Orlando Magic Blog

Group Blog talking about the NBA 2009 Eastern Conference Champions. Due to the amazing success of the 2009 playoff run comments are now frequently deleted to kill offensive comments, incoherence, or asininity. Comments can no longer be anonymous and require either a Blogger or OpenID account.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Magic stop Suns for 4th win in a row

A fantastic defensive effort by the Magic in the final 4:48 of the 4th quarter led the way in an impressive 111-102 win against a quality Phoenix team. The Magic allowed only 1 FG during that time. Looking at the stats of the game, the Magic did another good job drawing fouls, as they outscored Phoenix 24-10 from the foul line. As Matt mentioned in an earlier post, the Magic shot a sizzling 54.7% from the field, compared to 46.1% for Phoenix. Whoever thought the Magic would outshoot the Suns? Another great game by the starters, led by Turkoglu's 30 pts. He's averaged 25 pts a game his last 3 games, really stepping up in GHill's absence. Another solid game from Howard, 22 pts and 12 rebs. Nice effort by the bench also, scoring 27 pts, led by Keyon Dooling, who scored 10 pts, and Pat Garrity, who scored 9 pts in only 6 minutes in the first half. 5 Magic players scored in double figures, compared to 4 players for Phoenix. Great team effort by the Magic... keep it up!


  • At 6:14 AM, Anonymous Mathieu said…

    Great great great win. This is something we needed this season: a big win against a possibe title-contender. Again, our depth is proven, with Turk, Dooling and Diener surfacing. I'm véry curious what's going to happen in Philly. A tough away game...will the magic stay on their cloud, or will they plunge down again like they did against LAC, after that enourmous win against the 'Wolves.
    But don't wanna overthink about that. Just enjoy this great win, and the fact that all of the sudden we're back in the play-off race.

  • At 8:56 AM, Blogger TragicFan said…

    Was a great win - I actually worry about Grant Hill returning.

    Got to admit that mucked up our chemistry last time. Which is a shame since I do really like Grant.

  • At 11:14 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I'll have to agree with tragicfan a little there. Grant Hill coming in and out of the lineup every other game was hurting the team. Not only for preparation purposes, but also for the fact that he was closing out a lot of those games in pain, in turn ineffective, yet still on the floor? It’s been on my mind for a while now. I believe this is the time, even if it’s the first in his career; Grant needs to come off the bench. It’s not going to hurt his trade value, because he has none. He’ll play less minutes, and hopefully be more effective when he does play. Also, he’ll be able to be what he is, a great veteran helping younger guys develop. Now if for some reason, games go by, and he “gets healthy”, he might start again, but Grant’s last 6 seasons has proven that probably will not happen.

  • At 2:29 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Right now, I think it's more important for the Magic to get Jameer Nelson back rather than GHIll, because Nelson is a big part of the team chemistry that's developing, whereas the Magic are pretty much used to GHill not playing. It's been 10 days since Hill last played, and should be at least another 10 days before the Magic think of putting him in there, so he can at least stay healthy and not be in pain at the end of games. Interesting idea by Introvert to have Hill come off the bench when he comes back, it actually makes sense, especially with Turkoglu stepping up and playing so well in the starting lineup. GHill is a team guy who I'm sure would go along with the idea, at least if the Magic continue to play well. Also, when Nelson comes back, maybe he should come off the bench also. He would still play a lot of minutes, and he would be part of a very deep bench. It'll be interesting to see what Coach Hill does once GHill and Nelson are healthy.

  • At 3:15 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Who's that guy wearing hedo's uniform,i cant be hedo,is that our guy playing that good,did someone tell hedo he's allowed to attack the basket? Boy,if hedo continues to be this aggressive,grant wouldnt deserve to start when he comes back,how can you take a guy out of the line-up when he's been your best player over the last three games,his defense is even better when he's scoring the ball!

  • At 4:03 PM, Blogger Pete said…

    Another impressive win for the Magic. I hope the team would be able to build on it. Like Matt said, we should be able to win against PHI and NY even on the road if we play the kind of defense that we are capable of.

    I respectfully disagree with some of the views aired about the team chemistry when Grant and Jameer come back. Let’s look at the issues carefully by establishing facts that we all agree on first:

    1. We are not talented enough offensively to out-shoot almost anybody in the league. Good defense is a good source of creating offensive opportunities for us.
    2. We are a very good defensive team if we set our minds to it.

    Unless it is proven to me that players like playing with Hedo more than playing with Grant, I can’t imagine how starting Grant in place of Hedo would hurt team’s chemistry. I think Grant is a floor leader and provides better offense and defense than Hedo and more fastbreak opportunities. Hedo has played well in the last couple of games, but he is not a natural slasher (not against good defenses) and his shooting is inconsistent from night to night. Granted that Grant’s in and out situation has not been helpful. I agree that he should be given enough rest to heal whatever ills he has, but when ready he belongs in the starting line-up.

    Jameer’s situation is different. He is a smart offensive player but not as good as a defensive player. Given the established fact that we cannot out-shoot anybody, then he should be in when we need offense and out when we need defense. Let’s not forget that the team’s record when Jameer started is 1-7. Starting him and Steve on the backcourt depends on the opponents’ backcourt. Make no mistake that a big part of our victory against PHO was the defensive prowess of Keyon and even Steve. We have plenty of depth in the guards position adding Travis to the mix which is great. We should use it to our benefit depending on the games’ situations.

    In the final analysis these are professional players with lots of pride. Winning creates camaraderie and heals all resentments that players may have towards each other. With Steve showing his total commitment, there is no doubt in my mind who should start if the choice comes down to one to start between Jameer or Steve.

  • At 4:44 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Pete,"established fact"? I dont agree that we cant out-shoot teams,percentage wise we out-shot the leagues best shooting team last night,our fast break points werent up any,so thats means we scored points off of offensive execution! Scoring points is about disciplined execution and shot selection,i'll agree that the magic havent had that untill the last few games,but the execution and good shots coupled with low turnovers,makes for a very good shooting ball club,dwight giving us an inside presence makes it easy for us to be a good shooting team,you have to have a good low post presence,even battie's low post game has been better! Good defense is a good source of offense for any team that struggle's offensively,so that isnt really a profound statement,the truth is coach hill doesnt want to run that much,even when we play good defense and clear a rebound,he would rather make the defense pay,by going at our mismatches play after play,which draws fouls,makes the other coach start changing defenses,and promotes ball movement by drawing double teams,just what we did to the suns,then when the magic started playing their style,coach would call a time out and get us back to playing magic basketball,and it usually turned into us going on a run! With this team consistency is the key,if they can out-shoot the suns,then they can out-shoot anyone!

  • At 5:08 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I'm going to have to agree with bigfigure on the team’s offense. The Magic have a make-up of players that could be one of the best offensive teams in the league. We've just lacked discipline, hence the execution was poor. Not to mention we still have a group of guys that are getting used to playing with each other, under a new coach. Once all that comes together, like it has in the past few games, and a few other times this year, anything is possible. Chemistry between players takes time, especially in our case because of injuries and the coaching changes.

    Also, Nelson's starting record of 1-7. That couldn't be anymore of a jaded record. He'd still be starting now if he didn't get hurt. As it stands now, if the Magic keep winning, like they should, Nelson will probably take a spot on the bench when he comes back from his injury. But everyone knows he'll be out there in the 4th quarter regardless like he has been all year long.

  • At 5:10 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Also,starting grant over hedo wouldnt hurt team chemistry,but grant doesnt deserve to start,he's not the 6 time all-star that he used to be,we're talking about a guy who's 5 years and 5 surgeries away from his glory days,so he doesnt have to be given so much loyalty,sure when he's totally healthy he'll probably go back in with the starters,but thats only because hedo plays well in a reserve role! In my opinion watching keyon pushing the ball and looking for open poeple,was alot like the role grant used to play for us,and also hedo can shoot the three which is why dwight has had some off his better games lately,grants game doesnt complement dwight any b/c he's not a shooter,but hedo's game is perfect for dwight,i think thats because hedo played with tim duncan for a year,and probably learned alot about playing inside out! Personally i'm not in love with hedo now,but everyone has to admitt,hedo's taking the ball to the basket alot more,and it has his shots up and steve's shots down,which is a winning combination,steve is taking better shots now,and turk's showed that he can score any kind of way,with an all-around game!

  • At 5:31 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I agree with intro,jameer when healthy should return to a reserve role,and if the team starts playing bad then you can always go back to that smaller line-up to create a spark! Our best line-up would probably be,Steve,grant,turk,dwight & Battie,but we'll never see that line-up b/c Grant is in and out of the line-up,he's the one nonconstant in that group,so what you have is coach hill trying his best to find the right combination,steve,deshawn,dwight & tony are the guys who are penciled in every night,so the other spot will probably change on a nightly basis,jameer sometimes,and turk others,while grants out!

  • At 6:15 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    It’s a tough call but I can’t discount Pete’s logic. My perception of Hedo based on media reports is that he doesn’t like to start anyway and rather likes limited but high impact minutes. I tend to agree with Pete that Hedo has not been a consistent shooter, night in and night out. I also agree that he cannot slash against good defenses on consistent basis. The out-shooting of teams like SAC, PHO and CHA is misleading. We out-shot them because we defended them well and kept their percentages down, and on the other end since they didn’t defend at all, we shot a good percentage. I like Big Figure’s line-up of Steve, Grant, Hedo, Dwight and Battie. I think it’s genius. The problem is that we kill our bench depth on the small forward position, unless we make 1, 2 and 3 positions inter-changeable. As for Jameer, there are a couple of things that should be debated. Steve considers himself a closer, and allowing Jameer to finish the games without having his nod was probably one of the reasons that Steve got bent out of shape. I think coach Hill should be in close communication with all the major players on matters of sensitivity. All good managers are good salesmen, one way or another. They have to sell their schemes in order to get the best out of all subordinates. Somebody (I don’t recall who) said that coach Hill’s defining moment on this going around with the Magic depends on how he handles Steve, and I agree. I think the way Keyon is capable of playing, he might get more minutes, and since we have too many good guards, there will be trouble in paradise. It is a shame that the losing player probably would be Travis, who is a heck of a shooter and a very smart passer. I hope coach Hill will find a good balance to keep everybody happy. Communication is the key.

  • At 8:24 PM, Blogger Pete said…

    Nice exchange, everybody. I see a lot of valid pros and cons in comparing Grant and Hedo. We have to remember some of the recent games that Grant made it possible for us to be competitive, amongst which Dallas and New York games, and even Detroit game come to my mind. With Grant we can score easier which in turn keeps the team fresher for the long haul. I don’t think that if a sure fastbreak presents itself, coach Hill would not use it, and in that area Grant is a great finisher. Big Figure is right about Hedo’s 3-point threat complementing Dwight. It is also true that right now Hedo is playing in the zone. My preference for Grant has a lot to do with the fact that when Hedo is off, he looks awful; His shots are not falling and a lot of his drives to the basket end up being offensive fouls. Every time that happened our offense stalled and we ended up losing to the teams that we shouldn’t have lost to.

  • At 3:42 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    No matter who the starters are, I like Hedo coming off the bench. What more could you ask for? He's 6-10, can drive, handle the ball, pass, and shoot. He's the perfect 6th man. What's even better, is that's the role he wants to play! How many players in the NBA want to come off the bench? He actually enjoys it, as long as he gets his fair share of minutes. I think it works well for him too. He gets to come in the game, and start out against another team's 2nd unit a lot of times, which makes it easier for him to get off to a nice start. And in the world of "shooters", everyone knows, once a shooter is on, they are on. So my take on Hedo, is keep him as the 6th man, and he'll be a candidate for 6th man of the year every year.

    Everyone else had great points. Still, with all the guards; Francis, Nelson, Diener, Dooling, and Stevenson, if anyone is the odd man out, I think it's Francis... I love the guy. But when it's all that said and done, regardless if we get his value or not, I think he'll be traded. Part of me wants the guy to stay here forever and WIN. Part of me, would like to see the Magic get a nice SF or big man. Who knows until something happens right? But that's the fun of having a blog that we can vent out opinions on right?!

    So I figured I'd put out my starting 5...


    I know it's a small lineup, but if it's that big of a problem we could bring in some bigger players. They've only started that line up once from what I can remember.

    Alright, that's all for now... I'll catch you guys later.

  • At 10:02 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    I have a feeling that Introvert is right about Francis being traded eventually, especially based on the way that I know this ownership does business. I think it would be a mistake since we would not have a legitimate star level point guard to replace him except for Dooling to be uplifted to that position. I am sorry for all Jameer's supporters but, in my view, Nelson doesn't have the intangibles to fill in as a top rated point guard. Regardless, Steve's fate is almost inevitable.


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