In addition to providing ample detail surrounding Josh Smith being given the 2nd half off during Atlanta’s loss to Charlotte Friday night, the New York Post’s Peter Vecsey singles out Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy, “who wasn’t nearly preoccupied enough with getting into a urinal contest with Shaquille O’Neal to become the zillionth coach initiated into the Fraternal Order of Fools.”

Orlando had rallied at home from eight points down midway through the fourth quarter to take a three-point lead in the waning seconds Friday against the Nets.

Sure enough, there was Vince Carter ducking under a defender, who had ample opportunity to foul his man before he was in the act of shooting, for a wide-open look at overtime. The fact he misguided it in no way excuses Van Gundy from giving the valedictory address at the next clod commencement.

Perhaps Van Gundy shall learn some basic math before the Magic visit Boston this afternoon. If not, he can always take a side trip to one of the Connecticut casinos and conduct a blackjack seminar on the advantages of hitting on 20.

As for Lawrence Frank’s Nets, not once did they throw the ball down low to Brook Lopez or post Carter in the final couple minutes when trailing by two, three and four. Instead they settled for one trey after another.

Good coaching, coach. Then again, it was probably simply another sorry example of players demonstrating a flagrant lack of common sense, feel for the game and instructions from the bench.

In spite of the no confidence vote from Poison Pete, Van Gundy’s Magic beat the Celtics on their own floor early today, 86-79. With Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo indisposed, the Celtics had to contend with the dual curses of a) Big Baby making an early exit and b) Stephon Marbury (4 points, 0 assists, 21 minutes) getting the start at point guard.