Jan 31, 2006 7:20 AM EST
The Orlando Magic might not be winning big in the NBA, but they are behind a new league rules change.
The NBA told The Sentinel on Monday that it is changing the way teams submit the list of active/inactive players -- thanks to an issue brought up Friday night in New York by the Magic.
The league did not take any punitive action against the Knicks after F Jackie Butler played against Orlando, even though Butler's name was on the inactive list that the Knicks handed the Magic before the game.
After Magic Coach Brian Hill protested in the first quarter to game officials, the Knicks issued a "corrected" version of the inactive/active list in the second quarter. Butler's name then appeared on the active list.
The NBA agreed it was a "clerical" error by the Knicks, league spokesman Tim Frank said Monday.
But now, game referees will supervise the active/inactive lists before the game, said Frank.
"Officials will be asked to verify the accuracy prior to the game," Frank said.
If the situation arises again, Frank said, officials will "disqualify the player immediately. They didn't have that same power Friday night."
Jan 30, 2006 7:22 AM EST
When Magic F Grant Hill returns from injury, the club will have something of a dilemma, thanks to Hedo Turkoglu's terrific play.
Magic Assistant General Manager Otis Smith didn't reject the idea out of hand, saying "Grant would be fine" with playing as a reserve, especially as he rebuilds his stamina.
The Magic will be more judicious in distributing Hill's minutes when he returns from his second rehab stint since his sports hernia surgery Oct. 31. When Hill returned after missing the first 19 games of the season, he preferred to start because he never played as a reserve in 12 seasons.
But Smith also said that Turkoglu could easily come off the bench, considering Turkoglu's experience as a sixth man and playing behind Hill.
Hill said before Friday night's game in New York against the Knicks that he likely would be out another week.
Jan 29, 2006 4:13 PM EST
Minnesota failed to get Ron Artest, turned down a chance to get Steve Francis and instead, took on Ricky Davis and Mark Blount, each of whom were regarded as a cancer in Boston. It proves that Kevin McHale still has a soft spot in his heart for his old team. Now with Wally Szczerbiak, the Celtics have the flexibility to deal off Paul Pierce.
Jan 28, 2006 6:26 AM EST
The NBA is investigating a complaint by the Magic that the New York Knicks used an inactive player in Friday night's game at Madison Square Garden, club sources told The Sentinel.
The Magic say that the active roster that Coach Brian Hill and his staff received from the Knicks before the game had forward Jackie Butler listed as inactive. Teams have up to an hour before game-time to identify and submit their active and inactives.
Butler, a rookie out of Coastal Christian Academy (Va), entered the game with six minutes, 18 seconds left in the first quarter and played 1:46 and the came back for just 10 seconds in the second period. He did not play in the second half.
Jan 27, 2006 7:17 AM EST
Orlando Magic forward Grant Hill isn't expected to play for another week to 10 days, according to Assistant General Manager Otis Smith.
"Sometime in the first week of February," Smith said.
If that's the timetable for Hill, he might be able to play Wednesday at home against the Los Angeles Clippers or Feb. 3 (at Atlanta) or Feb. 4 (against the Boston Celtics). He has been out since Jan. 15 rehabbing from sports hernia surgery. Hill had said then that he would be out 7-10 days.
Smith said Hill has improved to the point in which he has little pain, if any, in the area. But the Magic want him completely healthy so he does not float in and out of the lineup again.
"We want to make sure that when he's back, he's back, and we can get our rotation right," Smith said.
When Hill returns this time, Smith said the Magic "will have to decide how to play Grant. We can't bring him back and play him 35 minutes. How and when do we take him out [of a game] and keep him warm?"
Jan 21, 2006 8:10 PM EST
Guard Jameer Nelson missed Orlando's game Saturday night against the Sacramento Kings with a sprained right foot.
Nelson has emerged as a starter for the Magic this season, leading the team in scoring four of the last five games. He had 22 points, five assists and five rebounds on Wednesday night against Washington.
Jan 19, 2006 10:09 AM EST
Steve Francis said the Orlando Magic have assured him that he will not be dealt before the NBA's Feb. 23 trade deadline.
But the reasoning for that might be due to more of a lack of interest from other teams than the Magic's desire to hang on to the enigmatic point guard.
Magic assistant general manager Otis Smith admitted that when most teams call to talk potential trades, Francis' name rarely comes up. In Smith's estimation, the interest in Francis among other teams ranks fourth behind Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu.
Howard and Nelson, the Magic's haul from the 2004 NBA Draft, are virtually untouchable. Smith was instrumental in the Magic landing Turkoglu in the 2004 free-agency sweepstakes.
"When they ask about the big fellow, that's an easy conversation," Smith said of Howard, the NBA's second-leading rebounder. "Then, they ask about Jameer and Turkoglu. We're not at a point where we're entertaining those talks."
Francis was suspended last week for two games after refusing head coach Brian Hill's orders to re-enter a game at Seattle. Francis returned to practice Tuesday, but he was kept out of the starting lineup Wednesday against Washington.
It was just the third time in Francis' seven-year NBA career that he didn't start a game he was dressed for.
If the Magic do consider dealing Francis, it could be complicated by the size of his contract. He is making $13.7 million this season and is due $48.7 million during the next three seasons. For now, Smith said a trade of Francis isn't in the works.
"We're moving forward with him as our point guard," he said. "We traded for him to be our point guard and our leader, and that hasn't changed yet. We haven't reached that point yet where we've talked about trading Steve."
Jan 19, 2006 7:27 AM EST
Magic power forward Dwight Howard told the Sentinel on Wednesday that he has committed to play for the U.S. Olympic basketball team and in the 2008 Games in China.
Howard will be the youngest NBA player on the squad. Players have to make a two-year commitment and play this summer in the World Championships.
LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers recently committed to playing.
"They asked me last year . . . and I've said yes. I've been kind of keeping it to myself," said Howard, 20, the overall top pick in the 2004 NBA draft.
"I'm really looking forward to it. Wow, to get to play in the Olympics? That's something I've always watched and wanted to do."
Jan 19, 2006 7:06 AM EST
Steve Francis had 12 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in his first game back from a two-game suspension to lead the Orlando Magic over the Washington Wizards 106-98 on Wednesday night.
Francis was suspended by the team for refusing to re-enter a blowout game late in the fourth quarter. He came off the bench against the Wizards for the third time in his six-year NBA career.
He entered with 4:01 left in the first quarter to a mixed reaction from the crowd. Two minutes later, his no-look, behind-the-back pass on a fast break for a Hedo Turkoglu dunk put the crowd back on his side.
Francis was scoring a team-high 18 points a game at the end of 2005, but hit a wall in January. In his last six games, he was averaging 11.5 points on 37.5% shooting, with 25 assists and 30 turnovers.
Jan 18, 2006 8:28 PM EST
Grant Hill will be sidelined 7-10 days because of continued abdominal pain, the Orlando Magic said Wednesday. Hill missed the first 19 games of the season after sports hernia surgery. He sat out five of the past seven games with abdominal pain. He traveled to Philadelphia on Tuesday to be evaluated.
"He just has a lot of pain in that abdominal area, and we're just trying to get to the bottom of it," head coach Brian Hill said.
He scored 18 points in Sunday's loss at Sacramento but was in visible pain after the game.
Orlando Magic Archives
Several clubs inquired about trading for Orlando Magic point guard Steve Francis while he was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team.
Steve Francis, who missed two games, met with team officials on Monday and general manager Otis Smith said the team is eager to move on.
Steve Francis wants to stay in Orlando, but will he soon be joining Kevin Garnett in Minnesota?
Orlando Magic guard Keyon Dooling was suspended five games for fighting with Seattle guard Ray Allen on Wednesday.
Jan 13, 2006 | Florida Today
Orlando Magic guard Steve Francis refused head coach Brian Hill's orders to re-enter Wednesday's game late in the fourth quarter at Seattle.
Jan 12, 2006 | Press Release
The Orlando Magic have suspended guard Steve Francis for conduct detrimental to the team. Francis scored just 10 points and had six turnovers during a 113-104 loss to the Seattle SuperSonics on Wednesday.
After a series of elbows, Keyon Dooling pushed Ray Allen to the ground. Allen got up and tackled Dooling into the first row of seats along the sideline and onto some fans.
"Retirement. . . . Yeah, that's a possibility," Grant Hill told the Orlando Sentinel.
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