remove fourth year guard Elfrid Payton from the magic equation. An equation that resulted in four years of losing seasons. Soon to be six overall since the teams last playoff appearance in 2012.

The return: A 2018 second round pick from the Phoenix Suns. The second-most valuable pick between Charlotte, Memphis and Miami’s picks.

Elfrid Payton averaged 13.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game this season. Payton is shooting a career high 37 percent from three and 52 percent from the floor. However, the Magic were not convinced that he was the long-term solution in their rebuilding plans.

Some felt Orlando should have received more compensation for a player like Payton.

Some thought this trade offer was a joke of some kind.

Some believed Elfrid Payton was worth more than a second-round pick due to his ability to score in isolation and push the tempo on offense. Payton helped lead Orlando to the seventh fastest pace played in the NBA this season. His PER of 18.2 was a career high and sported an offensive rating of 105.9, also a career high.

On the contrary, his defensive prowess that he was billed to have upon entering the league was non-evident and some felt his offensive gains this year were not accurate. In actuality, Payton’s defensive rating was atrocious at 113.6 on the year.

As a primary ball handler with the Suns, Payton will have the opportunity to showcase his abilities and increase his value. Payton should put together a strong campaign playing alongside sharpshooter Devin Booker and Josh Jackson. Phoenix has been looking for a fixture at the point guard and this was a buy-low type of deal.

The Viewpoint on Trading Elfrid Payton

Orlando Magic President of Basketball Operations, Jeff Weltman, confirmed the decision to move on from Payton in an interview with Fox Sports Florida after Thursday night’s game at home against the Atlanta Hawks.

“The NBA is evolving, and we have to fit this into our team and into the context of the league,’’ said Weltman. ” Certainly, as we grow the team, there are certain principles and cornerstones that we want to build with. These all go into the mix of free agency, draft and timing of where we are as a team. Do we want to lock in financially to a team that struggled in recent years? These are all factors that figure in.”

“We added a draft pick, we retained a little flexibility and that’s what we got today. We’re excited to have those and we feel that we need those to have a little bit of wiggle room and creativity as we assemble the roster.” Weltman said. “All of that stuff comes to bear in June when we start to do this all over again.”

Falling in line with long-term objectives, Orlando Magic management decided moving Payton now was the right move.

Did Orlando Get The Best Possible Deal

The Orlando Magic were not going to resign Payton to a long-term deal after the current season. So instead, they decided any sort of compensation was better than no compensation at all.

The best case scenario anyone could have hoped for was to receive a younger prospect. Or a first round selection in the upcoming draft. It had been reported that the New York Knicks were showing interest in Payton but rebuffed the idea of having to part ways with promising rookie guard Frank Ntilikina. The team also had a deal in place that would’ve swapped Payton for former Denver Nugget guard Emmanuel Mudiay, who was later acquired by the Knicks. Indications are that Denver felt they should not have had to relinquish picks for Payton in a player swap deal. Rumors throughout the league indicated teams would be reluctant to part ways with any sort of first-round pick for Payton likely due to his expected salary increase this summer.

With all aspects considered, Orlando did in fact receive the best possible compensation at the time of the trade. They could have sign and traded him during the off-season but that’s under the assumption the team matched an offer sheet for him and would have had to take back salaries. It was better to go for the sure thing now than risk losing Payton for nothing later.

Orlando Magic: Last-minute Elfrid Payton trade an awful one

What’s Next For The Orlando Magic

“Do we want to lock in financially to a team that struggled in recent years?”, Weltman said during his recent interview with Fox Sports Florida.

The Magic failed to move on from other players tied to those struggling years before Thursday’s deadline.

One or more current Magic core players could find themselves playing for a new team before the start of next season.

Its been confirmed that Orlando wants more shooting from the guard position and newly anointed starter, DJ Augustin, provides just that. What fails to be seen is if Orlando will give Augustin an opportunity to win the starting job for next season or if they will look to solidify the position in the upcoming draft.

In all likelihood, the Magic are setting themselves up for what should be an active draft night in June.

Last summer, the Orlando Magic moved draft picks to create cap space and roster space to sign veterans. This summer they could choose to do more of the same. Or they could use their bevy of future picks to move down in the draft or gain another first round selection.

Its less likely Orlando decides to bring back more than two rookies this draft. They are not aiming to getting younger necessarily but want to improve as a team.



The Orlando Magic Have Options As The Trade Deadline Approaches

This is the time of year the trade winds start brewing in Orlando. The 2018 trade deadline is approaching and the Orlando Magic have options.

Wins are difficult to acquire for the Orlando Magic this year. Eight of the teams wins, came within the first 12 games of the season.

The 2017-18 season is going in the history books as another lost season for the Orlando Magic.

Hope for the team’s future is not as lost.

This is the time of year, teams look at their respective rosters and gauge if they will maneuver for a playoff run or if they are fishing for a top lottery pick. The Magic are headed towards the latter scenario.

This will be the first trade deadline for Hammond and president of basketball operations, Jeff Weltman, with the Orlando Magic. Weltman stated before the season began, that this would be an evaluation season for the team. He included the Orlando Magic would do their due diligence and evaluate what each players value is and would be towards the Magic’s future. And this upcoming deadline will prove to be a true test of their evaluation process.

The season has been a disappointment thus far at the midway point but the Magic will have an opportunity to change their misfortunes.

A few rumors have already surfaced that link the Magic towards a core shakeup. The most common name involved is wingman Evan Fournier. But the Magic are not looking to make a deal just to please the public’s perception of the teams flaws. If a favorable deal surfaces, then management will choose whether or not to make a deal. But don’t expect it to be for pennies on the dollar.

In an interview with ESPN Orlando Scott Anez, Jeff Weltman indicated the Magic would receive calls for just about everyone on the roster. Teams around the league view Orlando as a franchise who may make a deal to give them a sense of new direction. What’s not clear is the direction the Orlando Magic intend to take. Magic brass has been quite mum on their future intentions but the team is willing to listen to all offers. Only the deals aligning with the long-term vision will be given a second look. And this team has a few options ahead of the trade deadline.

Blow It Up and Build From Scratch

The Orlando Magic could choose to start the new era of Magic basketball by unloading everyone on the roster not in the long-term plans. The Magic have value in their current players and teams around the league recognize it. That talent just hasn’t been able to mesh well together in Orlando and that could lead the team into moving on from anyone not in the long-term plans.

Most of the current players would be easy to move because of their current contract status but realistically all of them could be serviceable to another team under the right situation.

A move of this magnitude would mean the Magic would have to embrace another three to five years of rebuilding.

As of now, reports indicate forward Aaron Gordon and rookie Jonathan Issac to be out of trade inclusions. Those two figure to be the two players the current regime intend to build around. Everyone else should be expendable for the right price under this plan.

Retain the Current Core of Players and Add Pieces

The Orlando Magic are not a team incapable of winning. Weltman stated the Magic were an astounding 8-4 when everyone was healthy and played their team roles. Clearly an indication the team is capable of winning. They sported a top five offensive unit during that stretch and top five overall net efficiency rating. But the team had deficiencies in the rebounding area and efficient scoring from the guard positions.

Those needs could be addressed via the draft and or free agency this summer. If the team felt they could win sooner with current players on the roster then the core may be around longer than this season.

A key issue the Magic have endured this season is injuries. Injuries may as well have an assigned Orlando Magic jersey. The Magic were off to a torrid start shooting the ball that simply couldn’t be sustained all season. But with a healthy roster, the team could have competed in the Eastern Conference.

It’s already been confirmed the Magic have scouted highly rated players like Oklahoma Sooner’s Trae Young and Real Madrid’s Luka Doncic this season. Both players offer dynamics that the team currently does not possess in playmaking and shooting. Orlando will consider both players if they become available to the team during the 2018 NBA Draft.

The Magic are not done scouting and will continue to gather information on other top rated NBA prospects including top rated front court players like Arizona Wildcat Deandre Ayton, Duke Blue Devil Marvin Bagley III, and Missouri Tiger Michael Porter Jr.

The newcoming NBA rookies are sure to be intriguing. But the Orlando Magic will have to be strategic in free agency as well to fill out the roster. Last summer, the Magic signed veteran free agents who could contribute to the team immediately. This summer should be no different. The team must continue to add strong veterans who can mentor and lead this ball club into a winning season.

While maintaining the current core players past this year may not be a fan favorite idea, it’s highly plausible and must remain in play if the team values improving and winning over simply getting younger and starting from scratch.

Trade For A Bona-Fide Superstar

The last scenario that favors Orlando at the moment, is to push for an established star player. The Orlando Magic ar not the star chasing type of team. Usually they end up with a borderline star type of player — or a player past his prime. This regime will be no different. Current reports indicate Orlando would be willing to pull the trigger only if the right deal came along.

The Magic are not an attractive team for the league’s star players. But that doesn’t mean they should not make the pitch If they find a star worth pursuing.

Several league marquee players are on the trade market. Their current situations are not quite panning out as expected. That’s a window of opportunity for Orlando — however small it may be.

The Magic will have a difficult task of signing a star player outright this summer. A trade is the only realistic option. To do so, Orlando must first be able to convince a star player of greener pastures soon to come. Only 10 teams will have more cap space than the Magic this summer to pursue players. Combine that idea with the thought of playing with a potential number one pick and a player like Aaron Gordon or Jonathan Isaac and it just may be possible.

Players such as Oklahoma Thunder’s Paul George and Charlotte Hornets Kemba Walker are a couple of players the Magic could choose to target for a rebuild. George makes the most sense due to his long history with head coach Frank Vogel. But nothing is likely to gain traction until closer to the February 8th trade deadline.

Whatever process Hammond and Weltman decide to take the team, the Magic community will have to trust that it’s for best.

But also trust that it won’t come at a discounted price as the Magic have options.

Pregame: What to Watch For, Orlando Magic vs Golden State Warriors

Now that the Orlando Magic have ended their losing streak they look to start a streak in the win column. Picking up a second straight win will be tough with the Golden State Warriors visiting Orlando tonight. Are the Magic back on track?

In Orlando’s previous meeting at Golden State, the Magic played the Warriors tough in the first half before falling behind in the third quarter. The Orlando Magic were unable to capitalize on the absence of Steph Curry and loss 110-100. Tonight’s game will be a little different. First of all, Orlando will be missing two key players as Jonathan Isaac will miss another game with a sprained ankle. Terrence Ross will also be out(indefinitely) after an MCL sprain on Wednesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Golden State has some injury issues of their own as Klay Thompson is listed as questionable(sprained ankle). Here are a few things to watch for in tonight’s matchup.

Player Movement

The Orlando Magic know what works well for them to pick up victories. They have to use pace and ball movement on offense to get good looks. Going into a possession and have three or more passes is a recipe for success in Orlando. A great way to move the ball is by moving players. When isolating to take advantage of a particular matchup the offense for Orlando tends to stop moving. Whether its Nikola Vucevic getting the ball in the post or Aaron Gordon catching it on the wing Orlando has to keep moving.

While Gordon does have an advantage in some situations he is better at scoring after making quick decisions. To get those opportunities the Magic have to get the Warriors off balance. Continuous cuts in and out of the paint and flares to the perimeter keep the defense guessing and chasing. When defenders are chasing they tend to overreact in an effort to close out on shot opportunities. Making the extra pass or two after an overreaction leads to open looks at the basket. Look for the Orlando Magic to keep the Warriors chasing on the defensive end.

Should The Orlando Magic Be Concerned About Their Ball Movement?

Active Hands

The Orlando Magic have to keep their hands up on the defensive end. The Golden State Warriors are one of the best passing teams in the league. While they are a great shooting team from deep, the way they get those open shots is by scoring in the paint. When anyone for the Warriors penetrates the lane they have great vision to find a teammate cutting to the basket and slip them an assist. In their first meeting, Orlando did a great job of disrupting passes in the lane to force turnovers by keeping their hands active. Getting just a finger on the ball or a hand in the way makes those passes a little harder to complete. Lowering the number of baskets at the rim will help Orlando to keep this game competitive and hopefully lead to a victory.

Pregame: What to Watch For, Orlando Magic vs Indiana Pacers

The Orlando Magic suffered their worst home loss since 1991 after losing to the Utah Jazz 125-85. The road doesn’t get any easier as the red-hot Indiana Pacers come to town. Can the Magic turn things around?

The Orlando Magic are currently on a four-game losing streak. The Indiana Pacers, on the other hand, are on a three-game winning streak after dismantling the Miami Heat 120-95 last night. The Magic had their worse performance this season as the team showed no interest in fighting for a win. To make matters worse, Utah was playing the second night of a back to back without their best player. The Magic need to come into tonight’s matchup with focus. Keeping the energy level high and not dropping their heads when the Pacers make a run will be critical. Orlando has to take care of home and right the ship immediately to end this downward spiral. Here are a few things to look out for tonight.

Stick to the Plan

Many of Orlando’s woes come from the team’s lack of consistency. The Magic play their best when they are sharing the ball and creating open looks for each other. Problems arise when they start to fall behind. When their opponents go on a run the Magic tend to abandon the team ball concept and look to make individual plays to put points on the board. Taking the team away from moving the ball and keeping everyone involved drops the overall morale. Players start to get lazy on help defense and rotations causing the opponents lead to grow even more. The Orlando Magic cannot afford to stop sharing the ball. Allowing everyone to touch the ball during a possession keeps everyone on their toes and looking for the open man. Ball movement also makes guys work hard to get open which makes the opponent work as well. The Orlando Magic will surely move the ball to start the game. Look for the team’s response to an Indiana Pacers run. Will they abandon team ball again or stick to the plan and chip away at the lead?

Should The Orlando Magic Be Concerned About Their Ball Movement?

Oladipo vs Fournier

Victor Oladipo is returning to the Amway Center tonight. Once thought of as the face of the Magic and a key part of the rebuild Oladipo was traded last offseason. Many Magic fans are still miffed by the trade and would prefer the Magic kept Oladipo instead of Evan Fournier. Both Oladipo and Fournier are having great seasons so far and should be a great one on one matchup tonight. Many fans will be paying close attention and keeping score of possesions in which Fournier and Oladipo are matched up. For the Magic to have success tonight Evan Fournier will need to be at his best on both ends of the court. Being aggressive on offense with his penetration can suck the defense in and create open looks for someone. Fournier also needs to knock down open looks when he’s on the other end of an assist. The familiarity between Oladipo and the Magic will churn out some good basketball. Look for an intense battle as the Magic try to turn things around.


Pregame: What to Watch For, Orlando Magic at Golden State Warriors

The Orlando Magic are 1-1 on their 4 game west coast trip. After a tough loss, they face the reigning champion Golden State Warriors. Do the Magic have enough firepower to take down the Warriors?

The Orlando Magic will face unquestionably their toughest test this season. Playing the defending champion Golden State Warriors on their home court will be as difficult a task as any. The Magic will go into this game less than 100% as backup point guard DJ Augustin is still recovering from a hamstring injury. Orlando will also be without the services of rookie Jonathan Isaac who suffered an ankle injury in the Magic’s last game. On a good note, Elfrid Payton will be back in the starting lineup tonight after missing a game with tightness in his hamstring. Orlando might also catch a bit of a break as Steph Curry is listed as questionable for the Warriors tonight. Here are some things to watch for tonight.

The X Factor

The absence of Elfrid Payton(and DJ Augustin) have been felt in all of Orlando’s losses this season. Orlando has yet to lose a game with Payton available from start to finish. It goes without saying that Elfrid Payton drives this team. In his first action returning from injury against the New York Knicks Payton’s first instinct was to lob a pass to Aaron Gordon at the rim. From there the tone was set for the night. “The X Factor” as Gordon and Payton call it is virtually unstoppable.

Throwing the unexpected lob high above the rim where only Gordon and Superman can get to it for the dunk not only puts points on the board, it excites the team. The Magic will need to convert a few of these alley-oops throughout the game. When Gordon throws down a lob, momentum is shifted. It’s a run stopper for opponents and a run starter for the Magic. Look for Elfrid Payton and Aaron Gordon to hook up on lobs even more than usual tonight.

Orlando Magic Showing Offensive Improvement Early To Begin NBA Season


The Golden State Warriors have raised the bar for good offense in the NBA. Typically they are known for their ability to connect from behind the arch at every position on the floor. What goes under the radar is their ability to get to the rim. Being such a dangerous threat behind the arch the Warriors make opponents close out hard to the three-point line. Those hard closeouts often lead to open driving lanes. Those open driving lanes lead to help defense rotating. That help defense then leads to an open man behind the arch after the extra pass is made.

The Orlando Magic have to do a good job of staying with their man tonight. Being close to your man takes away the need for aggressive closeouts which puts everyone out of position. If the Magic can focus and keep their man in front of them for tough shots they will have a chance in this game. If the Warriors happen to convert contested shots you have to live with that, but being caught out of position cannot happen against this team. Looks for the Magic to come out focused on the defensive end.


Pregame: What to Watch For, Orlando Magic at Phoenix Suns

The Orlando Magic are heading way out west for a road trip. Getting off to a good start will be critical to their confidence going forward. Can the Magic keep the momentum rolling?

The Orlando Magic will face the Phoenix Suns in the first game of their road trip. After getting Elfrid Payton back in their last game, the Magic returned to form after a two-game skid. The chemistry and trust built over the last four seasons were evident during Payton’s absence.

Point Guard Battle

A key matchup tonight will be at the point guard position. Elfrid Payton made a triumphant return to the lineup on Tuesday. The Magic sorely missed Payton’s presence on both sides of the ball. His impact was felt right from the beginning with an alley-oop to Aaron Gordon to start the game. Phoenix is coping with the departure of Eric Bledsoe with rookie Mike James. James played overseas prior to this season and has held up well in place of Bledsoe. While James has held most of the point guard responsibilities, the Suns have also placed the ball in Devin Booker’s hands more often. With Booker as the Suns’ go-to guy, having him control the flow of the offense gives them more options. A balance of James and Booker running the offense for Phoenix should be expected. Also look for Elfrid Payton to get the Magic going early and often.

Streaking Suns

The Phoenix Suns are on a four-game losing streak and two in a row at home. The Suns have been in disarray this entire season. They started out 0-3 while also giving up over 120 points in each game. The Head Coach at the time, Earl Watson, was fired after the poor start. Around the same time as Watson’s dismissal the teams best player, Eric Bledsoe, made an unfortunate social media post. Bledsoe tweeted “I don’t wanna be here“, and was immediately removed from team activities. The Suns had a slight resurgence after this episode, going 4-1. The losing streak began and Bledsoe was finally traded this week. With the Bledsoe drama over, the Suns will look to right the ship. The Magic want to keep the streak alive and hand Phoenix their fifth straight loss.

5 Bold Predictions For The Orlando Magic During The 2017-18 Season


Key to a Magic Victory

Three-point shots will be a major factor in the outcome of tonight’s game. The Orlando Magic are second in the league in three-point percentages (40.6%) and first in three-point percentage for their opponent (31.4%). During the two-game losing stretch, Orlando shot their worst percentages from deep and gave up their worst percentages as well. Phoenix has not been a great at converting behind the arch. They rank 22nd in the league shooting 34.2% from deep. The Suns rank 25th in the league for three-point percentage by opponents with 38.1%. For the Magic to pick up a win tonight they must capitalize on the three-point shot.


Pregame: Will the Orlando Magic Put A Halt on The New York Knicks Winning Ways?

The New York Knicks are coming off an incredible win over the Charlotte Hornets last night. Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis is on a torrid scoring start to the season. But the Orlando Magic have found success over the league’s premiere big men led teams so far this season.

The Orlando Magic (6-4) are coming off their first set of back to back losses on the season. The New York Knicks (6-4) are coming to Orlando winners of their last three games. Tonight, will be a good measuring stick for both clubs.

Elfrid Payton Status Remains Unclear

The Orlando Magic were wishful that starting point guard Elfrid Payton would be rested and ready for tonight’s game. After Tuesday’s practice, team officials are debating whether to continue to rest Payton after he strained his right hamstring earlier this season.

Frank Vogel indicated Payton felt soreness and tightness in his left hamstring and might not play.

“He looked great again,” Vogel said. “He still has some tightness in there, that we’re concerned about. So we’ll see how he feels. If it’s significant, then we’ll hold him out again. We want to be smart about it. Hopefully, he’s able to go.”

If Orlando is without Payton for the ninth consecutive game, it could be a tough night for the offense averaging just 85.5 points per game without Payton and reserve DJ Augustin.

Kristaps Porzingis’ Scoring Streak

Porzingis enters Wednesday’s contest averaging 30.2 points per game. He ranks second only behind Milwaukee Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Porzingis set a Knicks franchise record for most points in the first 10 games of a season with 300 total points after Tuesdays home win against the Charlotte Hornets. He has scored 30 or more points seven times this season and will likely need to make it eight if the New York Knicks have any chance of winning tonight’s game.

Orlando Magic Are Trending Up With Latest Win-Loss Projections

Keys to the Game For the Orlando Magic

The Magic will have to pick their poison tonight against the Knicks. Without a true defensive ace to guard the 7’3 Kristaps Porzingis, the team will likely use a mixture of Aaron Gordon, Jonathan Isaac, and Nikola Vucevic. Gordon expects to see significant time against him tonight.

“He’s a tough matchup for sure.” Gordon said. “I’m just going to go out there and make it difficult for him, take him out of his comfort zone, crowd him, be athletic, run him up and down the court.”

The Magic have cooled off from their hot three-point shooting over the past two games, and will look to bounce back against the Knicks.

Milwaukee Bucks Have A Dynamic Duo After Agreeing to Trade For Guard Eric Bledsoe

The Milwaukee Bucks used to be a one man wrecking show. MVP favorite Giannis Antetokounmpo has been a mission this NBA season. And now he has a new sidekick to help him push Milwaukee over the hump in Eric Bledsoe.

The Phoenix Suns have done their parts in moving on from the Eric Bledsoe area in the desert. Bledsoe has spent the last five seasons with the Phoenix Suns. He played his first three seasons as a reserve for the Los Angeles Clippers. The sudden alteration in roster decisions comes after Bledsoe sent out a controversial tweet. A tweet referencing remaining a member of the Phoenix Suns.

And now it seems as if Bledsoe has received his wish. He will be sent to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Greg Monroe and a future first round pick. That is a steal for the Milwaukee Bucks as they attempt to bolster their lineup for a deep playoff run. The last two years, Bledsoe averaged over 20 points per game for the Suns. His explosiveness and ability to score in bunches is what makes him a viable threat. He is a perfect candidate to play Robin to a featured Batman — a Giannis type of Batman

Antetokounmpo has been on a torrid start to this season. So far in nine games, he has averaged 31 points per game to go along with 10 rebounds and 5 assists. Adding Bledsoe as a running mate only further strengthens their ability to run. Opponents should once again, “Fear the Deer.”

The Milwaukee Bucks knew they needed to make a relevancy move to remain competitive in the Eastern Conference and this move is the type of move that makes them near conference favorites.

While the Bucks have yet to make formal announcements of their intentions for Eric Bledsoe, its safe to assume he will be a team starter. The Bucks scoring offense ranks in the bottom tier of the league with an average of 103 points per game (21). They do a solid job of converting their field goal attempts (48.2%, 2nd) and converting on three pointers (39.5%, 3rd) but they don’t attempt enough shots outside of Antetokounmpo. Defensively, the Bucks could use a boost as they allow 107.9 points per game to opponents for a -2.3 net rating.

The Bucks are banking on Bledsoe being able to help increase the offensive pace of the offense in transition and create mismatches in the half court sets. Currently they rank 22nd in the league with a pace of 98.76 possessions per game. Bledsoe and Antetokounmpo could become the next Russell Westbrook-Kevin Durant type of one-two punch on offense.

At least the Milwaukee Bucks hope so.

Post Game Reactions: Orlando Magic vs Boston Celtics

The Orlando Magic went to battle against the number one team in the NBA. After a bone-crushing loss in their previous game, Orlando surely would be more prepared, right? Sadly, the Magic were just as ill-equipped and fell to the Boston Celtics 104-88.

The Orlando Magic suffered a huge loss at the hands of the lowly Chicago Bulls on Friday night. They took to the Amway Center again Sunday to get back on track against the league-leading Boson Celtics. Still down their first and second string point guards, Orlando opted to play Jonathon Simmons as the starting point guard and keep Shelvin Mack running the second unit. While the intent was good the results remained the same as the previous game. Orlando failed to get into a rhythm on offense. A lot of the offensive ineptitude stems from Jonathon Simmons getting into early foul trouble. Simmons picked up his third foul with a little under 5 minutes remaining in the second quarter. Without Simmons steady defensive pressure on Kyrie Irving, the Celtics offense opened up and allowed their lead to grow. The Orlando Magic were out of the game by halftime.


Cold Shooting

The Orlando Magic had another off night shooting ball. In particular, Evan Fournier had a bad night. Fournier was an abysmal 2 of 14 from the field and 2 of 9 from behind the arch. Fournier has been Orlando’s steady hand consistently contributing about 20 points per game. He just could not get anything going in the paint tonight and was even held without a free throw attempt. As a team, the Magic shot 36.3 percent from the field and 20.7 percent from three-point range which is even worse than their previous night versus Chicago.

The Magic were on an abnormal tear in terms of their shooting percentages before DJ Augustin went down. A decline was expected to take place at some point but this drop off has been unbelievable. Finally, the Magic had figured out how to get good, open, high percentage shot with ball movement in the first seven games. It seems as if they have forgotten what got them to this place in the standings. They have to get back to moving the ball and trusting each other no matter who the point guard is.

Orlando Magic Power Rankings Round-Up: Week Three

4th Quarter

After clawing their way back within 8 points at the end of the third quarter the Orlando Magic fell apart. The 4th quarter was not kind to the Magic and they did not take it well. When the team needed to desperately close out this game the Magic gave up 27 points while only scoring 19 points on the other end. A deficit that was manageable at the start of the quarter quickly got out of reach and the team looked like they threw in the towel. However, the Magic live to fight another day but they will have to regroup and put forth a much better effort to finish games.

The Orlando Magic next game is Wednesday versus the New York Knicks.

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