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, February 21, 2006

Magic return to action against Cleveland, LeBron

The Magic have a 19-32 record coming off the All-Star break, and have lost 6 in a row and 10 out of 11. The Cavs are a solid 31-21, holding down the fourth spot in the East, and have a 19-7 home record. The Magic are just 6-19 on the road.

CLE, of course, is led by star LeBron James, who averages 31.2 pts, 7 rebs, and 6.6 assists per game. Former Magic power forward Drew Gooden is having a solid year, averaging nearly 11 pts and 9 rebs per game. Zydrunas Ilgauskas averages 16 pts, and Donyell Marshall nearly 10 pts a game. Larry Hughes, who is averaging 16 pts, is injured and out for the year with a dislocated finger, which really hurts CLE's depth.

The Magic have 6 players averaging in double figures, led by Francis who is averaging 16.3 pts. But might this be Steve's last week in a Magic uniform? Grant Hill, trying to stay healthy, is averaging 15.6 ppg. Of course, all us Magic fans are really looking forward to the Magic debuts of Darko Milicic and Carlos Arroyo. Don't expect either player to start until they get more familiar with the offense.

Lots of questions to be answered tonight. Will Francis's struggles continue as the trading deadline approaches? Will Coach Hill be more flexible with the starting lineup and bench rotation now that the Magic are deeper? Will Grant Hill get more minutes now that he is healthy? How many minutes will Arroyo and Darko get? The Magic are 9 1/2 pt underdogs for tonight's game (www.pinnaclesports.com).


  • At 9:38 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    It's nice to see Darko play, and I assume good minutes, tonight. Besides him being the top project for the Magic, we are not deep at PF and C positions, and that asks for more minutes for him, by itself. he should definitely steal some minutes from Garrity. Arroyo's playing time depends on Francis's situation. I hear around that if Francis's trade is not materialized before the deadline, the trade with DET makes less sense. As for Grant, in my view, as soon as he dusts off the cob webs, he should resume his starting position in SF. GO MAGIC!!!

  • At 10:35 AM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    That's funny!

    "Don't expect either player to start until they get more familiar with the offense."

    Reminds me of a Doc Rivers quote. After the team took off on a tear following the deal for Gooden & Giricek. And Doc says something to the effect of "wait until we have time to hold a practice and coach them properly..." Naturally it happened and the team stopped winning!

    So I guess Hill will want to make sure they can't score before he plays them!

    More likely 7 footer Darko doesn't play against the 7'3" Ilgauskas because the 6'10" Battie is a better "match-up"

  • At 11:15 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    weR that was not only funny but right on,steve,deshawn,turk,dwight & tony will probably be our starting line-up tonight,b/c coach hill says that tony battie deserve's to start,i cant see darko or arroyo getting a start at this early date under coach hill,so the starters should look the same,as much as i hate to admit it! And i agree with matt,if steve isnt moved why the hell do the deal with detroit?

  • At 4:16 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    You all got it right, I agree with matt that Hill should start when he says he's ready, and personally, for what we've gotten out of him the last 4 years, I'd like to see him sweating blood while he's on the floor. I'd ride him like a $2.00 mule. I felt sorry for Grant after the first couple of surguries, now i'll just take whatever we can get outta him.

    I also agree with WRD and big, a couple of practices under the BSHill regime should pretty much mess up Darko and Arroyo, they'll soon look like, when they actually play, the rest of the guys... dribbling the ball off there feet, throwing to no particular teammate when they aren't prepared for it, horrendous offensive sets, shot clock violations. Yes, BSHill will develop them nicely, they'll be parked right next to Deeener and Kasun and the mop kid.

  • At 6:59 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    If steve is on the trading block (and only management knows the truth on that),then i would shut him dowm until he's moved,how do they expect to get a quality game out of steve,if he's dealing with security issue's,i wouldnt want to play for a team thats trying to trade me,let alone give my all,so to me,if your gonna eventually move the guy,at least respect him enough to tell him,and then shut him down and play with what you have until he's moved,or you get a guy who's half in the game,and noticably tanking games,i'd rather be short a player,then have him ACT as if he's trying!

  • At 8:20 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    First half... Garity 12 minutes; Milicic 2 minutes. BS Hill is a first class example of stubbornness.


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