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, March 28, 2006

Magic fourth quarter comeback stuns Bulls

In the opening seconds of the fourth quarter, CHI pulled to an 84-73 lead over the Magic, then proceeded to miss an astonishing 17 shots in a row before finishing the quarter 3 of 21 from the field and only 3 of 8 from the FT line as the Magic pulled off a stunning comeback win 97-93.

Five players scored in double figures for the Magic, led by JNelson with 24. HTurkoglu (15 pts) hit a couple of big shots late in the game. KDooling had an outstanding game off the bench (15 pts on 6 of 7 FG), CArroyo added 13 and Darko added 12 pts to go along with 8 rebs and 4 blocks, and he altered several other Bulls shots down low. Andres Nocioni had a career-high 26 pts for the Bulls. Luol Deng had 14, Kirk Heinrich 14 pts, 12 assists and 7 steals, and Ben Gordon 12. The Magic bench outplayed one of the best benches in the NBA, outscoring the Bulls bench by twice as much 43-21.

The Bulls outscored the Magic from the field 78-77, but wound up shooting just 42.4%. ORL shot a respectable 48%. The Magic won the game at the FT line, shooting 20 of 27 (74.1%), while the Bulls shot a pitiful 15 of 28 (53.6%). CHI did outrebound the Magic 42-38, and had a better assist-to-turnover ratio of 21-11 compared to 17-17 for the Magic.

In his post-game press conference, Bulls coach Scott Skiles complemented the Magic guards for being quicker than the Bulls guards and that the Bulls had a hard time keeping up with them, especially in the fourth quarter. He also said the Bulls didn't have an answer for Hedo and the big shots he made, and finally said that the Magic are a much-improved team since the two trades were made.

A huge win for the Magic, as this is exactly the type of game they would have lost, especially on the road, just a few weeks ago. They have now won 4 in a row and 8 out of 11, and severely damaged the Bulls playoff hopes.


  • At 12:17 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Some observations from the Bulls announcers:

    1) They remarked at how much better the Magic offense looks since Steve Francis was traded; that he committed too many TOs and tried to do too much by himself.

    2) They complemented Brian Hill for sitting Dwight and going with a smaller, quicker lineup that really gave the Bulls problems. Dwight did not have a good game, shooting only 3 of 10 and had 4 TOs in just 29 minutes.

    3) At the same time, they did say that Dwight is a "Tim Duncan-type of player."

    4) They, too, marveled at Darko and what a difference he makes down low with his shot-blocking abilities and his shooting range on offense.

    In the fourth qr., I thought the Magic were still going to lose the game, as they only scored 6 points the first 6 minutes of the quarter compared to the 2 for the Bulls. But the Magic continued to plug away, refusing to allow the Bulls to get back on track. The Magic hit the big shots in the final minutes, made their FTs, and the Bulls didn't. The Magic are now 5 games behind Philly for the last playoff spot with 11 to play. What a win!

  • At 12:47 AM, Blogger Ken said…

    Incredible win tonight for the Magic. I think this win showed the character and unselfishness of all our players. Honestly, after watching the first quarter, I really didn't give them much of a chance to win this one. It just seemed like the Bulls were everywhere on the court and couldn't miss a shot. The Magic appeared to be completely outhustled on both ends. But they kept it fairly close for 3 quarters, and in the 4th their skill and determination took over. Did I mention this was an Incredible win?

    The only low point, for me anyway, was when BSH had to give his buttmonkeygarrity 5 or 6 minutes just to show he's still his boy. Thankfully he wasn't out there long enough to get many touches and do any harm. I don't want to beat a dead horse, but, buttmonkeygarrity is i'm afraid, still going to get his minutes at the cost of Darko or Trevor. I am just praying he is traded or put on the injured list or something, anything, just don't let BSH have any chance to play him at all... And thats all I got to say about that, for now. Did I mention Incredible win?

  • At 8:58 AM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    Exciting glimpse of the future watching Darko & Ariza on the court at the end of a winning road game.

    These wins at the end of the season with the new guys makes me feel much better about next season than counting on an iffy draft.

    Mike, you shoulda gone!

  • At 9:09 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Dido to all. Just a quick note ... I think re-signing Ariza, right now before his value goes up, should be a priority, much more than exercising the option to extend Jameer's and Dwight's contract, which had more of a symbolic effect rather than being a pressing business decision.

  • At 10:06 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    WOW,thats all i can say,i dont think we've ever seen the magic beat a small scrappy team at their own game,on their own floor for that matter,jameer did what ever he wanted with a so called all league defender in skiles opinion (hinrich),jameer is an all-star in the making,and hedo,who new that he could cross-over,first time i ever saw hedo use a cross to get off a jumpshot,and he hit it right in nocioni's face,carlos and keyon were great,darko too,even ariza came in and kept up his solid play,i think the fact that dwight,deshawn & tony,didnt get any minutes in the fourth is a testament to the great coaching job coach hill did last night,it also tells me that coach hill was searching the whole game for a line-up that was going to defend,so jameer,keyon,ariza,hedo & darko,pretty much got all the fourth quarter minutes,when we went to this line-up the bulls didnt have any answer's b/c its a match-up line-up,in the first quarter the only difference in the game was nocioni was killing battie,but when we put hedo and ariza at the forwards,he struggled in the second half b/c they can match his footspeed which battie couldnt and shouldnt be able to do as a true power forward,coach hill did a hell of a job last night and that should be recognized,he actually out coached skiles and when we matched up we showed that we're the better team,the trades made all the difference!

  • At 10:18 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Against ATL & char,the last two teams to play us in small ball,coach hill didnt match-up,he chose to stay with his traditional rotation and tried to impose our will and style of play on the other team,but the problem with that was,our players were turning over the ball to much and missing to many freethrows to be able to win on the road playing our style,but last night coach hill did something i didnt think he'd ever do,and thats go with a match-up line-up,play the other teams style and try to beat them at their own game,he did (match-up line-up),we did (play their game),and we won,so maybe coach hill is finally realizing that we've got a collection of players that can play any style with all the depth we have,put in dwight and you can play inside out,put in darko and you can play a perimeter pick and roll game,we've proved that we can run,and proved last night that we can win a possession game

  • At 10:36 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I said to myself before the game,that win or lose,if the magic can just compete with a playoff caliber team like the bulls,a team that made the playoffs last year,that it would be good enough for me b/c obviously WE'RE not there yet,but after watching last nights game,the way the bulls defended us with so much toughness,the way hinrich was drapped all over jameer all night at 4 or 5 inches taller,the way the building felt anytime the bulls did something good,it proved to me that this team is for real,and isnt afraid to stand in the face of adversity,was it me or did that game kinda have a playoff feel to it? I think anyone watching could tell that these teams were playing for more than just a regular season win in a basketball game,i was quite animated at my television cheering on our team,my wife would probably say "to loudly" though,she complained the whole neighborhood could hear me,who cares they were playing to well in the fourth standing up to the bulls!

  • At 10:56 AM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    Calm down Big. They are not there yet.

    Looking at the upcoming schedule is not pretty. I'll be very happy if they go 6-5 the rest of the way. Downright giddy if they do better.

    This teams prospects are so much better than last September. Hardly a team in the league has two legit big men and 3 speedy guards.

    With a couple minutes to go last night Duhon was driving for a layup. Darko rotated, hands up, and Duhon botched the layup. Makes me excited to see what can happen when Darko is in shape and he and Dwight start learning how to play together.

  • At 11:05 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I cant weR,"THIS" team makes me happy,but i will say that i dont think i said anything too out of perspective,or did i?

  • At 11:49 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I havent been this happy about our team since the summer before signing tracy and grant when we had just finished a 500 season at 41-41,eveybody thought tracy and grant would be a championship in the making and it never happened,but here we go again,with a group that has shown they can make us proud,i think my first post was giving my opinion on the game,my second post describe's how we were beaten by two teams,and my third post just shows how my mood was during the game and how "I" felt we stood up to the bulls in the face of adversity,i wasnt calm "during" the game,but calm now of course,i dont think my comments are "jumping the gun" so to speak,"if" thats what you meant by "they are not there yet",b/c i dont think their great yet,but they did stand up to the bulls last night in the face of adversity!

  • At 12:04 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I'm right there with you BIG. This team makes me happy. It's obvious to me that we have a group of guys that are a "playoff caliber team". We're pretty much better than the 5-8 seeded teams in the eastern conf. playoff standings. And even though we're young, I don't think I'm getting carried away.

    Matt; you're right, they should resign Ariza right now and not risk losing him or having to pay him more.

    The Magic have 11 games left, but only 4 our on the road. The 4 road games will be really difficult being that we're playing Minn, Miami, the Spurs, and the Pacers. I pretty much assume a 1-3 or 2-2 at best with those games. And even though we play Detroit, Dallas, and the Bucks at home, I still think we'll finish out 5-2 at home. So I'm right there with you werdevos in a 6-5 or generous 7-4 finish.

    Last thought on the draft... The projected top 10 lottery picks are changing almost daily. Rudy Gay was the #1 pick as of a few weeks ago, now he's projected around 7. So it looks as if the Magic will have just as good of a chance to steal a talented player no matter where they draft in the lottery.

  • At 2:08 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    WeRDevos, I would have been the only one in the United Center standing and cheering at the end of the game.

    Whoever thought that Brian Hill would outcoach Scott Skiles to help the Magic win the game?

  • At 4:16 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Let's not get carried away with the end result. The first half was an absolute disaster from the coaching standpoint. The fact that players picked away by their determination and resolve, and some were brilliant like Jameer, Darko, Hedo and Keyon while others were solid like Carlos, Deshawn and Trevor (all in my view) in-spite of dwight having an off night, does not have much to do with Hill. Let me list the positives and Negatives of Hill's coaching:

    Positives: 1) Playing Darko at the end instead of Battie (but wasn't that an obvious choice based on his game v. Battie's?); 2) Going small when found out that Dwight is off and he needs to match up instead of pounding inside.

    Negatives: 1) Garrity's presence ; 2) Not starting Darko ; 3) Wasting the whole first half and part of the 3rd quarter to adjust.

    In general we know Hill's limitations. He cannot consistently match up with high profile coaches in the league. We have to wait and see what he does next before we hand him key to the town.

  • At 5:28 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    "absolute coaching disaster"? How can coaching be to blame if we turned over the ball to much? That was the biggest reason our first half was bad according to the color commentators,we can compensate for nocioni with jameer's scoring,but you cant compensate for giving the other team easy baskets,coaching cant be the sole reason for a bad half when you turnover the ball,the players have to take some of that resposibility,which would make the claim of total disaster a little harsh on hill!! Oh and you forgot some of coach hill's positive's from last night like (1)playing ariza instead of dwight last night,i love dwight but he didnt have it going,(2) playing keyon instead of deshawn,which is working out great in the fourth(3)and making a half time adjustment for our players to force everything baseline,which helped our players defensively,the second half the bulls really couldnt score,IMO coach hill did an excellent job dealing with careless play in the first half (b/c the players were pissing me off in the first half),and "getting them to focus on taking every possession seriously",that came right out of keyon doolings mouth,thats something that the players couldnt have done for themselves,so coach hill needs to be given credit for the dicsipline they showed down the stretch,IMO! And matt saying something like "handing him the keys to the town" would insinuate that we can only talk bad about the guy,and when we say something good that we're getting on his bandwagon as a "great" coach or something just b/c we pointed out some things,i'm just giving credit when its do,doesnt mean i think he's even a good coach let alone great,just means he did a good job last night,THATS IT,i understand that things will happen once in a blue moon,maybe last night the moon was blue?

  • At 6:04 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    IMO,only number three of your negatives was actually a negative,the fact that he took so long to match up is correct,but garrity's minutes came at a time when he needed to open up the lane for jameer and darko,you throw pat out there and insantly the bulls had to respect him,which got jameer some easy passes to darko off the role for some lay-ups down the stretch,did pat do anything else but just spread the floor "NOPE",but at least he did that and didnt do anything to hurt us,we obviously came out with the win!And i dont think darko is ready to start "Yet" for two reason's,(1)when he started against atl when dwight was late,he was getting pushed around by every big-man the hawks had,and i said to myself that's why coach hill isnt starting him,i expect it from zaza,but josh howard & al harrington too? their both small forwards!(2)Battie's been a starting playoff caliber player,and at least to finish "this season" battie give's us the best starting option,sure darko will block more shots,but battie has played against every big man we will face,so he might know some things to get a guy of track at the begining of games,and darko can be his shot blocking change of pace off the bench,while they share equall minutes,darko doesnt have the pressure of being the opposite coaches focal point of defense either off the bench,so he's able to sneak up on teams with his defensive presence off the bench,and it wouldnt be smart to change players role's while they are playing well,there's only 11 games left so i'm not so worried about who starts,who finishes is more important,and last night darko finished,i'm happy with that!

  • At 6:29 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Oops i think dwight was late to the new york game and didnt start,but whatever the case,darko needs to work on his toughness & stamina,which both will come with time,i expect that with a whole training camp and pre-season,he'll be the starter next year,as far as our starting line-up now,its good enough to win as long as we protect the ball!

  • At 8:10 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    All of us here are quick to criticize Coach Hill whenever he makes a coaching or strategic mistake, and that's our right to do so, as long as we back our criticisms with solid reasoning.

    To be fair, whenever he makes good coaching decisions, that should be pointed out too, as we have done with our comments about the Bulls game.

    We have a right to like or dislike a coach or player, but we should always be fair in our criticisms. Like Matt and Big Figure have said, this was only one game, and we have to see how Hill does the rest of the season.

  • At 9:41 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    I might have missed a few positives about coaching in this particular game. At this point I am not concerned with being fair based on single games. For a long time into the season, I have been all about giving Hill a chance to prove his worth. That time has passed, and I am more convinced than ever that Hill is not only a below average coach but rather a bad influence that can mess up a good thing. To sum up briefly, his lack of communication, his offensive ineptness (how could a coach ignore one major component of a basketball game as mentioned in a recent Deshawn's statement? Couldn't he at least assign one of his assistants to the task?), and his lack of ability to adjust (whether from game to game or in the flow of a game) show astounding incompetence. I still believe that his lack of communication and pigheadedness was the main cause of Francis's fiasco, which derailed a promising season. Please note that I am underlining "main".

    Based upon the aforementioned, I am all about pushing Hill out of this job. If he does good from game to game, good for his future resume, but it does not concern me. I am not going to give him a fair shake at this time since, in my view, we have passed that phase. I hope that for the good of the team you all would join me to echo this drive for bringing in a coach that could take the team to a higher plateau. Now, if in the process we are going to be unfair to Hill or be quiet about some positives, on per game basis, so be it. You may call me cruel, or give me any other title relative to being mean-spirited, and I accept it. In my view it's all about business, and I have no kindness to pass around when somebody is messing with my interests, either intentionally or by way of incompetence.

  • At 10:48 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Well matt,at least this time you've made yourself "clear",i can respect your position and or opinion's,but "IMO" nobody would have been able to do much with a steve francis lead team,so from that standpoint i've started my evaluation over from the days of the trades,and given coach hill a fresh slate,we're about 500% or so since the trades,so as long as coach hill can "keep up" "not messing up the team",i'll leave him alone for now,b/c i realize as much as i want a new coach,they probably wont replace him,unless we start off next season unbeleivably bad,but i'd love a new coach,i "KNOW" hubie brown would be an upgrade!

  • At 11:10 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    With all due respect, I disagree on the Francis's premises of your posting. My point is that with a better communicating coach, it would not have never developed into that ugly explosion.

  • At 12:25 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    "better communicating coach",ok well lets look at the coaches involved,Rudy T.,Jeff Van Gundy,BHill and Larry Brown,out of those four,you cant claim that all four are non communicating coaches,b/c all four have coached in the NBA finals,at least one of them has to be a good communicator (i would say Rudy T. & Larry Brown),the fact that in seven years "with some good coaches" steve's lead a team to the playoffs "ONCE" means its not the coaches,and furthermore steve played well after the "go back in the game incident",so if blame should be given it probably should go to management,b/c steve started his funk (or explosion as you descibed) when the trade scenario's came up,cant blame the coach for management leaving a guy in limbo for a couple of weeks right?

  • At 3:04 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Matt, you refer to Brian Hill's "offensive ineptness" as showing "astound incompetence." Before the trades were made, that was true. However, since the trades were made over a month ago, most people can see that the Magic's offense looks a lot better than it was when Francis was here. Even the Bulls announcers said as much!

    Here's a quote from Bulls coach Scott Skiles: "This is not the same team we beat before... they (the Magic) turned into a ball movement team. Before, they used to dribble it to death. I played for Brian Hill and I know how he wants to play and that is to share the ball." I think we can interpret that as a direct knock on Steve Francis.

    Even opposing coaches and announcers can see the improvement of the Magic offensively since the trade.

    Like Big Figure said, Coach Hill should be given a fresh slate in terms of evaluation after the trades were made. We all know he did not do a good job before the trades. Ask me next year at this time if I think Hill is a good coach or not, as he will begin next season with a solid corps of young players and one of the deepest benches in the league. So there will be no excuses.

  • At 4:59 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    A lot has been posted by me and others on Hill's situation. His offensive ineptness is not a new issue. Even after trade, Big figure posted a couple of times that on offense, players are figuring it out on the fly, on any given night. Deshawn has mentioned recently that coach's focus is all on defense. Even in Shaq and Penny's era he had nothing to offer on offense.

    His lack of communication is also well documented throughout his coaching career. Once again, if he and/or the management had figured out what was wrong with Francis long before the mop-up incidence resulting in his suspension and eventual trade rumors and actual trade, we probably did not have to see that ugly fiasco.

    The old say about "not experimenting what is experimented" applies to Hill. He basically accomplished nothing in his coaching career except in the Sahq and Penny era, and I posted once that even my grandma could have taken that team to the finals with the difference of not being swept.

    That's it for me gentleman. If you are willing to give him another chance, that's your call. Beware though when his reach in damaging the team's prospect extends beyond just simple plain incompetence.

  • At 2:08 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    All of Brian Hill's many flaws have been well-documented by us in the last two months. That doesn't mean that he can't learn from them and be a better coach.

    With all the injuries and personnel changes the Magic have undergone this season, and since the front office has done a real good job setting up Hill and the Magic for future success, I am wiling to give Hill the benefit of the doubt at least through the first half of next season.

    No matter how badly one might want Hill to be replaced after this season, it's just not going to happen because of the reasons I mentioned.

  • At 4:44 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    I am sorry that I failed to get my points across. It's not about what Hill has or has not done in this last go around with the Magic. This guy has a long resume that doesn't particularly cry competence. I was one of the ones at minority view that, while condemning Penny & Company's revolt, were happy that this guy was thrown out. The first 3 quarters of the season proved to me, once again, that he hasn't learnt much and is the same foolish, stubborn and pigheaded guy with limited basketball IQ and minimum communication skills. That assessment had nothing to do with the injuries and/or team's success or failure. I respect anybody's wish to give him another chance, but remeber that you are allowing it at the team's peril.


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