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 26, 2006

Frantic comeback attempt by Magic falls just short

The Magic, looking horribly flat and trailing HOU 74-54 early in the fouth quarter, all of a sudden came to life and twice cut the deficit all the way down to 3 pts late in the game but could get no closer, falling to the Rockets and T-Mac 89-84. CArroyo, GHill and HTurkoglu and even Darko led the big Magic comeback.

One can point to two main things as to why the Magic lost this game: bad FT shooting (25/39), and DHoward (7 pts, 1/5 FG, 4 TOs, 5/12 FT) having probably his worst game of the year. Yao Ming (29 pts 11 rebs) could not be stopped by the Magic. McGrady (19 pts 9 rebs) also had a good game against his ex-mates. RAlston (13 pts) and JHoward (12 pts) also scored in double figures.

GHill led the Magic with 22 pts, followed by Arroyo (17 pts 5 rebs 3 assists) and Hedo, back from a sprained ankle, who scored 10 pts, all in the fouth quarter. In 17 minutes, Darko scored 6 pts and had 4 blocks. HOU, on 42% FG shooting , outscored the Magic (41.8% FG) from the field 63-59. HOU did well at the FT line, making 26/33 (78.8%), compared to the Magic's woeful 25 of 39 (64.1%). Rebounds were even at 40, and the Magic had a poor assist to turnover ratio of 14-18. The Magic's bench continues to play well, outscoring HOU's bench 37-8. At least Coach Hill is not relying on Garrity so much, as he played only 8 min (2 pts).

The Magic now go out West for 5 games. The new lineup and bench rotation needs to continue to develop chemistry, and hopefully GHill can continue to stay healthy. Arroyo is picking up where JNelson left off, playing brilliantly at the point. Darko needs to be given more minutes, and Dwight needs to work on his FT shooting. A winning road trip is possible if BHill can motivate the team properly; but the Magic can't start games as flat as they did against the Rockets.


  • At 7:37 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Once again the Magic showed their offensive futility when they faced a good defensive team. The comeback attempt was basically the result of playing Grant and Hedo at 2 & 3, and giving Darko the minutes to show his abilities. He plays big in a manner that makes him look taller and bigger than Mario. Carlos was impressive again. It seems that Jameer is close to coming back. That should give us an enormously deep bench.

  • At 8:45 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Sorry but i'm tired of seeing deshawn and battie in the starting line-up and pretty much giving us nothing,isnt it funny that the magic shot about 50% or worse in the first three quarters,but when coach went with dwight and darko together,automatically you started to see how gifted darko is as a passer getting dwight his first basket,and the magic shot almost 70% during the fourth period,i think that means its time for darko to start,this is two games in a row that we've had to go to darko in the fourth for a lift b/c battie just aint getting it done,and now tony's guarding the PF's so there should be no excuse,he doesnt even have to guard centers anymore b/c dwight has become our center,which by the way I HATE,deshawn and tony have been warriors,and thats why i think they should be resigned,but i hope their starting days are almost over,keyon,grant,hedo,dwight & darko,is the best line-up we can put on the floor,and we got a taste of it today minus keyon but it was already to late,that needs to be the starting unit!

  • At 8:57 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    But BSH is a moron so that means the starting line-up probably wont change no matter how badly somebody plays,as long as battie is starting,BSH needs to be fired,i can live with deshawn being out there,but darko needs to start PRONTO,battie wont mind he's a pro's pro! How many times is darko gonna have to come in and save our fourth quarter while playing great,to become a starter in coach hill's mind,thats two games and counting for darko,and two straight bad games by battie!

  • At 9:16 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    I moved this to this post from the previous post...

    Intro316, you read my mind, I won't say this very often, but give this one to the ref's.... They made sure the darling of the NBA (yao) was going to be in the entire game. These sort of games just piss me off to no end. Our guy goes to the basket, gets hammered to the floor, then we get called for those bullshit touch-fouls on the other end.

    I know the Magic were far from perfect. DHoward really needs to toughen up under the basket, he's still getting pushed around like a little bitch by anyone who is of equel height or more. Personally, I don't see a whole lot of passion in his game, he is intimidated easily, i could be wrong, but thats how i see it. Free throws were abysmal, even Turkglu struggled at the line today. And garrity was on the floor entirely to long. Even MGoukas said during the 3rd quarter that BSHill was trying to hard to play match-up ball and should have concentrated on executing his offense. These guys are young and need some time to grow and gel together, its just gonna take some time. I would go on but go a few other things to get done tonight..

  • At 9:31 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    Also, agee, Battie needs to be coming off the bench, he's a good solid veteran to help lead the 2nd group who isn't going to make rookie mistakes. I've never been a big Deshawn Stevenson fan, but with the influx of new talent he also can now play an important reserve roll. I think his inconsistancy has always been a problem and therefor shouldn't be a starter.. Darko was a monster today with 4 blocks and a nice shooting touch and willingness to give up the ball when need be.. You can almost bet that BSHill will do pretty much the opposite what we think. Sometimes I wonder if he is even watching the same game we are.. The man is a TOTAL IDIOT

  • At 9:50 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I said what I thought about the game on a previous post. But two points stood out after reading your guys thoughts.

    One, Dwight Howard; he shows signs of playing tough, but as of right now, the refs won't let him play tough. They always call pussy flop offensive fouls on him. Pretty much, he needs to keep powering down, over and over and over. Early in Shaq's career they used to call him for offensive fouls, eventually, the refs adapted and held their whistle, because that is how he was going to play, and the NBA wants their "star players playing". Howard needs to continue being aggressive, even if he fouls out some, and eventually, they'll adapt to him, because everyone knows he's a big part of the NBA's future.

    The other thought I had was relating to what big figure was talking about with the starting lineup. There is no doubt that Darko will be a starter. Hell, the Magic are already better off with him on the court than Battie. As time passes, it'll be way to obvious to hold him from the starting lineup. Still, as of now I can live with him coming off the bench because he did get winded a few times tonight because he's not used to playing big minutes. But once his conditioning improves, there is no reason why he shouldn't be out there starting with Dwight. To continue with the thought on starting spots, I think you missed one with Carlos Arroyo. Honestly, what is the coaching staff trying to prove by bringing Arroyo off the bench exactly? He already has proven he is the best point guard they have by far and he needs to be getting 30 plus minutes a game at least. Are they worried about offending KEYON DOOLING or something? It should be obvious to everyone that the Magic are simply a better team when Arroyo is running the offense. With that said, I like Dooling, he'll be a great spark off the bench, but he's not a starter in my book, and Arroyo has already made a bigger impact on this team than Dooling has.

    It's hard for me to pick a starting lineup as of today, because this team changing from day to night. But if I had to pick 5 guys to play the 4th quarter right now, I'd go with Arroyo, Hill, Hedo, Howard, and Darko.

    For a last thought, I really hope Ariza works out for us.

  • At 10:18 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Either one of the starting line-ups that Big Figure and Introvert316 have suggested are fine with me. I hear that Keyon is a very positive force in the locker room and, it seems that, so is Carlos. Desahwn being a defensive stopper still has my praise, but due to BS Hill's system he has turned into a reluctant long range shooter. Last year he shot 3s in the mid 30s and was not afraid to put it up. If he improves his willingness and ability to shoot 3s, then he has my vote for the SG position, at which case Grant goes back to his natural SF position. That move would also be strengthened by the fact that our center in Darko (when starts) is a shooter, as well.

  • At 10:41 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    If you look at the magic's roster without them ever playing a game,the two best players on the team are grant & hedo,i mean theyre the only guys with the ability to score 30 points on any given night and both shoot freethrows well,why dont they start together,i really dont know how i've missed this for so long,i said it before one time but didnt really stick to it,and after thinking about it,they are our two best players,just like new jersey starts carter and jefferson,we could have our own little version with hedo and grant,THEY WOULD BE DEADLY TOGETHER,dwight comes in as the third best player on the team,then darko fourth,those four should start no matter what,pick a point guard,we got three good one's! I'm sold on those four as starters,i wont be happy untill coach goes with hedo and grant for more than just fourth quarters,i'm gonna post this shit till theyre starters!

  • At 10:56 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Deshawn and tony need to be moved to the bench so that our best players can be on the floor!

  • At 11:39 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    4 games into the Carlos\Darko experiment and they are both proving to be NBA players. It seems like this trade has worked out. With 27 games to go in the season there is nothing to lose playing both of them 30 minutes a game in preparation for next year.

    I was disappointed that Ariza did not play. I would have liked to see how he matched up defensively against T-Mac.

    For once we will go into the draft not desperate for a C or PG. Add a good rookie SG/SF out of the draft and there is hope for the playoffs next year.

  • At 4:26 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    You guys really make a good, sound case for going with a different starting lineup, and I agree a hundred percent, but I'm afraid that Coach Hill doesn't have the same sound logic as all of us do! He might go to his grave sticking with Battie and Deshawn as starters, but there's no doubt in my mind, as you guys have said, that the Magic would be better off with those two coming off the bench. Look how long Coach Hill went with the same starting lineup that lost so many games recently. Only when the Francis trade was made did he change the lineup.

    With JNelson coming back in a few weeks, I think he and Arroyo should be our PGs, with GHill and Dooling our SGs. Hedo at SF, and DHoward and Darko at PF/C. Deshawn could come off the bench for either the SG/SF positions, Diener either guard position, and Battie at C/PF. Don't forget about Trevor Ariza; I think he could become a nice player off the bench also. Oh yeah, do we still have to play Garrity? Knowing BHill I'm sure he would.

  • At 9:38 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Mike, I am glad that you mentioned Ariza. Moving Grant to start at SG would open up a sub position in SF that suits Ariza. I totally agree that we should play him since he is a decent defender and a good shooter. There could, however, be some reluctance to play him due to the fact that his about $600,000 contract expires this season, and if he shines they might not be able to re-sign him for a reasonable salary. The downside to such scheme is that if he gets frustrated for the lack of playing time he may leave, regardless.


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