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2008-09 Salary Cap set to $58.680 million

by July 8, 2008 @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

The  National  Basketball  Association today announced  that  the  Salary  Cap  for  the  2008-09 season will be $58.680 million.   The  new  Cap  goes  into  effect  immediately  as  the league’s “moratorium  period”  has ended and teams can begin signing free agents and making trades.
The  tax level for the 2008-09 season has been set at $71.150 million.  Any team whose team salary exceeds that figure will pay a $1 tax for each $1 by which it exceeds $71.150 million.
The  mid-level  exception  is $5.585 million for the 2008-09 season and the minimum  team  salary,  which  is  set at 75% of the Salary Cap, is $44.010 million.
For  the 2007-08 season, the Salary Cap was set at $55.630 million, the tax level was $67.865 million and the mid-level exception was $5.356 million.

Doc Rivers made some mistakes with Orlando

by June 4, 2008 @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

The Orlando Sentinel (Mike Bianchi) reports: But when faced with tough situations in Orlando, Doc Rivers didn’t fare nearly as well. He, perhaps more than anyone, allowed Tracy McGrady to turn into a prima donna. And, consequently, when McGrady’s play became inconsistent and his work ethic non-existent at the end of Doc’s tenure in 2003, there was nothing Doc could do to save his job. Grant Hill may have been the biggest reason Doc failed here, but not the only one. With Hill’s massive contract tying up much of the salary cap, Doc and former GM John Gabriel needed to work together and work miracles in the draft. Instead, they became engaged in a power struggle. Gabriel rightfully gets blamed for some poor draft picks, but Magic insiders will tell you Doc was just as responsible and pushed for such first-round busts as Jeryl Sasser and Steven Hunter. And although Doc refutes it, former Magic exec John Weisbrod said Doc made one of the most monumental miscalculations in Magic history. “When given the choice between [keeping] Ben Wallace or John Amaechi, Doc chose John Amaechi,” Weisbrod said. “Most every personnel decision that was made was because Doc was in favor of it.”

Magic extend contract of GM Otis Smith

by June 2, 2008 @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

The Orlando Sentinel (Brian Schmitz) reports in a blog: General Manager Otis Smith has signed a contract extension with the Magic, a deal that should run for at least another three seasons. The deal was expected. Smith, a former forward on the Magic’s 1989-90 expansion team, had one more year remaining on his contract after this season.
InsideHoops.com says: Smith has done well for the Magic, though it was sort of lucky (or was it brilliant insight?) that Hedo Turkoglu emerged and had a career season like he did last season. And, they still did overpay for Rashard Lewis. Now there’s more work to be done. Do they want to keep Lewis, a small forward who isn’t particularly muscular or big, playing out of position at power forward? Also, the backcourt needs to be upgraded if the team wants to really compete to reach the Finals someday. With all that said, the Magic are clearly headed in the right direction.

No one trying to take Pat Ewing from Magic

by May 20, 2008 @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

The Orlando Sentinel (Brian Schmitz) reports: Unless circumstances change, Magic assistant coach and Howard’s big-man guru Patrick Ewing will return next season. Magic Chief Operating Officer Alex Martins told the Sentinel that no team has asked the club for permission to talk to Ewing, including his former team, the New York Knicks. When Mike D’Antoni took over the Knicks as coach last week, he said he would be interested in handing one of his assistant spots to Ewing, who has another year on his contract with the Magic.

May 13: Pistons 91, Magic 86

by May 14, 2008 @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

The AP reports: Detroit set an NBA playoff record with just three turnovers and made just enough shots and stops to advance to their sixth straight Eastern Conference final with a 91-86 win Tuesday night over the Orlando Magic in Game 5 of the second-round series. Richard Hamilton scored 31 points, made victory-sealing free throws late in the game and Tayshaun Prince had a key block to help Detroit eliminate Orlando. The Pistons are the first franchise to play in six conference finals in a row since the Los Angeles Lakers went to eight straight in the 1980s… The Pistons were 28-of-32 at the line and didn’t turn the ball over once after the first quarter even though Rodney Stuckey was filling in for Billups. Orlando made just 16 of 28 free throws and had a playoff-high 21 turnovers, which turned into 34 points for Detroit… Detroit led by 10 with 3:49 left, but was clung to a 85-84 lead with just under a minute left after Hedo Turkoglu made back-to-back shots.
InsideHoops.com Stat Notes: The Magic shot 48.4%, the Pistons just 36.1%. But Detroit took 83 shots, Orlando just 64. Orlando was better from three-point range. But Detroit made 28-of-32 free throws, Orlando just 16-of-28 (Dwight Howard’s free throws were a miserable 6-of-15). But the big story was turnover: Detroit had an amazing 3 for the entire game, while Orlando had 21.
For the Pistons, Richard Hamilton (just 7-of-20, but 16-of-16 free throws) had 31 points and 4 steals. Antonio McDyess (6-of-9) had 17 points and 11 rebounds. Rodney Stuckey (5-of-10) had 15 points and 6 assists. Rasheed Wallace (just 7-of-20, 0-of-6 threes, no free throw attempts) had 14 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals. Tayshaun Prince (just 4-of-13) had 10.
Fo the Magic, Hedo Turkoglu on 15 shots had 18 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, but 5 turnovers. Dwight Howard (4-of-8, awful free throw shooting) had 14 points, 17 rebounds and 3 blocks. Rashard Lewis (awful 4-of-13) had 14 points, 7 rebounds, just 1 assist with 6 turnovers. Jameer Nelson (6-of-7) had 14 points and 4 assists. Maurice Evans scored 11.

Magic coach asks league for explanation of no-call

by May 12, 2008 @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

The Detroit Free Press (Krista Jahnke) reports: Magic coach Stan Van Gundy told the Orlando media Monday that he’s asked the league for an explanation of the no-call on the final play of Game 4. As he took a shot in the lane with 2.5 seconds left, forward Hedo Turkoglu collided with Pistons forward Jason Maxiell, who was set and said afterward he thought he’d drawn a charge on the play. Examining video, though, and you can see that Maxiell’s left foot was on the line of the restricted circle under the basket.

May 10: Pistons 90, Magic 89

by May 11, 2008 @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

The AP reports: There is a reason the Detroit Pistons have been to five consecutive Eastern Conference finals. They proved it on Saturday, even without their All-Star point guard to hold things together in front of a hostile crowd. Richard Hamilton scored 32 points and Hedo Turkoglu missed a layup with time running out as the Pistons beat the Orlando Magic 90-89 to take a 3-1 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series. The Pistons became the first team to win on the road in the second round this postseason, and can clinch their sixth consecutive conference finals appearance when this series returns to Detroit on Tuesday. All of it happened with Chauncey Billups watching in a sport coat on the bench after straining a hamstring in Game 3… Tayshaun Prince scored 17 for Detroit, including an 11-foot runner for the go-ahead basket with 8.9 seconds left. Antonio McDyess added eight points and 14 boards. The Pistons controlled the tempo in the second half after falling behind by 15 in the third quarter, deflated the Magic transition game that gassed up its Game 3 win and pounded Dwight Howard in the paint.
InsideHoops.com Stat Notes: Both teams shot a similar FG% (46%, give or take a percent) but the Magic nailed 10-of-18 three-pointers, the Pistons just 4-of-13. But the Pistons got a few more shot attempts, and made a few more free throws. The Pistons had a slight rebounding edge and an 18 to 13 assists edge. And Detroit barely turned the ball over, though Orlando controlled it pretty well, too.
For the Pistons, Hamilton had 32 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals. Tayshaun Prince had 17 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists (but 4 turnovers). Rasheed Wallace needed 15 shots to get 16 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals. Antonio McDyess had 8 points and 14 rebounds as a starter. Jason Maxiell was surprisingly quiet off the bench.
For the Magic, Hedo Turkoglu had 20 points but just 2 rebounds and one more turnover than assist. Jameer Nelson, Maurice Evans and Rashard Lewis each scored 15. Dwight Howard (3-of-12, only 2 free throw attempts) had a miserable 8 points, 12 rebounds and little else.

Second round playoffs notes

by May 8, 2008 @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Nineteen teams have recovered from 2-0 deficits to win a best-of-seven series, including two last postseason.
The Utah Jazz defeated the Houston Rockets 4-3 in their first round series after dropping the first two games, and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Detroit Pistons 4-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals after falling behind 2-0.
New Orleans, which owns a 2-0 lead in its Western Conference semifinals series against San Antonio, is out-rebounding the Spurs by an average of six rebounds (50-44) and is shooting .491 from the field, while San Antonio is at .417. Game 3 is tonight in San Antonio (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).
New Orleans’ Chris Paul has recorded a points/assists double-double in six of his first seven playoff games, including three 30-point, 10-assist games.
The Celtics own a 1-0 lead in its best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals series against Cleveland, with Game 2 tonight in Boston (7 p.m. ET, ESPN). In their 76-72 Game 1 victory, the Celtics held LeBron James to only 12 points on 2-of-18 shooting. James, however, fell one rebound and one assist shy of a triple-double, finishing with 12 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. James has made fewer than two baskets once, on Dec. 29, 2004, when he shot 0-of-5 against Houston.
The Los Angeles Lakers took a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals series against Utah, defeating the Jazz 120-110. One of the reasons the Lakers are in control of the series is the defensive effort their frontcourt has made against All-Star Carlos Boozer. Boozer, who led Utah in scoring during the regular season (21.1), was limited to 15 points in Game 1 on 6-of-14 shooting. In Game 2, he was held to just 10 points on 3-of-10 shooting.
The Lakers are averaging a playoff-high 114.7 points, out-distancing the next closest team, New Orleans (102.4 ppg) by 12.3 points. L.A. also is shooting a postseason-best .491 from the field and averaging a playoff-off 26.5 assists.
The postseason’s best defense belongs to Boston, which is allowing only 85.3 ppg on .397 shooting from the field.
Orlando scored a 111-86 home victory in their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals series against Detroit to avoid going down 3-0. Rashard Lewis recorded a playoff career-high 33 points, shooting 11-of-15 from the floor and 5-of-6 from three. In the first two games of the series, played in Detroit, Lewis scored a combined 38 points, shooting 15-of-41 from the floor and 2-of-12 from three. During the regular season, Lewis shot .483 in home games compared with .429 on the road.
- NBA News

May 7: Magic 111, Pistons 86

by May 7, 2008 @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

The AP reports: Rashard Lewis, Orlando’s big offseason acquisition, scored a career playoff-high 33 points and the Magic beat the Detroit Pistons 111-86 on Wednesday night to gain a little momentum in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Detroit still leads the series 2-1, though they suffered a tough injury. All-Star guard Chauncey Billups strained his right hamstring early in the first quarter and didn’t return. The Pistons were hopeful he could play in Game 4 Saturday in Orlando, but planned to re-evaluate him again Thursday… Richard Hamilton scored 24 points for Detroit and Tayshaun Prince had 22, while Rasheed Wallace scored 11 points on 4-of-15 shooting. With Billups out, rookie Rodney Stuckey stepped up big for the Pistons. He scored 19 points—nine in the second quarter—but he didn’t bring the same floor presence as Billups, Detroit’s steady leader and clutch 3-point threat. Billups was averaging 17.5 points in the postseason and had 28 against the Magic in Game 2… Detroit failed to score a field goal in the opening 4:27 of the fourth quarter until Hamilton made a layup. By then the Magic were ahead 87-73—helped by a Lewis 3-pointer and putback—and the Pistons would get no closer.
InsideHoops.com Stat Notes: The Magic shot 53.8%, the Pistons just 40.3%. And the Magic nailed 11-of-24 three-pointers (Lewis hit 5, Hedo Turkoglu hit 3), the Pistons just 2-of-10. The Pistons had a slight free throw edge. The Magic had a slight rebounding edge and dished 18 assists, while the Pistons only had 12 (no Piston had more than 3 assists).
For the Magic, Rashard Lewis had 33 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Dwight Howard (8-of-13) had 20 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals and 6 blocks. Jameer Nelson had 18 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Turkoglu (just 7-of-18) had 18 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists. Keyon Dooling scored 10 off the bench.
For the Pistons, Richard Hamilton took 20 shots for 24 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists, but 6 turnovers. Tayshaun Prince (8-of-14) had 22 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Rodney Stuckey (5-of-13, 9-of-9 free throws) scored 19 off the bench. And Rasheed Wallace (awful 4-of-15) had 11 points and little else.

NBA speaks on Pistons-Magic clock malfunction

by May 6, 2008 @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Joel Litvin, NBA President, League and Basketball Operations, issued the following statement today regarding the inadvertent clock stoppage that occurred at the end of the third quarter of the Detroit Pistons’ 100-93 win over the Orlando Magic last night at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals:
To read it, click here.

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