Orlando Magic practice facility likely opening soon for individual workouts

Here’s the Orlando Sentinel with an update on the magic:

The Orlando Magic did not reopen team facilities Tuesday for voluntary individual player workouts amid the coronavirus pandemic as they had tentatively planned last week.

The team now plans to reopen Wednesday, but even that is subject to change, according to a team spokesman.

The Magic delayed the works while they wait for COVID-19 test results for players and staff who will be on hand for workouts, according to the spokesman.

Magic forward Jonathan Isaac out 8-10 weeks with knee injury

Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac, who suffered a hyperextended left knee early first quarter during Orlando’s 122-101 road win January 1 against the Wizards, on Jan. 1, underwent an MRI yesterday which revealed a posterior lateral corner injury and a medial bone contusion.

Isaac will be re-evaluated in 8-10 weeks.

The team says that operative and non-operative treatments will be considered and his return to the court will depend on how he responds to treatment and rehabilitation.

“While this certainly is disappointing news, there was no damage to his ACL, MCL and PCL ligaments,” said Orlando Magic President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman. “All signs point to a complete recovery and this should not impact his future growth.”

According to the Orlando Sentinel, “Isaac injured his knee when he tried to convert a steal into a layup. Isaac’s knee buckled as he tried to slip past Wizards guard Bradley Beal and get to the basket. As Isaac tried to step across Beal and get into the lane, video showed the back of Isaac’s left leg catching Beal’s right leg.”

The 6-foot-10, 230-pound Isaac has played in 32 games this season for the Magic, starting all 32, and has been a bright-spot for the team, especially due to his defensive ability. His season average is 12.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, a team-high 2.44 blocks. and a team-high 1.56 steals. in 29.7 minutes per game.

Through yesterday’s games, Isaac has a higher total of blocks plus steals than any player in the league.

Evan Fournier discusses life on the road

Here’s the Orlando Sentinel reporting on the Magic, who are 8-8 at home and 6-7 on the road so far this season:

The Magic play the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday at Amway Center after two games in Mexico City. Those games were preceded by a trip to Dallas for a game against the Mavericks.

Evan Fournier was just happy to get back in his own bed.

“How about that schedule, though?” Fournier said while shaking his head. “How about that schedule? Oh my God. It’s the worst I’ve ever seen.”

The Magic — who are coming off back-to-back wins — play San Antonio, then travel to Chicago, then are home for four consecutive games before hitting the road for six games in a row.

“It’s just like… we’re never home,” said Fournier, who is in his seventh year in the NBA. “When I got into my bed last night, it felt like I haven’t seen my bed in years. I don’t know. It feels like we’re always on the road.”

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Coach Clifford wants Magic to fight harder for rebounds

Orlando Magic head coach Steve Clifford wants his squad to stop watching rebounds and to start grabbing a lot more of them. Here’s the Orlando Sentinel reporting:

The Magic have been out-rebounded in two consecutive games and Clifford wants his squad to be far more physical. The NBA has evolved into a perimeter-shooting league, which means there often are longer rebounds coming off the rim. But far too many times Wednesday, shots caromed off the rim and the Magic did not even have a player in the paint to battle for the ball.

“It’s hitting more, getting more guys in there. I know it sounds silly but if we got five guys in there fighting for the ball and they got three … I just showed them a couple of clips where it happened last night, where [if] we got everybody in there fighting for the ball, then we have a better chance to get it,” Clifford said. “It’s a major challenge for our team and we gotta get better at it.

“Say what you want, Lillard was phenomenal last night (41 points), both [Kevin] Durant (49 points) and [Klay] Thompson (20 points) were great at Golden State and if we rebound better, we win both of those games. We’re doing a lot of good things, but if we don’t get the rebounding stuff down, it may not matter.”

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NBA Players of Week: Nikola Vucevic and Anthony Davis

 

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Magic center Nikola Vucevic has been named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week, and Pelicans forward-center Anthony Davis the Western Conference Player of the Week for games played between November 11-18, 2018.

It marks the second time that Vucevic has won the award during his career and the first time a Magic player has won the award since Vucevic earned it for the period ending Mar. 30, 2014.

During four games last week, Vucevic averaged 27.8 ppg., 10.5 rpg., 4.0 apg. and 1.25 stlpg., while shooting .581 (43-74) from the floor and .471 (8-17) from three-point range. He led Orlando to a 3-1 record with wins over Philadelphia, the L.A. Lakers and New York. Vucevic tallied three double-doubles and scored 28-or-more points in three consecutive games, becoming the first Magic player since Dwight Howard accomplished the feat Mar. 1-5, 2012.

Vucevic has played and started in all 17 games this season, averaging a team-high 20.4 ppg., a team-high 10.8 rpg., 3.6 apg., 1.12 stlpg. and 1.12 blkpg. in 30.5 minpg., while shooting a team-best .556 (144-259) from the floor, .452 (19-42) from three-point range and .813 (39-48) from the free throw line. He has led (or tied) the Magic in scoring seven times, in rebounding 13 times and in assists twice.

Davis led the Pelicans to a 3-1 week behind averages of 34.3 points (ranked 2nd in the NBA), 14.0 rebounds (4th in the NBA) and 2.0 blocks (T-5th in the NBA). Davis helped lead the Pelicans to a win at Toronto – handing the Raptors just their second loss of the season, and their first loss at home, behind 25 points and a season-high 20 rebounds – a 19-point comeback victory against New York on Nov. 16, registering a season-high 43 points to go with 17 rebounds and five assists, and capped off the week with 40 points, eight rebounds and a career-high-tying eight assists, while shooting 20-of-21 at the free throw line, Nov. 17 vs. Denver. Davis finished the week as one of just five players (at least 50 field goal attempts) to shoot at least .500 from the floor, .400 from three-point range and .850 from the free throw line.

This marks the fifth time Davis has earned Player of the Week honors during his career, and the first time during the 2018-19 season, becoming the first player in franchise history to earn multiple Player of the Week honors in the same season since Chris Paul in 2008-09.

Davis is currently averaging 27.5 points (ranked fifth in the NBA), 12.7 rebounds (ranked tied for sixth in the NBA) and 2.8 blocks (ranked second in the NBA) on the season for the Pelicans.

 

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Thunder sign Dez Wells, Donte Grantham and Scotty Hopson

Thunder sign Dez Wells, Donte Grantham and Scotty Hopson

The Oklahoma City Thunder has signed forwards Dez Wells and Donte Grantham, and guard Scotty Hopson.

These signings probably won’t carry into the regular season. NBA preseason wraps up Friday, then teams must trim down their rosters.

Grantham (6-8, 205) was a four-year starter at Clemson University. In 114 career games (113 starts), he averaged 9.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 30.2 minutes per game.

The West Virginia native is one of six players in Clemson history to amass 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 200 assists in a career.

Hopson (6-7, 204) played with Galatasaray in Turkey during the 2017-18 season, appearing in 27 games (13 starts) and averaging 11.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 20.9 minutes per game.

The Tennessee product played in 43 games (35 starts) during the 2014-15 season with the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA G League and averaged 19.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 32.2 minutes per game.

Wells (6-5, 215) spent the 2017-18 season with Sidigas Avellino in Italy, appearing in 52 games (28 starts) and averaging 11.3 points on 54.2 percent shooting from the field, 2.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 22.4 minutes per game.

Wells has previously appeared in 47 games (22 starts) over two seasons with the Oklahoma City Blue and averaged 12.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.06 steals in 27.5 minutes per game.

Magic sign John Petrucelli, waive B.J. Johnson

Magic sign John Petrucelli, waive B.J. Johnson

The Orlando Magic have signed free agent guard John Petrucelli and have waived B.J. Johnson.

Petrucelli (#12, 6’4”, 190, 10/27/92) appeared in 43 games (seven starts) last season (2017-18) with the Lakeland Magic of the NBA G League, averaging 8.3 ppg., 4.1 rpg., 1.2 apg. and 1.28 stlpg. in 20.9 minpg. He has played in 75 career NBA G League games with Erie and Lakeland, averaging 7.1 ppg., 3.6 rpg., 1.3 apg. and 1.09 stlpg. in 21.0 minpg. Petrucelli spent two seasons (2014-16) in Slovakia after playing collegiately at Molloy College (NY).

Thunder waive Richard Solomon, Bryce Alford and K.J. McDaniels

Thunder waive Richard Solomon, Bryce Alford and K.J. McDaniels

The OKC Thunder waived center Richard Solomon, guard Bryce Alford and forward K.J. McDaniels today.

Solomon did not play at all in preseason.

Alford played in three preseason games, averaging 2.3 points and 0.7 rebounds in 3.0 minutes per outing.

McDaniels participated in two preseason games and averaged of 3.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in 8.2 minutes.

According to the Oklahoman, “the Thunder has until the NBA’s opening day (Oct. 16) to get its roster to 15 or fewer guaranteed contracts, not including two-way players. The Thunder is currently carrying 14 guaranteed contracts. Two-way contracts do not count against the NBA salary cap.”

Magic sign Devin Davis, waive Gabe York

Magic sign Devin Davis, waive Gabe York

The Orlando Magic have signed free agent forward Devin Davis. The team has also waived guard Gabe York.

Davis (6’6”, 225, 3/29/95) played in 55 career games (48 starts) during two seasons (2016-18) at the University of Houston, averaging 9.9 ppg., 5.9 rpg. and 1.2 apg. in 24.1 minpg. As a senior (2017-18), he played and started in all 35 contests, averaging 10.9 ppg., a team-high 6.3 rpg. and 1.3 apg. in 26.0 minpg. Davis was the only Cougar to start all 35 outings and ranked seventh in the American Athletic Conference in rebounding.

Magic exercise contract option on Jonathan Isaac

Magic exercise contract option on Jonathan Isaac

The Orlando Magic have exercised their third-year team option on forward Jonathan Isaac.

Isaac is now signed through the 2019-20 season.

Isaac (6’10”, 210, 10/3/97) played in 27 games (ten starts) during his rookie campaign last season with the Magic, averaging 5.4 ppg., 3.7 rpg., 1.22 stlpg. and 1.11 blkpg. in 19.8 minpg. Isaac was originally selected by Orlando in the first round (sixth overall) of the 2017 NBA Draft.