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.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

No defense for Magic in loss to LAC

Elton Brand (35 pts) and Sam Cassell (26 pts) proved to be a lethal one-two punch for the Clippers against the Magic as the Clippers cruise to a 106-94 victory, the Magic's 3rd straight loss after a promising 5 game winning streak.

All of us agreed that the Magic really needed to step up their defense against the Clippers, but that simply didn't happen. The Clippers could do whatever they wanted on offense, as they outscored the Magic from the field 86-62, shooting a blistering 53.2%, compared to only 38.5% for the Magic. The Magic did well at the FT line, outscoring LA 32-20 on 86.5% FT shooting. The Magic also took better care of the ball, committing only 10 TOs, and out-rebounded the Clippers 40-38. Only 2 Magic players, Dooling and Garrity, played off the bench and outscored the Clipper bench 18-17. But the Clippers' dominant offense, led by Brand and Cassell, was the story of this game. Cuttino Mobley (16 pts) and Chris Kaman (10 pts) also contributed for LAC. The Magic, led by Steve Francis's 21 pts, had 6 players in double figures, but were no match for the Clippers.

The only good thing that happened for the Magic was that both WAS and CHI lost Wednesday night. The Magic remain a game behind the Bulls and 2 and a half games behind WAS for the last playoff spot. With GHill and Jameer Nelson almost ready to come back, the Magic must make their move soon, because as we all know, they face a very difficult schedule this month.


  • At 5:22 AM, Blogger Ken said…

    5 steps forward... 3 steps backwards... Just about what we've come to expect, not much has changed. This one was quite painful to watch. I had to wait until now to post something because, quite honestly, I was pretty much speechless after this one. So, after several tokes, and some dwelling on it, then a few more tokes, heres how i saw it.

    LA manhandled the Magic. I know the stat sheet shows otherwise, but they just seemed to dominate Howard and Battie in the low post. Kaman, the creepiest looking center in the NBA, controled the low post the entire night. Maybe not with points and rebounds, but by his agressivness and not letting anyone just waltz through the lane.

    Although the Magic shot selection this time was a bit better, these long droughts of not being able to make a basket are killing them. 2 or 3 for 13 and the like are not gonna get it done.
    Turkglu... 4-15

    Every team has their shooting slups throught a season, but...... damn. Just seems like we have more "off nites" than we do "on".

    If the league awared a "Bonehead Award" the Magic would be the clear winner tonight with their 3 on 0 missed dunk. Did anyone else almost cry?

    Just one more observation: It seemed like the Magic were constantly on the loosing end of whistle. Howard takes the ball to the basket, is double teamed and hammered to the floor. No whistle. Then they get called for some bullshit touch foul at the other end. They couldn't catch a break.
    I hate whining about officiating. I understand the refs have a difficult job, but come-on. They get called for so many crap fouls that after a while they start getting gun shy. Why drive the lane, get hammered to the floor, and then be called for traveling or an offensive foul when the guy defender is directly under the basket? It gets disheartening after a while.

  • At 8:47 AM, Blogger TragicFan said…

    Ugh - Been traveling and was home to catch the "game" last night.

    That was ugly - We win a few in a row, and then implode.

    For me it keeps coming back to the coach. Consistency requires good coaching, which we don't have.

  • At 9:53 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    I don't know how to put this in decent words without trying to mask my disgust; it was a real coaching stinker. With Battie being in foul trouble, and Garrity and Howard being our big men for the majority minutes of the game, Kaman and Brand were free to roam as they wished. If Garrity is not scoring, why not use a longer better defender like Morris, that is of course if you want to go small? You can also use Kasun to put Barnd and Kaman on their backs a couple of times instead of allowing them (especially Kaman) to get too close to the basket. Brand was not overpowering anyone; he was just shooting above every body's hand. I don't make a lot out of the missed dunk by Howard. Francis could have dunked it himself but elected to elevate Howard's spirit (good news), and it was just a silly mistake by a young sophomore. That's not where we lost the game. In a familiar trend, the Sentinel makes a dramatic exploitation of the situation, and an unwarranted quote from the coach that plays more into the fragile psyche of the team.

    Now the news on Jameer's foot is not that good. Sentinel reports there could be something wrong with the joint rather than a sprain. The report is sketchy and let's hope that is not to be true.

  • At 11:45 AM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    It's just more of the same. I only caught the 2nd half. I looked like there were more empty seats than full.

    B-VDW is quoted in today's Sentinel saying he wants to see the team fully healthy before worrying about trades. After six years of watching Grant Hill crumble I don't even know what to think. His wisdom will be in the owners chair shortly.

    Grant Hill was on the active roster last night, sitting on the bench wearing a suit. Cato, Outlaw & Nelson were inactive.

    Meanwhile, Hill only used 7 last night, not even playing Diener. Something about "match-ups." Augmun, Diener, Kasun & Morris got DNP-CD's.

    I wonder what it would be like to live in a town where the local basketball team forced the other coach to worry about "match-ups?"

  • At 12:04 PM, Blogger Pete said…

    Well said everybody. I just wanted to add a bit about coach's decision to go small for scoring. If that's the case why not go small with Diener? Smaller backcourt is preferred to smaller frontcourt for 2 reasons:

    1 - Smaller frontcourt is more susceptible to allowing 3 point opportunities (2+1).
    2 - Smaller frontcourt decreases inside rebounding opportunities.

    Now, let's set aside the special situation with Elton Brand, and look at the overall numbers for Garrity and Diener throughout the season:

    Garrity: 43.8% and 39.6% 3-pointers
    Diener: 45.6% and 46.8% 3-pointers

    Now, unless there are other variables, that I am not aware of, Isn't it obvious which way the coach should go?

  • At 12:34 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    It's not clear to me why Brian Hill has so much faith in Garrity. It gets to the point that all objectivity is extracted out of it. A 7-man rotation with only Dooling and Garrity coming off the bench? Is that the best we can do? Ouch!!!

  • At 12:37 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Well pete,one thing i noticed about coach hill is he's gonna do it his way,we post all the time things he could do better,but when the game starts none of the good basketball knowledge that we show is ever used in games,as if he's coaching from a handbook on how to lose properly,he hasnt realized yet that steve plays his best at the two? Steve has to much game to be playing a position of structure and stability,thats why we went on a five game win streak when jameer was moved into the starting line-up,personally i would have left steve at the two and started keyon when jameer got hurt,that way steve's resposibilities wouldnt have changed,which was to create and score,in that role he had some of the best games of his career,triple doubles and all!

  • At 1:19 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    And also,how do you know if a guy is going to be a bad match-up,if he never takes a step off the bench? Mario could have been huge against kaman,neither is very athletic so speed or size wouldnt have been an issue,like J. Davis when i realized he wasnt even using his best players (deshawn not being used for one)i was ready for him to go,and now coach hill wont use certain players,so i'm about ready for him to go also,ya know when more than one person is saying the same thing,then that usually means your idea's are wrong or they dont work,time to be humble coach hill and start listening to the fans! Travis and mario need PLAYING TIME PRONTO!!!!!!! I'M ABOUT SICK OF THIS!

  • At 1:20 PM, Blogger Pete said…

    Big Figure, excellent points. Steve has been an exemplary teammate as of late, and coach Hill better use him to the team's advantage while this lasts. As for Hill's doing it his way, who does he think he is? Frank Sinatra?

  • At 1:40 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    At this point i'm just waiting for the all-star break,after the little vacation,we should have everybody back from injury,a full complement of players for the first time this season,that is when we'll see what we have,they'll have had some time to practice together,and coach hill will be able to start his true starting line-up,there will be no excuses from that point on,if we sustain any injuries (grant's history means he's likely) major/minor and have poeple out for extended periods of time,than i'm gonna chalk this season up to injuries and start thinking about the draft and what lottery pick we'll have,if we can keep guys healthy for the stretch run or at least most of the second half of the season,then we could make some noise b/c washington isnt going anywhere fast with the wins,knock on wood! Jameer,steve,grant,dwight and cato is the only starting line-up that will win,keyon,deshawn,turk,pat and battie is the perfect second team,and you also have trav and mario for depth at guard & big-man!

  • At 2:23 PM, Blogger TragicFan said…

    Wow - Bunch of great comments. I love the group we have here.

    Only thing I have to add is that ESPN rumors today is basically saying that Steve in on his best behavior so he can get a good trade. Personally I think Steve can be very good for us, but for him to do that he has to think he can win.

    I really fear losing Howard like so many talented stars we have had.

  • At 2:47 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    I just glanced over the Sentinel's blog. There is a lot of usual ranting after any loss and trade suggestions of a bunch of players, but what is obvious is the negative views of Coach Hill. With Bob Vander Weide taking over, the main issue would be pushing for the new arena. But they cannot push for the new arena if they don't win on the basketball court. If the pressure builds up, I am not sure that the ownership would stick to their stated policy of "Coach Hill is our coach".

  • At 7:06 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    We all saw how well the Magic can play as a team during their 5 game winning streak, yet the same group of players have played so poorly during the 3 game losing streak. No wonder so many people are not happy with Coach Hill. He's not preparing or motivating the team well enough every game. Consistency is the key; a 5 game winning streak followed by a 3 game losing streak is not doing much for team morale and all the fans of the team. Obviously, it will be a huge boost for the Magic to get Nelson, GHill and even Cato back. I like Big Figure's idea of a starting lineup and bench rotation once we get everyone back healthy.


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