Posts for magic

Rambo Jimmy Butler – Observations from Sixers 114, Magic 106

Kevin Kinkead - March 6, 2019

Things got a little hairy last night when the Sixers suffered a five-minute scoring drought smack in the middle of the fourth quarter.

Then Jimmy Butler, looking like Rambo and/or Jrue Holiday with an extra long headband, hit a fadeaway jumper and a James Harden step back while adding a steal on the other end and stripping Nik Vucevic on the following defensive possession.

It was a “what the hell?” type of moment, at least for me. Here was Butler, who had only attempted eight field goals to that point, hitting a couple of incredibly difficult mid-range jump shots while clamping down on the defensive end, as if somebody just flicked a light switch or turned their front burner from “low” to “high.”

When Mike Scott’s three-pointer went in with 49 seconds on the clock, the game was essentially over:

Butler gave one of his classic quirky press conferences after the game, coming out to the table alongside Amir Johnson for what he claimed was “moral support.” He didn’t want to answer our questions, not in an asshole-type of way, but in more of a “I just don’t have much to say” type of way.

But we asked anyway, and got this exchange out of him:

Crossing Broad: Jimmy this late game role –

Butler: Pffff, I just said I wasn’t answering questions.

Crossing Broad: Nah, hey, it’s two ways here. You had a big game, you gotta answer questions.

Butler: I didn’t do nothing.

Crossing Broad: You didn’t hit two jumpers and you didn’t have two big defensive plays at the end of the game?

Butler: I can’t remember (laughs).

Crossing Broad: You only took eight shots up until that point. When your number is called, is it difficult to be the closer when you really haven’t taken that many shots throughout the game?

Butler: Nah, I think I know when my number is gonna get called. I’m cool with it. I understand my role. Just gotta make shots late in the game. That’s why I’m here. Just happy that we can win.

Serena Winters: When you say that you understand your role and when your number is being called, what is that role?

Butler: For sure late in the game I think my teammates and coaches have a lot of confidence in me to take and make shots late. That’s all I’m worried about. I hope we never get into that situation anyways, but if we do, I feel like a lot of the times I’m gonna be called upon to make some shots.

Of course you’re probably wondering where Butler was for the previous 45 minutes, and I think that’s been a question over the last few games. He’s been oddly deferential, has he not? It’s one thing for Jimmy to be a good teammate and share the ball and play defense and glue everything together, but the other side of the coin is that he’s totally capable of putting up 30 points on any given night, when he’s really dialed in and assertive.

Brett Brown had more to say about Butler flipping that switch late in the fourth quarter, after the jump:

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Markelle Fultz and Orlando Will be a Perfect Match

Coggin Toboggan - February 15, 2019

An old Chinese riddle has puzzled philosophers and seekers of truth for decades.

“If the first overall pick of the NBA draft takes a parting shot at the city and the coach that supported him for two angst-filled years, does anyone care?”

All apologies to Danny Watkins, but the biggest draft bust in Philadelphia history just couldn’t help himself. Markelle Fultz couldn’t resist taking one last passive aggressive shot at the coaching staff, fans, and city that cheered every awkward attempted three pointer, every herky jerky free throw, and every head-scratching excuse for an ever-devolving jump shot the cherubic cheeked failure could throw at us.

At least this time he said it to reporters instead of posting it on social media like a 16-year-old girl who was just dumped by her boyfriend before the big Spring Fling Dance.

You really can’t trust NO ONE !! How could he have done this to me?!” We get it, Emma, enough already.

Talking to the assembled Orlando Magic media for the first time since being traded for a case of floor wax and Jonathon Simmons, Fultz decided it would be the perfect opportunity to toss a molotov cocktail at the franchise that went to exorbitant lengths to protect him and his delicate psyche at every turn.

During his introductory press conference, Fultz pontificated on what excited him about the change of scenery from Philadelphia and what would enable him to be a better player for Orlando:

“It just excites me to know that I have a coach that’s going to push you to be better and not just going to tell you what you want to hear,” Fultz said.

Oh, so that’s what Fultz needed….he just needed some tough love to reach the dizzying heights of a so far wasted professional career. He wasn’t held back by a mysterious pseudo-injury, or the yips, or a domineering mother, or his inability to ride a BMX bike…no no no, it was the yes men in Philadelphia that didn’t challenge him enough who held him back from truly being great.

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The Ghost of Sixers Past – Observations from Sixers 118, Magic 98

Kevin Kinkead - March 23, 2018

We now live in a world where the Sixers go on the road and just clobber lesser teams on the second night of a back-to-back.

And when I say “clobber,” I mean total obliteration. They come out with their foot on the gas and never let up, to the point where you look up at the clock, see two minutes remaining in the third quarter, and say to yourself, “alright, it’s time to get Furkan Korkmaz in the game.”

My wife had box tickets to the Flyers/Rangers game last night, so we went down to the Wells Fargo Center and I watched the Sixers on the small TV in the suite. I was that guy. I was the guy ignoring the Flyers and watching another team play instead. Anthony has the Flyers covered anyway, so it’s all good.

But every 15 or 20 minutes, my wife would lean over and ask, “how are the Sixers doing?”

“Oh hey babe, they’re up by 12.”

How are the Sixers doing?

“Hey, they’re winning by 20.”

How are the Sixers doing?

“Lemme see.. I think they’re up like 30 or 32 right now.” 

They were cruising, just having fun out there.

It’s really crazy to witness, and for some weird reason last night, I felt like we experienced a Sixer turning point, but not necessarily because they were playing really well and dunking all over the place. It was more about seeing just how shitty Orlando was (and Memphis, too), and understanding that the Sixers were the Magic and Grizzlies not long ago. It’s one thing to take this team’s quality at face value, to see it in a vacuum, but you realize how much upside and potential they really have when you compare them to the dregs of the National Basketball Association.

In a way, it was like seeing the 2018 Sixers play the 2015 Sixers last night. You know what I mean? It was like the ghost of Sixers present vs. the ghost of Sixers past, and that on-court juxtaposition of excellence vs. atrocity made the contrast so easy to recognize.

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Next Man Up – Four Observations from Sixers 130, Magic 111

Kevin Kinkead - November 26, 2017

The Sixers are now 1-1 without Joel Embiid and 1-0 without Ben Simmons.

Huge sample size, I know.

Still, did you expect 130 points and a 19 point win without Simmons in the lineup? I didn’t, but the Sixers pulled a Philadelphia Eagles last night, getting key contributions from the likes of T.J. McConnell and JJ Redick in a third-straight win.

It was Redick leading the way with 29 points on 10-18 shooting, going 8-12 from the three-point line. Embiid, fighting illness, added 18 and 14. The Sixers got balanced contribution across the board, and Brett Brown was asked post-game if he had just witnessed his team’s most collaborative performance of the year.

“When you look at 35 assists and you look at only 11 turnovers and five of those 11 came the first six minutes of the game, you’d have a chance to say that. I think that we’re learning how to play with each other. You had some different lineups on the floor tonight with Richaun [Holmes] and Amir [Johnson] and Jerryd [Bayless]coming in and we still found a way to navigate sort of our structure and stay organized. The development of our guys, I respect the work that they have put in, there are lots of people in that locker room that are getting better and are playing certainly better together as a team.”

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Evan Turner Gets Real With Magic Johnson on Twitter

Kyle Scott - January 30, 2012

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Sometimes professional athletes pretend not to care about what outsiders, pundits, scriptuals and talking heads have to say about their (or their team’s) performance. But, sometimes, they do care.

Yesterday, Evan Turner took to the Tweets to fire a, um, threat at Magic Johnson, who was about to give his (long-awaited?) Top 5 Teams in the East list:

Screen Shot 2012-01-30 at 11.43.03 AM

Oh. Shit. It just got real. Anything but the documentary, bro.

Alas, Magic wrongly excluded the Sixers from his top five by instead putting the Celtics on the list, and we now fully expect that Beaker will be doing some serious iTunes cleansing today. The horror.