Washington Wizards vs. Orlando Magic 10/30/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The Washington Wizards looked to bounce back from a disappointing season opener Thursday night as they met the Orlando Magic. The Wizards dropped their first game of the year to the Miami Heat and faced a tough test from the Magic as they looked to rebuild after last season’s subpar campaign.

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Dallas Mavericks vs. Orlando Magic 10/24/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The Dallas Mavericks looked to find some consistency in Friday night’s preseason clash against the Orlando Magic. The Mavs had gone just 3-4 in the preseason, and faced a tough test from a young Magic roster. 

Watch the video for full highlights. 

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Detroit Pistons vs. Orlando Magic 10/17/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The Detroit Pistons looked to continue their strong preseason on Friday against the Orlando Magic. Stan Van Gundy’s new squad has looked sharp all preseason, but faced a tough test from the young Magic squad. 

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Flamengo vs. Orlando Magic 10/15/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The Orlando Magic looked to score a big win on Wednesday when they took on Brazilian squad Flamengo in a preseason clash. Though the Magic are in full rebuilding mode this year, they hoped to knock off the Brazilian powerhouse prior to the start of the regular season.

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Orlando Magic vs. Indiana Pacers 10/10/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The Indiana Pacers looked to score a preseason win Friday when they faced the Orlando Magic. The Pacers were looking to jell despite the absence of injured star Paul George, and their clash with Orlando’s rebuilding roster provided a good chance to do just that.

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Harris leads Orlando to 96-93 win over Pacers (Yahoo Sports)

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCT 10: Lavoy Allen #5 and Chris Copeland #22 of the Indiana Pacers battle for position against Nikola Vucevic #9 of the Orlando Magicat Bankers Life Fieldhouse on October 10, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Tobias Harris scored 16 points, Nikola Vucevic had 12 and the Orlando Magic held on for a 96-93 preseason victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.


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Orlando Magic vs. Miami Heat 10/7/14: Video Highlights and Recap

Life without LeBron James started on Tuesday night as the Miami Heat played their in-state rivals, the Orlando Magic.

Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh stayed behind in South Beach and began to gear up for a campaign that will be closely scrutinized following James’ departure.

Watch the video for full highlights.

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Channing Frye Injury: Updates on Orlando Magic Star’s Knee and Return

Forward Channing Frye was a key addition to a young and talented Orlando Magic roster this offseason, but the veteran leader may be forced to miss some time.

According to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, Frye suffered a sprained MCL during Thursday’s practice:

Although it remains to be seen how long that will keep him out of action, John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com is reporting the positive news that there was no structural damage to the 31-year-old star’s knee:

Per Robbins, Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn believes that Frye’s injury isn’t as serious as it could have been:

Since Orlando will lean heavily on youthful players such as Aaron Gordon, Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic and others during the 2014-15 campaign, Frye’s presence is hugely important. The Magic could have as many as eight new players on their roster this season, which makes the preseason more vital than usual, according to Robbins:

The University of Arizona product has a wealth of experience and he is a versatile player as well. Frye can man the power forward and center positions, and he is an ideal stretch big who has hit nearly 39 percent of his career attempts from three-point range.

In addition to that, Frye knows how to overcome adversity. He missed the entire 2012-13 season due to an enlarged heart, which truly put his career in perspective, according to Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel:

Not being able to play basketball … I don’t want to say that when you’re an athlete, you take things for granted, but you do. We’re supposed to go out and think we’re invincible. We’re not. … Going through this made me appreciate the game more, appreciate the opportunities I have to get better. I’ve learned to be addictive to the game now.

While an MCL injury shouldn’t be taken lightly, it pales in comparison to what Frye has already been through. Because of that, one can only assume that Frye will work his way back eventually.

Frye has averaged at least 10 points and five rebounds per game in each of the past four seasons, and that is production that could really help the Magic vie for a playoff spot in the shallow Eastern Conference.

If Frye isn’t ready for the regular season, though, Orlando’s youngsters will have to come of age quickly.

 

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Knicks sign forward Orlando Sanchez (Yahoo Sports)

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Knicks signed former St. John’s forward Orlando Sanchez on Wednesday.

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Orlando Magic’s Victor Oladipo Reflects on Proving Doubters Wrong

So much of the excitement surrounding the NBA lies in predicting who within the game’s rookie ranks stands the best chance of achieving superstar status—those who reach the promise bestowed upon many but met by few. 

Amongst last year’s surprisingly productive crop, few showcased quite the superstar ceiling of the Orlando Magic’s Victor Oladipo, who finished a close second to Michael Carter-Williams in the league’s Rookie of the Year race.

In less than a month, Oladipo will be headed to Magic training camp as one of the franchise’s unquestioned cornerstones. With a core that includes promising fourth-year players Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic (“He can get you 20 and 20 on any given night”), veteran sniper Channing Frye and rookie point guard Elfrid Payton (“He’s going to be awesome for us”), Orlando’s future is bright indeed. Even if rebuilding remains the name of the game.

In third-year coach Jacque Vaughn, the Magic have a skipper whose offensive principles—cultivated during Vaughn’s tenure under San Antonio Spurs maestro Gregg Popovich—have the potential to inspire one of the game’s elite attacks. Last season’s 29th-ranked efficiency notwithstanding.

“I think we have a good variety of players,” Oldapio told Bleacher Report in a recent phone interview. “Everyone is capable of doing more than just one thing. I think we have more shooters now, which sounds crazy because Arron [Afflalo] is gone. But we’ll be better at the offensive end, especially with our efficiency.”

The loss of Afflalo, the journeyman swingman who very nearly notched his first All-Star appearance as Orlando’s on-court leader a season ago, can’t be discounted. Between his lockdown perimeter defense and ever-blossoming offensive repertoire, Afflalo—who was dealt to the Denver Nuggets on June 26 in exchange for Evan Fournier and the draft rights to Roy Devyn Marble—will be near impossible to replace.

It’s a fact that doesn’t escape Oladipo, who credits Afflalo with imparting upon him one of the most valuable lessons a young NBA player can learn: treating each and every game like Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

“I think the one thing that sticks out is how [Afflalo] had the same approach every night,” noted Oladipo. “When there’s so many games, it’s easy to lose focus. He taught me to bring that same hunger every game, night in and night out. So I’m fortunate he helped bring that to my table early—it didn’t take me a long time to figure out how important that is.”

Truth be told, it’s an ethos that’s come to define Oladipo’s very basketball being dating back to his days as a skinny, under-recruited standout at the legendary DeMatha High School in Maryland.

Four short years later, Oladipo has officially arrived—a two-way talent as adept at handling the ball as he is locking down opposing small forwards, with an offensive skill set that grows more versatile with each passing game.

Watching him lope and glide about the floor, it’s impossible not to conjure this flattering player comparison—one even Oladipo admits has for years served as perhaps his biggest basketball beacon.

Dwyane Wade is definitely a big one. Growing up, I could relate to him because we were the same height,” Oldadipo said of the 10-time NBA All-Star, with whom he shares a common coach in Indiana University’s Tom Crean. “When I was younger, I felt like, just in case I don’t grow to be 6’9”, I might as well watch someone who’s successful who’s not necessarily the tallest guy even at his position. That was D-Wade for me.”

Owing to the arrival of Payton, Oladipo—who spent 51 percent of his rookie-year minutes as Orlando’s floor general, per 82 games.com—will likely go back to logging a majority of his minutes at his more natural shooting guard position. Still, Oladipo is quick to acknowledge his crash course in Point Guard 101 is one that’s bound to pay lasting dividends.

“It helped me out a lot—to see the floor in different ways, not just playing off the ball,” he said. “Just having the ball in my hand was huge for my development. I feel like I can play both positions, but learning to play point guard more just makes me more of a threat.”

“A threat” probably isn’t how most would describe this year’s Magic; the team, for all its palpable promise, is still at least a year or two away from legitimate conference contention. But as last year’s Charlotte Hornets proved, in an East this weak, authoring an upstart playoff appearance is by no means out of the question.

“I think we can [make the playoffs]. You have to play really well on a lot of nights, but it’s something we’re capable of, “Oladipo Said. “The East isn’t as lopsided any more; it’s pretty even all around. It’s going to be competitive every night, which means we have to bring it every night.”

With Afflalo’s departure, Oladipo will be the one tasked with sounding that mantra, in the process helping forge an even deeper camaraderie in the service of what he calls “a great franchise in a great city.”

“Orlando’s eager for something to cheer about,” he said, “and that’s what we want to give them.”

And while weights and hardwood reps have been foremost on the combo guard’s mind, he’s still found time to take on another routine near and dear to his heart: community service.

Oladipo’s latest initiative: teaming up with Allstate’s Tom Joyner Family Reunion in Orlando to create superhero capes for cancer patients at the Florida Hospital for Children.

“It’s something I feel I’ve always been about, changing lives in any way I can,” Oladipo said. “There’s nothing like giving up your time and energy to kids like this and changing their lives.”

Asked to reflect on the past three years, a span that saw his rise from scarcely-recruited-but-still-serviceable freshman to two-way NCAA standout to the vanguard of the NBA’s youth movement, Oladipo can’t help but invoke a higher power.

Which, whatever one’s beliefs on the matter, speaks perfectly to Oladipo’s well-worn humbleness. Even when such modesty is occasionally tempered by a stronger, more assertive stance—one captured by a passage with which this burgeoning star is doubtless familiar: “From he who has been given much, much will be demanded.”

“It’s been a blessing from God, man,” he says. “Coming out of high school, I didn’t really get a lot of attention. I just always tried to play with a chip on my shoulder. I think that’s what’s helped me take my game to the next step. In the end, I want to be one of the greatest to ever play the game.”

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