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.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Despite Grant Hill's return, Magic lose again

Unfortunately, the blizzard that ravaged the NE was not enough to cancel the game in BOS tonight, as the Magic lose their 8th game out of 9 102-94.

The Magic were outscored from the field just 76-72, but the key stat came from the 3 pt line as the Magic made only 2 of 12 3 pt FGs, while the Celtics made 10 of 14. Both teams shot .500 from the field. The Celtics outscored the Magic 26-22 from the FT line, as the Magic shot an impressive .846 and BOS shot .839 from the FT line. The Magic were also solid on the boards, outrebounding BOS 37-24. For the second game in a row, the Magic opponent had a much better assist-to-turnover ratio, as BOS had 21 assists to 10 TOs, and the Magic 16 assists to 16 TOs. Thanks to GHill's return, the Magic bench outscored the BOS bench 30-3. However, all 5 BOS starters scored in double figures, led by Pierce (31 pts) and Szczerbiak (24 pts).

The Magic had 5 players in double figures also, led by DHoward (24 pts 11 rebs) and Turkoglu (16 pts). GHill did a good job off the bench, scoring 15 pts in just 20 minutes. Yet another poor scoring game by Francis, as he had his 4th game in a row of under 10 pts on 4 of 11 shooting. The Magic's defense was not as good tonight as it has been, as it really hurt to have BOS shoot 10 of 14 from long distance. PHI lost earlier, so the Magic still trail them by 4 and a half games for the final playoff spot. The Magic have 2 games coming up with Shaq and the Heat, so things will not get any easier.


  • At 2:21 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Does anyone want to defend Francis anymore? And if so, why, because he doesn't deserve it? What he is doing right now is worse than what T-Mac did two years ago. At least when T-Mac slacked he didn't completely stop playing; and the season was already a wash. The Magic have been in the hunt the whole time, and Francis has a "war of mind games" going on. So once again, he is the question, what is the answer? Does anyone have any thoughts on his situation?

  • At 8:23 AM, Blogger Ken said…

    I quit defending Francis. I gave him the benifit of-the doubt for as long as I could. Taking all of his drama into consideration, his so-called move to the SG spot, his alleged auto accident that may, or may not, have happened, his BSHill imposed suspension, the trade rumors, and whatever else he is pouting about this week.

    I even overlooked a couple of his sub-par performances, figuring, ok, well everybody has off nights. But now it's getting to the point where he can become a distraction to the rest of the team. This should have been the time for him to prove, (while Jameer is injured), that he deserves to be the starting PG, that he is capable of being a team leader, to let his veteral leadership shine.

    But what do we get? An immature, pouting prima-donna who, if things don't go his way, or he can't be the only star on the team, who just dosn't give a crap about anything. And he dosn't care who it effects or the damage he causes. I think this is a way for him to shift the focus back to himself. Stevo has proven time and again that it's always about him, team be damned.

    In the meantime, we have EmporerBSHill walking around as clueless as ever. Unable to communicate with his alleged star player, unable to communicate with the rest of the team, unable to develop the most promising young power forward since KGarrnet, unable to come up with a player rotation that actually works, at least some of the time, unable to develop an offensive set that can actually score before the shot clock expires. I could go on, but I have to get ready for work.

    Sometimes I wonder what Hardaway knew about BSHill that we don't.

  • At 10:38 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Ya know,when jameer was first moved into the starting line-up and steve was moved to the shooting guard,we went on a five game winning streak,thats a fact,so why is it that when jameer got injured steve went back to the point? If you figured out that steve was a better off guard,then why put him back at the point? Why not start keyon and leave steve at the off guard (shooting guard),the position he played during our longest win streak in three years? You know what guys,the biggest problem with this team is the coach,HE HAS NO CLUE,last night steve played the point just like billups did when he came to orlando a couple of nights ago finishing with more assists than points,and thats how you win on the road as a point,but the biggest problem with that is steve isnt chauncey,chauncey's a better shooter and passer,but steve's a better attacker,and he needs to be playing a position where he can attack,last night we saw steve get everyone else involved a we're crucifying him,when the blame for the loss should go one place the coach,we basically got nothing from our center position b/c coach chose to play garrity the whole second half,when battie would have been great against the celts b/c they dont have great size,i couldnt help but thinking during the fourth "where's Tony",but no garrity gets out rebounded,poeple tip the ball away from him b/c he isnt the best jumper,poeple take him to the basket,he foul's poeple & every now and then he'll hit a three,i'm tired of coach hill,he is why steve is playing bad,and he is why our center position sucks,those are the reason's for the loss,you put steve at the two where he can attack and dont play garrity so much (only when he's a good match-up with an undersized PF)the magic win that game last night by ten points!

  • At 10:42 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    I have moved this post from where I placed it last night which was my general thought at the time:

    "The Magic out-shot and out-rebounded BOS and still managed to lose the game. I agree with Omar that the coach is the problem. He owns this problem with Francis since he started it by his lack of communication. When asked last time what is bothering Francis he responded that he doesn't know. Isn't it his job to know and move to rectify it, one way or another? The tell tale turning point was when Garrity lost the ball on the offensive end, and D.West scored on him on the defensive end (a 4-point swing)."

    Nobody condones Francis' despicable theatrics but in the larger "Cause and Effect" diagram, I see incompetence all over the place. I pointed out long time ago that the communication, or lack thereof, is Brian Hill's main shortcoming. That combined with all other inadequacies from the coach and the front office dealing with a manipulative and stupidly selfish star-player has led to where we are at present time. Let me outline the events as I undersatnd:

    1 - Right before suspensiion, it was obvious that something was wrong with Francis ... from the questionable accident to his play being dropped off. Right then somebody had to sit him down and get to the bottom of it.
    2 - The coach orders the star-player to go in for the mop up time, and the player refuses ... wrong and wrong. The player feels insulted and the suspension, although expected, pours salt on the wound.
    3 - The front office, the coach and the player resolved their issues. As reported, at least as per the player's agent, he has been given words that he would not be traded, either explicitly or implicitly. One may discard this part if believes there is no truth to it.
    4 - The trade rumors come up. It seems that nobody can give any assurances that the trade rumors have no basis. The player feels betrayed and start slacking off in his immature way of retaliation.

    Where we are now, somebody has to say enough is enough. Let's communicate and deal with it one way or another. However, that is not as simple as it seems. The front office does not want to push the envelop in a way that devalues Francis's trade. Francis, if had any brain, shouldn't have acted in a way that would decrease his value, as well ... period. In a conflict of this kind, all parties involved should sit down and put everything on the table. It's like an infection that has to be opened up before being cleaned up. What comes out? I don't know, but I know it's better to bring everything in the open than not.

    This, however, would not serve as anything other than a band aid. The core incompetencies will remain underneath and would show up sooner or later. If Francis succeeds in exposing coaching and front office inadequacies through this conflict he has done a service to the team without even knowing it. It's time to have a real house cleaning. Start with firing the coach and get Francis on the right track as an exemplary citizen setting up the stage for the best trade possible. This "coach is not the coach", so why not get rid of him while maximizing Francis's value. Bring in a real GM and CEO (Bob Vanderweide can keep the title of the president) and shake up the organization.

    I hope the ownership has the wisdom to do it!!!

  • At 10:48 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    As long as steve plays the point,i'll defend him b/c i know that coach hill is the reason his play is bad,some nights when steve noticed the team wasnt hitting shots,he would go off,one of those games steve had like 36 points and thats from the point guard spot,but when he see everybody making shots like last night,there was no reason to take a whole lot of shots,when he hit his first shot in the third it tied the game,so steve's points werent that important,we needed him to do other things and steve did his best to find open men,even when he didnt have to,so i'm not gonna beat steve up for being unselfish (maybe a little to unselfish)but i will blame the coach for our poor defensive matchups,the celts three point %,and the fact that we virtually got nothing from our center position(if you call dwight a PF),i call dwight our center,so really that means we got nothing from the PF,what ever the case,we got nothing from one of our big-man position's,b/c dwight had a great game!

  • At 10:49 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Big Figure, excellent points. I thought that Steve was erratic and disinterested last night especially when he took a couple of unnecessary 3-pointers. However, I don't think that he was slacking off in an obvious manner. His frustration and selfish attitude at times, however, is resurfacing again.

  • At 11:11 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Matt,that exactly proves my point,those three point attempts,were right in the flow of the game,and the ball was rotated to steve,he was so wide open on them that that they became great shots,he just couldnt hit anyone of them,and thats my point exactly,a point guard should be able to do the following,(1)run the team (assists) (2)Hit the open three when the ball is rotated,see that role fits jameer,if that had been jameer with those open looks,the celts would have paid for leaving him open,but with steve and deshawn in the same back court,you dont even have to respect the three point line,you can cheat and double dwight all night long,which is why dwight's turning the ball over so much,everything stems from something else,and they all go back to one person,the coach,can you imagine if jameer didnt get hurt,jameer and steve are totally opposite,you couldnt compliment someone any better,jameer and steve would be a back court thats hard to out score,and with grant coming off the bench,we have a bench thats hard to out score! It's the coach,it isnt steve,the five game win streak is my proof,where steve played the two,he doesnt have to be a great three point shooter from there,and he wouldnt be able to sit back and not be part of the action,but from the point he can take nights off,the coach has to be the one to change that,winning would change everything!

  • At 11:33 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Big Figure, I totally agree with your points on Steve being more effective when playing at two. It is even obvious when him and Keyon are on the court at the same time. However, I see subtle signs of disinterest and frustrations in his recent games. That could be due to frustrations of losses and/or the trade rumors on the back of his mind. Regardless, he does not show up as a relentless warrior that he has been when he is playing good. They say the way Steve practices carries over to the game time. May be, for whatever reason, he is not practicing as hard as he usually does.

  • At 12:15 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Yeah i agree,about everything you said about the sign's (practice,frustration's etc) from that standpoint steve just isnt the same,the trade rumors are definitely effecting him,but in my opinion,steve's not playing well b/c he's being used incorrectly and what thats doing is,making him disinterested in the position and not the game,i think his frustration's are with playing the point,and not basketball,i think steve enjoyed having the weight of the world off his shoulders,by letting jameer do all the ball handling and taking half the shots the back court should take,during that span we were getting about 17pts,6rbs & 6 assists all five nights from steve,i'm sure you'll agree if we got steve back to that role all would be good in o-town,steve's attitude would change at the two,primarily b/c we'd be winning,there's no doubt in my mind about that! We're not losing b/c we dont have good players or b/c management sucks,we're losing b/c coach doesnt know how to use any of his players correctly,period!

  • At 12:22 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Bringing grant off the bench was wise otis's decision,so coach hill cant even be given credit for that,the man is clueless,but i am happy that otis stuck with his guns,and seeing grant come off the bench and it not being just speculation,was a good sign,maybe otis is the one basketball wise to not make mistake after mistake,and even if we dont improve in his first year,at least we're moving in the right direction,b/c that was the best i've seen grant in a long while!

  • At 12:26 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    "Knock on wood"!

  • At 12:30 PM, Blogger TragicFan said…

    Speaking for Brian Hill I noticed this during the Pistons game, and then watched for it during the Boston game.

    When he calls a time-out, most of the time him and his four assistant coaches head out on to the floor and talk to each other. Leaving the team to sit on the bench without being talked to.

    Watch for it - It just goes to show that the PR move of rehiring Hill was a blunder of epic proportions.

  • At 1:56 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Francis only had 4 assists and the team shot .500% from the floor. I don't exactly call that getting everyone involved. Disinterested is right... Trying to make some kind of point, obviously... If Francis is pulling up taking jumpers, especially 3's when he rarely takes them, when his usually game is taking it to the basket, and being aggressive, there is something wrong with him. Even the broadcasters last night were questioning Francis and why he wasn't being aggressive, and why he wasn't taking it to the basket. The Magic are trying to act like nothing is wrong with Francis, but I'm pretty sure they're noticing. Once the trade deadline has passed I'm sure more will be said in one way or another.

    I'm not a fan of Brian Hill, I never have been. But, with that said, all our other players are not playing "erratic" in the way Francis is; NOT A SINGLE ONE. Problems or not, they are being professional, and you can't say that about Francis. And this is our "leader", this is our "star"??? I'm with you in agreeing that Francis should be at the 2 spot, but Francis has played PG his whole career and has put up the solid #'s throughout all of those years. Playing PG never stopped him from playing aggressive and getting involved, so the way he is playing right now, can't be blamed on whether he is at the 1 or 2 spot. He is playing the way he is because he is choosing to do so. Regardless if his problem is the coach, the trade rumors, or just him having head issues, he's digging himself a hole, and in the end, even though he says he wants to be here, he is playing himself out of Orlando.

  • At 3:00 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Francis's stats for the last 4 games: 7.8 pts per game, 4.8 assists, 4 rebs and 3 TOs per game.

    I can understand that all the trade rumors might be bothering him, but c'mon, you're a pro making millions of dollars; you have to have the mental toughness to be able to block such distractions out and focus on the game at hand.

    Look how well Steve played the 5 games just after his suspension. We all know he has the talent, but does he have the mental toughness and the desire? Even though I have been a Francis backer, I'm starting to wonder if he has what it takes to lead this team into the playoffs in the future.

    It's not helping matters any that BHill insists on playing Francis at the point while he and the team continue to struggle. Matt, you suggested the Magic fire BHill, but we all know that's not going to happen since this is just his first year and there have been all the injuries to deal with.

    If Steve is still here after Feb. 23rd, he needs to have another sit-down with BHill and the front office, just like during the suspension. Like has been mentioned, communication is the key. Steve needs to be utilized in a manner that's best for him and the team, and I'm sure most of us agree that would be at the two-guard spot.

    I'm afraid that if we trade Francis, we won't get a player of equal value. Like WeRDevos had mentioned in a previous post, rarely do the Magic ever get the better player in a trade.

  • At 4:01 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 4:28 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    I find myself in principle agreement with basically all the points raised, to some extent or another. I know that firing the coach is not gonna happen. However, I strongly believe that since BHill is not a long term solution, firing him is the best remedy for many ills at this time including Francis's situation. It will be a new start for everybody and will keep Francis engaged until the right trade comes along.

  • At 5:42 PM, Blogger Pete said…

    Sorry for the absence since I have been in and out of town and more disinterested than Francis in this fiasco of Orlando Magic!!! I am with Matt that firing Hill is the best solution to many problems that Magic is facing. The best of coaches have been fired at the times least expected. Hill is not in a level to enjoy any kind of privileges. His insurance policy is that if fired in the mid-season the whole front office and ownership look like a bunch of fools. I am sure if Weisbrod was around that's what he would have done since despite his lack of basketball knowledge, he knew a thing or two about management.

  • At 7:04 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Weisbord; he did know a little about management. I really miss his hard-ass attitude. And all of you are right, as much as we'd like to see a coaching change, it will never happen because it'll make the team look like a total joke. This group of guys, who hasn't been together for even 2 years, has seen three different head coaches already, so we're going to have to live with B Hill a little longer, hopefully not to much.

  • At 9:49 PM, Blogger Pete said…

    I don't think that coaching change would have a negative reflection on the team but rather on the management and the ownership. It would require great leadership and courage to go for it. I sincerely believe that despite low probability we should lay it out there, loud and clear. Never underestimate the power of repetition.


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