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 14, 2006

Magic to face Shaq, Heat in back-to-back games

The Magic, losers of 8 of their last 9 games, go into Miami tonight with a 19-30 record and a 6-18 road record. Miami, coming off their best win of the year over DET, is 31-20 with an 18-6 home record. The Magic beat the Heat on Nov. 26th 80-77, but the Heat were without Shaq that game.

The Magic will need to be at their best defensively to stop Shaq (19.6 ppg, 9.2 rebs), and Dwyane Wade (27 pts, 7 assists and 6 rebs per game). Wade is coming off a great game against DET, as he scored the Heat's final 17 pts and finished with 37 pts to give the Heat a last-second win. Shaq scored a season-high 31 pts. Jason Williams (13.1 pts) and Antoine Walker (11.8 pts) also average in double figures. Miami has solid veterans like Gary Payton, Alonzo Mourning, and Udonis Haslem.

Since the Magic are really struggling, I would love to see BHill try a new starting lineup: Keyon Dooling at the point and Francis at shooting guard, with Stevenson at small forward. Dooling has averaged over 10 pts and just under 3 assists a game in only 20+ minutes per game in the last 5 games, so I think he deserves a chance to start until Nelson comes back. Putting Steve at the 2 might snap him out of this horrible 4 game stretch where he has been a shadow of his former self. Have GHill and Hedo come off the bench; that would really improve the depth on the bench along with Garrity, Diener, and Kasun. I wish BHill would at least think about changing something, with the team going so bad and desperately needing a win.

15 Comments:

  • At 8:37 AM, Blogger TragicFan said…

    According to today's Sentinel Brian Hill might try Francis sitting on the bench for the entire game.

    Francis is actually making T-Bag look like a player with desire.

     
  • At 9:47 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Yeah, and that's pretty sad... I guess Hill and Otis are going to "talk" about it. But I expect to see him on the floor starting until after the trade deadline. Pretty much for the simple reason that Nelson is hurt, and if they bench him it'll hurt his trade value a little. His current play is already doing that, but even more so if they bench him. Reports in a few papers pretty much say the only reason the Francis deal hasn't went through with Denver/NY is because Denver is trying to unload K-Mart for lux tax reasons if they brought in Francis and his contract. We pretty much have a week until the deadline, so things should get interesting.

    Something I was thinking about... If you take a look at the Magic roster from top to bottom. Is Steve Francis the only player who is selfish? What I mean by that, is he just lets that "I'm a star-prima donna" attitude go way to far in his head. Everyone else on our team plays like they are doing what they are on the court FOR THE TEAM. I mean really, go up and down the roster, we have a list of humble players, and I don't know that Francis fits. I thought he could, but I don't know anymore. Anyway, that was just my passing thought this morning. I'd just really like to see a "team" here. We have a really nice foundation with Nelson, Howard, Stevenson, Battie, Dooling, Hedo, Diener, and a great veteran in G Hill, although who knows with him. Regardless, in one way or another he'll probably end his career here. Anyway, the point, we have a foundation similar to Detroit's a few years ago, they stayed together longer, added a few pieces, landed Sheed, and we see where they are now. I'm not saying we're that anywhere near that good, but the Magic are not far from becoming a really good team. What do you guys think?

     
  • At 9:51 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Oh, there's a game tonight... Haha... I can't say I'm looking forward to playing the Heat the game after they barely beat Detroit. NBA analysts seem to be jumping on the Heat's bandwagon again after that "big 2 point victory". I like how they are trying to forget that they lost to Dallas by 30+ the game before. I should be used to that crap by now. Anyway, the Magic are in Miami, and don't have much of a chance unless Francis decides to play. If he does, we could steal a victory, especially if G Hill continues playing. But Francis has already implied that nothing is going to change with his game until he feels "secure". So, I expect a loss, Heat by 12.

     
  • At 10:08 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    I like the line-up that Mike has suggested. What I like Magic to do is to play a decent game against MIA. MIA is not big in PF but Magic have to keep enough fresh bodies to use their fouls on Shaq and Alonzo. I also like to see more minutes for Kasun and Diener.

    The melodrama with Francis continues. Absolute incompetence, in mt view. Let me outline the sticky points:

    1 - With Jameer's return in question, the possibility of Francis's trade has decreased unless they receive a serviceable PG in return.
    2 - Whether they sit Francis or not, the way he is acting up his trade value has been compromised.

    They need to have a sincere and open conversation with Francis, and clear up 2 issues with him: 1) The team has urgent need for guards and they have no intention to trade him. However, scenarios may come up that may be good for all involved to have a fresh start. 2) They have to point it out that he is a professional player with many years left in him to play in the league, and he has to be aware that the way he deals with this situation will affect his overall value and long-term image. At the end, they should tell him in order to create more offense for him, and for the team as a whole, he would be playing at SG. Steve, let's be true professionals in dealing with a situation that is unpleasant for all of us... what you say, Steve?

     
  • At 10:23 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Sounds easy right? And it makes total sense... You'd think with the millions and millions of dollars involved something as simple as that wouldn't be an issue.

     
  • At 10:38 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    In reality it's not that easy. It depends on the weight and credibility of the manager. That's why they say, in theory, that all decisions made by the managers have accumulative effects. I suggest that the dialogue be arranged with Bob Vanderwiede and Grant Hill involved, as the representatives of the owners and players, team as a whole.

     
  • At 11:18 AM, Blogger TragicFan said…

    Francis has a guaranteed contract worth more than most people will see in a lifetime and he is complaining about SECURITY!?!?

    Hell - Pay me 1 million a year and I will bust my ass 24/7 no matter what team I play for.

     
  • At 11:26 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Yeah, I always get a kick when NBA players make mention of something like that. Like last year, when Spree turned down a generous contract extension from the Wolves, because he said "he had a family to feed". At least he got a reality check, even if he signs with someone, he still will never get anything close to the amount he turned down. But in Francis case, he needs to learn to keep his mouth shut and just play ball because he has about 50 million heading his way in the next 3 years. Poor baby...

     
  • At 11:48 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    That stuff is not worth getting into since it's all self evident. Francis needs to be reminded that image still means something in NBA, and Spree's case is a good one to point out to him. He needs to act as a professional and take it on the chin for his choices in the past. We all know that our past will follow us no matter where we go. So what would it be? Good memories or bad ones? The choice is his.

     
  • At 1:50 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    ya know,i spent yesterday making some cases for steve,so we wouldnt all just give up on him,but this morning it was like steve just stabbed me in the back,making the statement "my game wont change until im traded or not",that shows me so many things about steve the person,and like intro pointed out we dont need guys on the team that think they're bigger than the team,but the one thing that means he needs to go is,the fact that he's actually admitting that he can turn his game on and off,as if he's trying to hold us hostage,i actually thought that steve was giving his all,even though his play wasnt great i didnt think his effort was in question,and i didnt see anybody else questioning his effort either,even his team mates thought he was playing hard according to reports,but to come out and slap everybody in the face by pretty much saying "i play when i want to" is basically what he's saying,if things are good and quiet i'll play,but if things arent how i like it,i'll take nights off,consecutive nights at that,guys even if we dont get market value or a quality player in return,the first thing i'd do is get rid of steve,and all you guys know,i was the biggest backer of keeping steve and turning him into a shooting guard,not now,no longer will i ever defend steve again!

     
  • At 2:41 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Big Figure, Steve proved that he wants to make the game all about him. We are not going to play that game. Regardless, we need to set up wisely to get the best out of this situation. Since the season is almost lost, I say let's sit tight and play it in a way to maximize his trade value. It's amazing that you can sue any individual or entity for non-performance, but you can do nothing in NBA even when a player openly admits that he is not performing. The only thing you can do is to suspend the player without pay. The problem is that the pros of such action do not offset the cons of losing on the trade opportunities.

     
  • At 3:49 PM, Blogger TragicFan said…

    Matt said - "The only thing you can do is to suspend the player without pay. The problem is that the pros of such action do not offset the cons of losing on the trade opportunities."

    I dunno - seems to have worked out really well for both sides in the Ron Artest deal. Only problem is that our management did not : 1) hold the course last time we suspended him and 2) lied to him about him not being up for trade.

    Double screw-up - You suppose that each screw-up was by a different GM?

     
  • At 4:13 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I'm not an "I told you so" kind of person. I honestly wish I could have been wrong the whole time. But really, to me it was obvious that Steve was turning his game on and off like a switch like you said bigfigure. He just has that style. In the past, when he had "off nights", you could always tell he was still trying... Sure, he might have got a little wild, turned the ball over more, but he was still going. To me, he always played with the energy of Daryl Armstrong, yet he had that extra gift that could make him an all-star. And when you think of the energy and aggression that Armstrong, or Francis brought ever night, it's a night and day thing when it's not there. Now you know why I was bitching and causing such debates with many of you for a while now. It was nothing personal, but Francis has always had that kind of energy and been the kind of guy that will "get his" so to speak, if he wants, and it's obvious since the end of December, that some days he tried, and some days he didn't. A guy like him, going more than a few games with 0 rebounds for the first time in his career, under 10 multiple times, and just not being aggressive. After he came back from his suspension, putting up 23/8/8, even during that stretch, made me really question him, because it was obvious that he was taking nights off before. But the final nail in the coffin was when he stopped playing AGAIN, only 5 games after he was suspended. That was Steve Francis defining moment in a Magic uniform and pretty much sealed any deal to send him on his way out one way or another. And everything about what he is doing just sucks for everyone involved, all the way down to the fans...

     
  • At 8:01 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    The 1st quarter is almost over and I'm reminded why I hate watching the Miami Heat. It's like watching The Circus, or The Globetrotters, or even the WWE. It's a joke. It's so obvious everything is gonna go there way, even the totally bad calls are gonna go there way. The NBA is a joke in many aspects, but that is what happens when money gets involved with things. Regardless, there has been favoritism for over 20 years. Of course it hit a new level in the 90's with The Jordan Rules. I should learn to do what everyone else does, and just pretend that it's all legit, but sometimes the bad officiating is to obvious and it makes the game look like a joke.

     
  • At 9:00 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    Orlando always seems to end up with this exact sort of player, Hardaway, McGrady, and now Francis. The, I'm the star and you are nothing without ME, sort of mentality. I said this back when I first joined on here, that Francis is not able to co-exist with another star who might over-shadow him, such as Grant Hill, and more recently Jameer Nelson, and I believe if given half a chance, that even Deeener can outplay Francis. I say, either bench him or trade him, either way, dosn't matter, but I know EmporerBSHill just dosn't have the balls to do something like that. Lets face it, BSHill is a pussy, and always will be.

     

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