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.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Good team effort helps Magic beat shorthanded Sonics

Led by DHoward (23 pts 16 rebs), four Magic players scored in double figures to help them beat the Sonics 102-89. SEA had only 7 available players for the game and were without star guard Ray Allen, due to stomach flu. The Magic finally broke their 8 game losing streak and a string of 12 losses in 13 games.

Finally, in Darko's third game with the Magic, he played more minutes than PGarrity, and played relatively well also, with 8 pts, 5 rebs, and 2 blocks in 22 minutes. Carlos Arroyo was very impressive, with 18 pts and 4 assists in 26 minutes. GHill, who wasn't even supposed to play, had a nice game with 19 pts. Deshawn Stevenson had 14 pts and 6 rebs. Five SEA players scored in double figures, led by DWilkins (21 pts) and CWilcox (20 pts).

Nice stats for the Magic this game: 52.5% FG shooting, they outrebounded SEA 45-31, and had a brilliant assist-to-turnover ratio of 21-7 (KDooling 5 assists 0 TOs), which shows our guards moved the ball well and took good care of it (in contrast to when Steve was here). Our bench, led by Arroyo, outscored theirs 37-8 (Garrity 7 pts). The Magic's FT shooting was only 72.7%, but it didn't really matter as Seattle made only 3 more FTs than ORL.

Basically, this was a must win for the Magic as the Sonics were so shorthanded, and they came through, and Coach Hill really didn't do anything to mess things up. Maybe we could go on a nice run now!

17 Comments:

  • At 10:33 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    I am glad that nobody had to break a TV set. Grant and Carlos were fantastic. Darko was a smooth operator showing examples of his repertoire of shooting, passing and blocking shots.

     
  • At 11:12 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Matt,i bet seeing grant out there with the starters made you feel good,i thought grant looked fast and on a mission to help this team out,but i told myself that wins dont need alot said about them so i'll keep this short,good job by the coaches and players,sustitutions were the way they should be,keep it up,one game aint enough!

     
  • At 11:51 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Man, did Brian Hill some what get the hint? I mean, I know he was getting blasted for not playing Darko at all. Both Darko and Arroyo got major ovations which was nice. Of course Arroyo had a huge fan backing, which honestly, I didn't mind one bit. I was totally digging a sell out crowd that was into the game from start to finish. Here are some of the thoughts I had during the game.

    1. All the moves that were made is already starting to make a difference in Dwight Howard which is great to see.

    2. We actually looked like a team. The ball kept moving, the team was aggressive on both ends, and our defensive was great for the first time in a long time. Arroyo played some great on the ball defense. Dwight and Darko made a nice impact out there together also.

    3. Darko and Arroyo were just what this team needed. Especially Arroyo as of now. He's brought a lot of life to the city basketball wise just because of being hispanic. But what he does on the court is a site for sore eyes. He really knows how to run a team. It's not often that you see a pure PG these days. I know it's early, but as of now, it'd be safe to say at least one of Darko and/or Arroyo will be a future starter on this team.

    4. Grant Hill; give up some more! If he could only get healthy. Damn...

    Anyway, I just had to get that out. It was just a nice victory for this team. Coach Hill made improvments, and it showed on the court. It's nice to see a TEAM back in Orlando again, even if just for this night. I couldn't have scripted this 1st home game after the trades any better myself.

    *It was also nice to see NY getting booed most of the game. Francis didn't do much, he had 6 meaningless points at the end, but the game was over far before that point.

     
  • At 4:06 AM, Blogger Ken said…

    Great game and fun to watch. We haven't seen that kind of enthusiasm all around in a long long time. Seeing GHill in the starting line-up took me totally by surprise, and there was no way he was going to let this team loose tonight. The sellout crowd made all our new guys feel welcome and right at home, it actually restores some of my faith in the City of Orlando to support our team..

     
  • At 10:30 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 10:32 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    It was nice to see the core of Magic's future bond together. Now we can focus on going out in the market searching for a SG with range. This game would have been decided early if we had a SG to spread the opponent's defense for easy scoring opportunities. When Darko gets comfortable in his skin, he will pull the C or PF of the opposing teams out thus opening the driving lanes.

    The communication is still crucial to keep the team together. I won't worry about Tony or Desahwn or Even Grant to lose their starting positions since they are the ultimate team players. I am not sure about Keyon, though. He left MIA because he felt coming to Orlando, he would either start at SG or sub PG behind Steve, to which he could set no claim. It's a delicate matter to be handled, especially when Jameer comes back and the competition in PG position will get tough. Of course he may fill in sub minutes right after Deshawn in SG position. I hope before Jameer comes back, the team gets on a roll so that the camaraderie builds up a bond between players, new and old alike.

     
  • At 6:23 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Matt,slow it down a little,it was just one win,lets not worry ourselves with what piece we may need to put us over the top,right now the main focus,is to use these next 20something games as audition's for next season,this season was so marred with injury that we couldnt logically expect to be a winning team,the magic was like #4 on the player injury missed games list,so with that said,the rest of this season is like training camp,and building a foundation with our new team,and anything positive from here on out that happens,is iceing on the cake in a injury plagued season,the magic wont see adding a player as a priority b/c we've already added 3 players,before we add someone else the current players need some time together,with the rest of this season plus next season's training camp,the guys should be ready to contend night after night,then you'll probably see the magic put some guys together in a trade for a long range threat,with keyon's size its gonna be hard to get him out of the starting line-up while we're winning,so that could make jameer & carlos expendable,if ariza can hit the three,that might make deshawn expanbable,but i like where we are,with so many pieces we'll be able to find what we want,b/c we have plenty of good players to offer now!

     
  • At 6:37 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    All of us need to keep our focus on keeping the pressure on,lets not be satisfied,last night's game doesnt make up for all the poor play during the "franchize-era",so dwight,you need to continue to improve at the line,and keyon you need to be more agressive when your jumper is off,keep taking the ball to the basket even if you dont get the call,and battie just b/c the basketball is passed to you that doesnt mean you have to jackup a jumpshot,c'mon a seven player seattle team made you guys struggle,so lets get it together,i wanna see a better effort tomorrow from the starters,we should man handle the rockets if t-mac doesnt play (its rumored that he wont),knock on wood!

     
  • At 7:18 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Oh and i almost forgot,last night i made note of,at the 5:37 mark in the first quarter when the game went to commercial,grant was noticeably motioning to the sideline to be subed for b/c he needed a break,the only problem with that is,he was the only starter tired,no one else came out of the game,grant played well while he was fresh,but as the game wore on and the more minutes he logged,the less he did,all grants effectiveness came in the first half,when hedo's the starter at least we get grant's best in the second and fourth quarters,if arroyo doesnt bail us out in the fourth a seven man seattle team might have whupped us,grant as a starter just wear's him out to much,and the proof is in his play,all 19 points came in the first half while he was fresh,and let me tell you,everybody in the league can play well after worm ups,but its the one's who excell while fatigued that become the great one's,and anyone who says that it doesnt matter who starts means you dont know coaching that well,the starters play together about the first 9 minutes of the game,but if your best player in the starting line-up bails out on you at the 5:00 mark,now your team has to start managing bench players into the game earlier than the other team,which is now gonna give them the advantage match-up wise,b/c they'll have a starter vs a bench player,we could manage grants minutes better so that he's fresh whenever he plays,hopefully hedo will be back soon to go back in with the starters,so that if he's not playing well grant can become the finisher,just like arroyo did for keyon last night,and like darko did for battie,we'll be a much stronger team for longer periods with good change of pace closers!

     
  • At 8:15 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Big Figure, with all due respect, I disagree with your statement about Grant. He has been in a and out and hasn't played many game-time minutes, and of course is not in his best condition. That would change, and when he is ready, he should start. He sets the tone offensively early in the game, and stabilizes a fragmented offense that is re-inventing the wheels, nights in nights out, due to a clueless coach. He is a floor leader by example, something Hedo is not. He shoots in a high percentage while Hedo's shooting percentage fluctuates drastically from night to night. When Hedo is hot great, but watch out when he is off as he looks awful.

    The points that I raised about the guards' positions need to be addressed now. I don't want Brian Hill to cause any dissatisfaction by his lack of communications ... Dissatisfaction of the kind that may carry over to summer and beyond. Keyon's situation, in particular, is a delicate one, and should be handled with diligence and care.

     
  • At 2:26 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Now matt,you know i know your magic mindframe good enough to know that you wouldnt agree,it wasnt for your eyes really,b/c you've stated that you think grants fine starting,my comments were for everybody else,they need to see what is actually going on on the court so that they can form their own opinion's,i would have loved to have made up the first half of my post about grant,but they are all facts,grant was subbed for at the 5:37 mark (the only starter subbed for) replaced by augmon b/c of fatigue,then grant's game progressively gets worse throughout the rest of the game,and on top of that has no second half points,all facts! And what they represent is him being used incorrectly,we all know you love grant matt,but the facts dont lie,conserving grants energy and minutes is more important than whether he starts or not,if hedo's healthy he should be the starter b/c this aint the same Ghill,with grant starting,his game covers up to much at a time when your players should be running the offense,with so many extra fast breaks we're not improving offensive execution,but at the 2:00 mark left in the first quarter,you can let grant run and gun for the majority of the second quarter,while we finish the half on an up swing b/c of his energy,but using grant the way you want too,we get grant tired and on the bench when the end of quarters & half's comes around and the other team goes on a run b/c we're not running anymore,if grant can pace himself better then i'll leave him alone,fatigue shouldnt be a factor at this point in the season,and for anyone to say he needs to get his wind back is just stupid,the guy's been riding a stationary bike everyday for months!I like grant,but wont sit by and let him hurt the team,when grant came off the bench those couple of games,that was the best i've seen grant in a long while,and the magic played better for longer stretches,if hedo's not ready to go,then of course grant should start,tonight grant probably gets the start again with hedo just coming back from injury,but how long will grant last as the starter before another nagging injury pops up is the question!

     
  • At 4:55 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Big Figure, I am not arguing the very logical parts of your long posting. All I did was to point out that his game-time conditioning is not there yet. I also pointed to Hedo's fragile shooting percentage.

     
  • At 5:04 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Boy the magic couldnt even make a lay-up in the first quarter,at least they woke up with darko and arroyo,when grant isnt able to create fast breaks we pretty much cant score as the first quarter is my proof (at the 6:00 mark 1 quarter 7 points and no three point attempts in the entire first half),at least if a shooter is out there it'll spread the floor,grant with the starters doesnt look so good when you play a team with size that can force you to play inside out,thats why the magic are struggling,keyon,deshawn & grant all together gives you a pretty easy perimeter to defend b/c none of them shoot three,hedo needs to be out there to make it easy for dwight,keyon has the most size at the point so he should start,and deshawn is our best defender so he should start also,it was pretty easy to see! Hopefully they win in spite of the problems!

     
  • At 5:12 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    And the fact that dwight and deshawn cant find the rim AT ALL,is starting to piss me off,coach needs to take'em out if they cant get their heads in the game,DAMN HOUSTON SUCKS AND THEIR BEATING US!

     
  • At 5:27 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Man i'm tired of this,4:12 mark of the 3rd quarter is the first time bsh went with a line-up with integrity,arroyo,deshawn,augmon,dwight and darko,TOOK THE WHOLE FREAKIN GAME DAMN NEAR! Yao is way to much for battie!

     
  • At 6:03 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    At the 5:12 second mark in the 4th quarter matty guokas says "the magic need hedo out on the floor,at least to spread the defense,then hedo hits a three in mcgrady's face,now matty didnt say who should come off the bench whether it be grant or deshawn,i'm starting to think matt you and i are right,and grant and hedo should start!

     
  • At 7:27 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Good point Big Figure. I agree that starting Grant and Hedo at 2 & 3 has many advantages.

     

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