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Cheap Orlando Magic Jersey Wholesale From China For Sale

In the perfect ironic twist in the narrative of the Orlando Magic’s tragic turn, Marcin Gortat said he wants to come back home.

“I would love to join the team for maybe two or three months, or maybe half a season at least,” Gortat told Josh Robbins, my Orlando Sentinel colleague, last week.

Oh, mercy. Is it too early yet to start drinking if you are a Magic fan?

Gortat’s absence is one of those connect-the-dots reasons the Magic are missing from this year’s playoff conversation, and have been since the 2012 season.

In case you are too squeamish to look, the Magic have 12 victories, second-worst in the NBA, and have lost seven in a row. They have no trade assets of great value, especially with Nikola Vucevic out indefinitely after surgery in his left hand, and are cruising down that potluck lottery road again.

Which takes us back to December 2010. For those in need of a quick history primer, the Magic — and former general manager Otis Smith, in particular — blew up the roster late that month.

It was a multi-layered implosion: Rashard Lewis went to the Washington Wizards for Gilbert Arenas. The Magic also sent Vince Carter, Gortat, Mickael Pietrus, a 2011 first-round pick and cash considerations to the Phoenix Suns in return for Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark.

The Magic were in full-on championship mode back then and also cognizant of keeping a certain player named Dwight Howard in town. So they blew up a good team in the hopes of making it a great one.

“We had to do something,” then Magic president and CEO Bob Vander Weide told me at the time.

It was something, all right. Something very bad.

The Magic got a nice run early on and tricked folks like me into thinking this was a cool deal. In retrospect, it was horrible, and the franchise has never recovered.

Turkoglu and Richardson weren’t very good, but the real hot mess was Arenas (aka “Agent Zero”). He showed flashes of his All-Star form, but that was a mirage.

Some folks called Arenas “mercurial.” That was just a nice way of saying he was a train wreck, including a 50-game suspension in March 2010 for waving a gun in front of Wizards teammate Javaris Crittenton. But Smith had a close relationship with Arenas and pushed for the deal because of the bromance.

Ravaged by knee injuries — hey, it would have been nice to kick the tires before making the trade! — Arenas averaged eight points per game with a 40.6 shooting percentage.

The Magic waived Arenas the following December, using the amnesty provision allowing a team a one-time option to waive a player’s remaining contract from the salary cap and luxury tax.

The team still owed Arenas roughly $62 million on the final three years of his contract. Arenas and the Magic agreed to stretch out the payments, and the free money kept coming until 2015.

On the flip-side, Gortat has turned into a hard-nosed grinder at center for Phoenix and now Washington. He is a stat-stuffer both in points and rebounds, averaging as high as 15.4 and 10.4 in those categories.

Had the Magic not had itchy fingers, they could have survived the eventual defection of Howard and plugged Gortat into a lineup with Carter, Lewis, Ryan Anderson, Jameer Nelson and J.J. Redick.

That’s a solid playoff team with huge upside, and one that would have been stronger assuming the Magic still get Vucevic in the deal for Howard.

Oh, and coach Stan Van Gundy wouldn’t have been kicked to the curb either in all the dysfunctional chaos.

I know we’re all playing Monday Morning Point Guard here, or however you want to label it. But it remains a devastating twist in the depressing plot lines that have developed for this franchise since that time.

Gortat never wanted to leave. Even if he eventually comes back, it’s like chasing ghosts.

Things have been spooky around here since you left, Mr. Gortat. You’ve been warned.

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The New Orleans Pelicans are signing guard DeAndre Liggins to a 10-day contract, league sources told ESPN.

The Pelicans are using an injury exception, awarded by the NBA, to acquire Liggins.

Liggins flew into Memphis on Tuesday night, and will sign his contract and be available for the Pelicans’ game against Memphis on Wednesday night, league sources said.

Milwaukee waived Liggins on Sunday.

Liggins played 31 games and averaged 15 minutes for the Bucks. In games in which Liggins played 18 minutes or more, Milwaukee was 10-1. Liggins will earn $89,109 on the contract.

Liggins was a Kentucky teammate with two Pelicans, center DeMarcus Cousins and guard Darius Miller.

Liggins, 31, impacted the Bucks with a defensive intensity that often proved disruptive on the floor. New Orleans will be the seventh NBA team for Liggins in his career, including stops with Orlando, Oklahoma City, Miami, Cleveland and Dallas since he was drafted out of Kentucky in 2011.

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Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks

Rick Carlisle used words like “engine” and “goose bumps” and he wasn’t talking about J.J. Barea’s 20 points or Dirk Nowitzki fine all-around game or Maxi Kleber’s blocks and energy.

All of that helped contribute to the Mavericks’ surprising 98-93 victory over the Eastern Conference leading Toronto Raptors Tuesday night.

But none of it was what the Mavericks viewed as the two essential keys for the win – or for any other victories they hope to come up with in the future.

Rookie Dennis Smith Jr. came out with the kind of force that Carlisle and Maverick fans should fall in love with – and demand to see on a regular basis.

His fellow starter in the backcourt, Wesley Matthews? All he did was limit Toronto’s high-scoring DeMar DeRozan to eight points and 3-of-16 shooting. What kind of challenge is that?

Consider that DeRozan earlier in the day have been named Eastern Conference player of the week and that he had averaged 31 points over the Raptors’ last five games – all victories.

Against the Mavericks? He never got rolling, and Matthews was the player spending most of the time guarding Toronto’s all-star.

“Wes has an iron will to make it as hard as possible on these great players and it took a lot out of him,” Carlisle said. “He expends so much energy defensively that his shooting was out of rhythm. But he understood the importance of keeping DeRozan at some kind of reasonable number. You don’t beat this team without a guy like Matthews to make it hard on DeRozan.”

And as for Smith? The rookie had missed six games with a hip/groin injury and the Mavericks went 1-5. In the seven games before he went out, they were 4-3. They are 2-2 since he returned to the lineup.

Detect a correlation?

And the job he did at the start of Tuesday’s game set a tone that the Mavericks had no choice but to follow.

“Smith was in a constant attacking mode,” Carlisle said. “He pushed himself to a level tonight that gave our team goose bumps to watch. And it’s hard. It’s so much work and requires so much energy and will. But tonight convinced me that this kid is going to be a great player.

“Those two guys were the engines to the win.”

Smith and Matthews won’t get any respect from fans if all they look at is their statistical line. They combined to shoot 5-of-23 from the field.

But there is far more to this game than putting the ball in the basket.

Matthews in particular has had a hard time getting respect from Maverick fans, judging from the email boxes and online chats that allow fans a chance to vent.

But his shooting numbers (38 percent from 3-point range) are virtually the same as they were in Portland his last few seasons, and he was a fan favorite there. Here? Not so much. Whether it’s the team’s record or his contract or whatever, he understands it.

“It’s their constitutional right to feel however they want to feel about me,” Matthews said. “It’s my constitutional right to really not give a damn. I don’t really care about the negativity. I know I’ve gotten some. But I give my all to this team, to this organization – on the court, off the court, whether my shot is falling or not.”

And Matthews also knows that Smith is a major cornerstone for the future of this franchise. A game like Tuesday showed why. Smith helped control the game with his fearless attacks to the rim.

“He got the wheels going and that’s what he has to do,” Matthews said. “When you have a talent like that, you have to utilize it. There’s no sense in having a Ferrari and driving slow.”

Said Smith: “It’s about being fearless, go in and take the hits. That’s what I’m supposed to do – attack, whether they are there or not. I talked to coach about getting back to doing what I do. And when I’m attacking early it sets everybody else for easy shots. It gets everybody into a rhythm. And I think it makes them play harder.”

Smith also said he had a “perfect” statistical line.

“We won the game,” he said. “I did what he (Carlisle) wants me to do. I got back to it tonight.”

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Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic are just good enough to be bad.

They are mediocrity’s children, sprinkled with a touch of misery. At 11-17, they are a playoff tease, an aspiring eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, cluttered with lousy teams. Only eight of the 15 teams in the conference have winning records, making the playoffs a very attainable goal for the Magic.

We have enough of a sample-size at 28 games. A little more than a third of the season is complete, and the Magic now show equal signs of competence and futility. It is who they are. Magic management has cobbled together a good enough team that can win on any given night. Magic management has cobbled together a bad enough team that can lose to anybody.

They could easily have beaten the 6-19 Hawks on Saturday night in Atlanta only to have a meltdown in the closing minutes. As they are prone to do, it was rather epic.

With the score tied at 110, Kent Bazemore picked off a cross-court pass from Jonathon Simmons and dunked with 36 seconds left. Shelvin Mack’s 3-pointer from the corner was tipped and came up short. Bazemore then got the rebound with 21.6 seconds left and was fouled by Nikola Vucevic, After making two free throws, Bazemore then stole the ensuing inbounds pass from Elfrid Payton.

Game over, but the up-and-down drama continues for a while.

Orlando’s predicament goes back to the opening premise. Mediocrity in the NBA is No-Man’s Abyss. The goal for bad teams is to sink low enough to rise up with viable lottery picks. The Magic have tried that with very little success. The bounce of the ping-pong balls have not gone their way. It is the main reason — other than someone named Dwight Howard — that the Magic have not made the playoffs since 2012.

They got the right guy in Victor Oladipo in 2013, only to send him away in a misguided trade last season (see Ibaka, Serge). They got the wrong guy in Mario Hezonja in 2015, the fifth-overall selection and just one pick after the New York Knicks snagged Kristaps Porzingis.

He would have been a difference-maker for this team. Hezonja will become an unrestricted free agent next season, Orlando’s call and a signal that things have gone bust.

The good news is that the Magic seem to be on the right side of history now. They do have a nice batch of players, even if there is no superstar, the final arbiter of success and failure in the NBA.

The problem is that a bunch of them are currently unavailable. Aaron Gordon (18.3 ppg.), Evan Fournier (18.3 ppg.), Terrence Ross (9.0 ppg.) and Jonathan Isaac (6.1 ppg.) all missed the game against Atlanta with various injuries.

In a brutal two-way gut punch, the Magic lost Fournier to an ankle sprain and Gordon to a concussion with the span of a few days. They both are on the TBD timetable. Neither injury looks serious, but the Magic are not in position to dawdle.

That dark abyss looks like the likely scenario for the 2017-18 season: A one-and-done appearance in the playoffs, or a lottery pick that comes too late on Draft Night to make a significant impact, at least short-term.

At least the fan base isn’t screaming, most likely because people named Jacque Vaughn and Rob Hennigan have left the building.

The Magic will not lose games by design any more. They will lose simply because they don’t have enough talent to compete consistently every night.

At one point, things will flip. But if you are marking 2018 as the year that the Magic find their way back to relevance, you may want to find an eraser, as well as more patience.

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Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks

When the Dallas Mavericks are lifting the Larry O’Brien trophy in late June, we’ll look back on Saturday night’s net scorching ceremony with the Milwaukee Bucks as the turning point.

Or, you know, maybe not.

There’s no denying that these games against Milwaukee and Boston were fun to watch. And maybe it was some kind of glimpse into Dallas’ potential. But taking a breath, and remembering the deficiencies this group carries, we know this is still a lottery team.

So very slowly, semi-quietly, we look ahead. One of the very few exciting aspects of being a team headed to the front of the lottery line is daydreaming about the future young stars the Mavericks can pick up. Yes, it’s a new-ish concept for this Dallas front office. But the idea that you can find the future of your franchise, not in free agency, but on draft night with young prospects exploding with potential, should ignite excitement through the hallways of the AAC.

We know plenty of the names. We’ve caught glimpses of them online in mixtapes and highlight reels, mostly as big fish in small ponds. But outside of one budding international star, what these players look like against other big fish is a bit of a mystery.

So here at Mavs Moneyball we invite you to learn with us. Every week we’re going to highlight a handful of games happening that week, featuring projected lottery picks. These are players we think fit best with our idea of a Dallas Mavericks Draft Big Board (coming soon); talent that fits the need and culture in Dallas.

It’s early in the college basketball season, and with the holiday week upon us, we have a slate of exciting mini-tournaments and invitationals. So the schedule below will look a bit different than future weeks. But if you find yourself wanting an escape from Mavs’ struggles, and want to daydream about the future, here are some games that might meet your needs:
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22ND

Arizona vs NC State (6 P.M. CT, ESPN3)

DeAndre Ayton leads a couple of NBA prospects and the Arizona Wildcats to face Dennis Smith Jr.’s alma mater, N.C. State, in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. If you haven’t seen any of Ayton, you’ll be shocked to learn that someone can be 19 years old and an actual Monstar. He’s just so full grown.

Though the N.C. State matchup might not be terribly exciting, it’s an ACC team. And we mention it here because of the potential meetings later in the tournament; if Arizona and others advance, they could be seeing SMU and possible future first rounder Shake Milton, then Mikal Bridges and his fifth ranked Villanova Wildcats (on the 23rd and 24th respectively). All in all, there could be a lot of draft talent playing in the Bahamas this week.
NOVEMBER 23RD-26TH

The PK-80 Invitational (Various times, ESPN Network)

If you had your fill on food, the NFL, or the NBA same ol’ same ol’, this would be the time to flip over to the inaugral PK-80 Invitational. In celebration of Nike Co-founder Phil Knight’s 80th birthday, this tourney in Portland will bring in a slew of college teams to compete in a two bracket tournament. This is the sort of fun and chaos that college basketball brings.

And lucky for us, the bracket is packed with elite teams and lottery talent:

Duke: Marvin Bagley III, Gary Trent Jr, Trevon Duval, Wendell Carter
Michigan State: Jalen Jones Jr. and Miles Bridges
Texas: Mohamed Bamba
Oregon: Troy Brown

Plus the potential of these teams matching up with other quality squads: North Carolina, Florida, Oklahoma, Gonzaga. Games will be happening all day long over Thanksgiving weekend. It’s worth tuning in to this lottery filled tournament.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 26TH

Robert Williams and A&M match up with the 10th ranked USC Trojans Sunday night at 8 P.M. CT, on the PAC12 Network. Southern Cal has some quality NBA prospects, and it should be one of the better head-to-heads of the weekend, with Williams matching up against Chimezie Metu.

Robert Williams made a surprise return to A&M to play his sophomore year. He was seen as a late lottery prospect in last summer’s draft, and many scouts expected him to pursue that option. Now, after being suspended the first two games of the Aggies’ season for violation of team rules, he rejoined the team this week.

Additionally, the highly touted Michael Porter Jr. has essentially been out the entire first week of play with an injury. With the hype of being a possible number one pick in the draft, it’s worth monitoring whether he’s able to suit up this week. Missouri is playing in the Advocare Invitational, and released a statement Monday saying Porter Jr. would be visiting a specialist. So it may be a while.

Check back next week for a new slate of games – the next Maverick is somewhere out there!

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Golden State Warriors

Golden State Warriors

DALLAS – A week ago, it seemed nothing could stop the Warriors. Their depth appeared so overwhelming that NBA teams pondered if any weaknesses existed. The Warriors’ discipline appeared so consistent it suggested they could run on autopilot.

Instead the Warriors have lost two of their first three games, matching their worst three-game start since 2009-10 under Don Nelson, the season they finished 26-56.

It’s absurd to think the Warriors could crash to those depths. They remain the heavy favorite to win their third NBA title in four years. There is no sign of panic.

“If you ask anybody in this locker room, nobody was expecting us to be playing at the level we left last year,” Warriors center Zaza Pachulia said after the 111-101 loss in Memphis on Saturday night. “That’s normal. Maybe it’s even good. That way we work harder and prepare ourselves for April, May and June.”

The Warriors have coughed up double-digit leads in losses to Houston and Memphis, and nearly squandered their cushion in their win over New Orleans. After vowing to finish in the top-five in defensive efficiency for the fourth consecutive season, the Warriors have allowed 117.7 points per game. Opponents are shooting 47.1%. And turnovers; despite a training-camp emphasis on passing, the Warriors have made 52 turnovers in three games.

Defending NBA champions are vulnerable to complacency. NBA coaches, Larry Bird once said, tend to lose their influence on players after three years. That led Warriors coach Steve Kerr to crack: “I’m in year four, aren’t I? I’m on the clock.”

Turning serious, Kerr said: “I was really lucky coming into this organization at the right time when players were really entering their primes. The thing I try to do is keep it light and fresh and let the assistants do the talking and hopefully my voice doesn’t get too old on them too quickly.”

The Warriors have suggested their problems lay elsewhere.

After having reduced practice time due to a compressed preseason schedule and a week-long trip in China, the Warriors have admitted feeling behind both with their conditioning and rhythm. The Warriors suggested those issues have contributed toward their struggles to defend without fouling.

Kerr called that a “major problem… Our habits are really bad. A lot of reaches, a lot of silly ones late in the shot clock.”

Stephen Curry has been the biggest offender. He was called for four fouls in Houston and five in Memphis. That wreaked havoc on Kerr’s substitution rotation. Saturday night in Memphis, he kept Curry in the game after he was called for his third foul in the second quarter. Moments later, Curry picked up his fourth foul.

Curry knows what he must do.

“You can still play aggressive defense and not reach,” Curry said. “I’ve done it my entire career just being conscious of where my hands are and where my body is. You play physical, the ticky-tack stuff and you’re literally reaching in and trying to get a steal and overzealous. That’s the stuff that can get you come back and bite you.”

While Curry accepts responsibility for the Warriors’ foul trouble, Durant takes the blame for the team’s turnover problem. Of the 52, Durant has 19.

“I’m just rushing,” Durant said. “I need to calm and settle down and I guess that will ignite the whole team. If I turn the ball over, it’s contagious.”

Still, a win Monday night at Dallas — the Mavericks are 0-3 — would give them a 2-1 trip.

“If we go 2-1, I’m happy with that,” Klay Thompson said. “2-1 on the road trip, that’s a good outcome.”