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Blake Dowling: Legislative Session 2017 – I’m just a bill

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Last weekend, I was on the road in Gainesville for some spring football. As I sat in my mobile command station (aka the Wyndham) the following day — watching an epic Masters, NBA and college baseball weekend — I couldn’t get the old PSA from Saturday Morning Cartoons out of my head, and I started writing … “I’m just a bill on Capitol Hill waiting to become law, but today I am still just a bill.” Man, they do not…

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Leonard Hamilton has some work to do to save FSU’s season

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The Florida State men’s basketball team reached new heights in January. That is why February has brought about a long fall. What happened on Saturday, an 80-66 embarrassment at Pittsburgh, demonstrates some of the reasons why a once highly promising season could continue to go further south. It involves the two most talented Seminoles, Dwayne Bacon and Jonathan Isaac. It also, of course, involves Head Coach Leonard Hamilton. Bacon, a sophomore, was held scoreless for the first time in his…

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Players: Steve Kerr’s marijuana admission could spark dialogue

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David West has undergone four surgeries in his long NBA career: left knee, right elbow and right foot twice to fix a couple of toes. “I don’t even like saying all that,” he said. So, yes, just like his coach who tried medicinal marijuana to get some relief, West knows real pain. Draymond Green has never needed an operation – he knocks on a table not once but twice as to not jinx himself – yet he considers that the…

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Magic, D.J.Augustin use big fourth quarter to get by Mavericks

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D.J. Augustin made his presence felt at the Amway Center on Saturday night. The veteran guard from Texas came up big in the fourth quarter as the Orlando Magic beat the Dallas Mavericks 97-87. Heading into the fourth quarter, the Magic trailed the Mavericks 69-66. Over the final 12 minutes, Orlando outscored their opponents from Texas, 31-18. Augustin played a huge role in the victory. In addition to his 18 points, he dished out six assists to account for 30…

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Magic get by shorthanded New Orleans 89-82

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When playing at home against a 2-9 team missing one of the NBA’s brightest stars, losing is not an option. Fortunately for the Orlando Magic, they took full advantage of the absence of Anthony Davis to defeat the New Orleans Pelicans 89-82 at the Amway Center Wednesday night. Davis missed the game due to a bruised quadriceps, forcing the Pelicans to find points from other places. With a lack of depth to begin with, that is not a formula for…

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‘Work in progress’ Magic takes next step

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Although the Orlando Magic assumed more than $50 million in salaries on four new players this season, there was little return on investment in the first three games. The additions of Bismack Biyombo, Serge Ibaka, D. J. Augustin, and Jeff Green were not putting Orlando anywhere near a victory early on. While they did not expect to also be bringing in a new coach, that necessity was forced on them by the resignation of Scott Skiles after one season. Frank Vogel…

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Heat spoil Magic’s home opener

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The Orlando Magic were reminded of a fundamental basketball fact from the season opener on Wednesday night. In their 108-96 loss to the Miami Heat, Orlando was reminded that NBA games are 48 minutes. The first 24 minutes were fine. The Magic took a 53-50 lead into the locker room at halftime, but the Heat came roaring out in the third quarter, outscoring Orlando 30-16 to take control of the game. Orlando never got within 10 points the rest of…

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