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, April 05, 2006

Magic blow big lead but hang on for win vs Bucks

Thanks to yet more hot shooting, the Magic built a 20 pt lead in the third quarter against MIL, saw the Bucks come back to take a one point lead with under a minute left in the fourth, but re-took the lead and won 108-105, despite a career night from Bucks guard TJ Ford.

Ford scored a career high 34 pts along with 11 pts, and the Magic had no answer for his speed and quickness attacking the basket. Michael Redd added 25 pts. Bobby Simmons and Charlie Bell added 11. HTurkoglu led the Magic with 24 pts, and DHoward added 19 pts and 17 rebs. Three players off the bench scored in double figures, led by CArroyo with 17 pts. KDooling scored 14, and Darko added 10 pts. The Magic were able to overcome JNelson's worst game ever since he became starter. He scored just 2 pts with 4 TOs and fouled out in just 16 minutes. Arroyo stepped in and did the job instead.

Despite MIL hitting 11 of 24 shots from 3 pt range, the Magic outscored MIL from the field 87-81. The Magic shot 55.3%, (42 of 76), while MIL shot 44.9% (35 of 78). The Bucks outscored the Magic from the FT line 24-21, as MIL shot 80% from the line compared to 77.8% by the Magic. The Magic controlled the boards 43-33, but were sloppy with the ball with 18 TOs, compared to 15 by MIL. Both teams had 19 assists. The Magic bench was huge, outscoring the MIL bench 49-24.

Despite blowing the big lead, not taking good care of the ball, and being totally dominated by TJ Ford, the Magic still had enough poise to re-take the lead and hang on for their eighth home win in a row and 10 out of 14 overall. DET is next Friday.


  • At 11:29 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    If someone had told me before this game that the Bucks would hit 11 of 24 three point FGs, that MIL would hit 80% of their FTs, that TJ Ford would score 34 pts and Redd 25, that the Magic would commit 18 TOs, and that Jameer would score just 2 pts, I would have thought the Bucks would win this game by at least 15 pts.

    That the Magic won shows what great depth they have... if one or more of the starters aren't playing well, the bench comes in and picks up the slack. Shooting 55% from the field really helps mask some of the negatives too.

    BHill has developed a nice 9 to 10 man rotation that is gaining more chemistry and comfidence with each game.

  • At 11:33 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Sorry, that should be "confidence".

  • At 11:55 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Does anybody want to mention Hill's goof up twice in the last 9 seconds? This game should have never been this close let alone the possibility of losing it.

  • At 5:59 AM, Blogger Ken said…

    The final minutes were a bit of a nailbiter. Loosing a 20 pt lead and getting careless with the ball could have cost them the game. But for players who are still learning to play with one another, I think they showed alot of poise. I know the last 9 seconds were a bit of a clusterfu#k, but I have seen the Magic loose more than their share of these kinds of games, but they hung in there and didn't give up.

    I think Keyon Dooling really summed it up best... Early in the game, Matt Goukas was talking about his interview with Keyon Dooling and Goukas asked Keyon about how well our 2nd unit has been playing, and Dooling said that, they (the team) didn't look at it that way, as the first unit and the 2nd unit on the floor, but instead as 1 team, and that they each played a roll at different times during the game. These guys seem to have a firm grasp on the "Team" concept, and are only going to get better.

  • At 10:44 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Credit needs to be given to the bucks for not giving up,when the magic took such a big third quarter lead,i knew it would be hard to hold on to it for a quarter and a half,its very hard to keep focus and play with the same intensity when your winning by twenty points,the bucks just lulled their way back into the game,which is a lesson this team needed to learn,and b/c the bucks shoot three's so well,they are probably the only team we'll ever play that can come back that easily,with that said,the magic showed character & pride while taking the bucks best shot at making a comeback down the stretch,i knew the bucks would make a run,and they did,the fact that the magic held them off,means we have a good collection of guys,that are playing very well together,and even when they dont have their "A game" they can find a way to win,i love this team!

  • At 11:03 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    With 9 seconds left on the clock, MIL is bringing up the ball and 4 out of 5 of their players are proven 3-point shooters who have dumped 11 3-pointer on us. By the time the ball gets to our circle there is about 5 seconds left on the clock but nobody is given the go-ahead to foul. Why? Because Mr. Hill doesn't believe in fouling. Later with 3 seconds left on the clock while we have the ball instead of taking a time-out and move the ball up the court, the ball is thrown in, stolen by Ford who launches a 3-pointer that is luckily missed. You think that this bonehead has changed?

    back to history ... We lost the second game to Houston in that infamous finals because he didn't believe in fouling, and Kenny Smith drained a 3 to send it to overtime and we went to Houston while had lost both of our home games. This season we lost a heart breaker to CLE in overtime because he didn't want to foul, and Marshal drained a 3 while being defended by Garrity. Two goof-ups in one shot. I understand that CLE loss was a bit of aberration since nobody expected Marshal to try a 3 with much time left on the clock, but what was Garrity doing in the game while we are defending a 3-point lead?

    I really wanted somebody else to make the observation and mention the goof-up. How many more crucial games we should lose before Hill gets it in his empty head that fouling a competent 3-point shooting team is the logical way to go?

  • At 11:11 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    The Magic couldn't ask for a better win. There were many lessons to be learned in a game like this. I'm seeing words like "pride", "character", "chemistry", "confidence", "depth", and "team" being mentioned from a group of true Magic fans. We couldn't have much more hope for next year with all things considered. The only thing that is a shame is we won't make the playoffs, and we won't land a top 5 pick. I guess it's a good thing that the draft is a "crap shoot" anyway. The only guy I'd love to have is Adam Morrison.

  • At 11:17 AM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    I liked when Matt Guakos noted that the referees had no interest in letting the players decide who wins the game.

    Some of those calls on Nelson just plain sucked. He showed a lot of self control not hitting the ref in the head with the ball on that 6th foul charge call. 6 fouls, 2 points?

    Good win in that they didn't give up after losing the lead and playing 5 against 8.

    If any of these refs are working the playoffs the NBA has a real problem.

  • At 11:18 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Half of the coaches in the NBA do not believe in fouling in situations like that.

    In regards to your history lesson, that was game 1. It would have never came down to that if Nick could have made even 1 of 4 from the line. The 2nd game wasn't as close.

    Honest question... Did we have any timeouts left last night? If we had anything, it was only a 20. And I honestly don't know, can you advance the ball on a 20? I knew what B Hill was going for. He was screaming at a couple of our players to hurry up and inbound the ball while the defense was slacking off, but they didn't, the defense was able to setup, and the game was almost tied.

  • At 11:22 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    That's another good point by werdevos. The game shouldn't have been as close as it was. There were at least 2 horrible calls that went against us in the final minute. Deshawn d-ed up on Redd and blocked the hell out of his shot which was a joke of a call. But I understand, they have to start "hyping" the playoff teams. It's not exactly looking good for the NBA Playoffs when a lottery team like the Magic are beating all these "playoff teams". I'm sure they'll make it up nicely and job us in a few of these final games, namely, Detroit, Miami, and SA since they are all "contenders".

  • At 12:29 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    The reason nobody else mentioned that is b/c no one else agree's with that,YOU NEVER FOUL,if you foul,what if the guy at the line hits the first,then misses the second but one of your guys miss times his jump and they tip it back in,GAME TIED,you never foul and give the other team an opportunity to score with the clock stopped thats the number one rule in sports,you use the %'s at that time,and %'s say when a team "expects" you to shoot a three,your %'s go way down,even though they came down with proven shooters in the last second,we're so much better defensively (garritty doesnt get minutes anymore)that they didnt get a good look untill hedo fumbled the ball,if he secure's it,they dont even get that look or a good look,so the coach isnt to blame,and "IMO" didnt "goof-up" or make "boneheaded" decision's,he did whats right,b/c they never left 105pts,with your strategy it guarantee's that they would've finished with more points than that,and we probably lose,i'll take the results we got! And by the way,houston beat us b/c we were young & inexperienced more than anything,dennis was fat and out of shape,which he stayed his whole career,eastern finals ron harper shut him down (which allowed phil jackson to play pippen on hardaway) and we didnt get our usuall production from dennis in the eastern finals or in the finals,robert horry shut him dowmn too,at least nick,penny & shaq scored points,that was the biggest reason we lost,we depended on dennis to spread the floor for nick and shaq to post up,but when you can put your weakest defender on dennis and take him out of the game,they could shut us down easily,now b/c we had such a good five,if we could have gotten something from dennis and improved free-throw shooting we could have won the series,but our loss was in no way shape or form b/c BSH didnt foul,thats just rediculous,there's so many factors that go into why we dint win that series!

  • At 12:44 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    A good factual example,against the bulls a couple of games ago,scott skiles knew that he had a foul to give in the fourth quarter against us (with only a few minutes remaining),so he told kirk hinrich to use it,but what happened is as soon as he went to give it on jameer,jameer pulled up for a three while he was trying to give the foul,turning it into three free-throws,instead of us getting the ball out of bounds,those free-throws put us up by two b/c jameer missed one,a few possessions later keyon hits a three to put us up by five points,game over,if skiles doesnt foul maybe jameer or someone else on our team misses a shot attempt,game still tied,with them going the other way with the ball (the bulls) with the chance to take the lead,you never know what can happen when you foul,so not doing it is always the smartest choice!

  • At 12:57 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Boy do I remember Dennis hurting us in those playoffs. He was so slow and out of shape. He of course flourished when we played a team that had no defense, but in the playoffs, where pretty much everyone plays some D he struggled. Teams like Chicago played us straight up and we struggled, especially in the 96 playoffs. Dennis Scott was the reason why Brian Shaw ended up playing more minutes than he should. Still, there were many reasons we lost that series, of which the biggest I think was lack of experience. Anyway, that was damn near 11 years ago, so that's all I'm going to say about that.

  • At 2:56 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    It was a harrowing finish, but everything turned alright for the Magic.

    Matt believes in fouling the opposing team in that situation (up by 3 in the final seconds so that the opposition doesn't get off a 3 pt shot). But as the rest of you guys have pointed out, there are some valid reasons not to foul in that situation also. So many things could go wrong if you stop the clock and put the other team on the line, as Big Figure pointed out. As Intro said, probably half the coaches in the league don't believe in fouling in that situation either.

    As for what happened in the final few seconds last night, with the messed-up inbounds pass, I blame the players for lack of execution inbounding the ball more than I do BHill.

    Who can ever forget Nick Anderson missing those 4 FTs in the final seconds of Game 1 of the 1995 NBA Finals (any one of which would have sealed the game for the Magic).

    The Magic did great beating the Michael Jordan-led Bulls to advance that year. That was the only time in the 90s after the Bulls started winning their 6 NBA titles that a Jordan-led team would go down to defeat in the playoffs.

    The Bulls got their revenge on the Magic the following year, with a dominating sweep in the Eastern finals.

    That was then, this is now. 10 wins in 14 games... this team is really showing us what a bright future we have to look forward to. Like Omar said, the players seem to have a firm grasp on the "team" concept.

  • At 5:55 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    Watching Noah and Horford tear up the NCAA's beating press after press makes me think Hill should have

    Called a timeout.

    Have Darko throw the inbounds pass to one of the tall guys, either Hedo or Battie. (Not Howard he either has baby hands or stone hands...)

    I'm not sure Hill is into situational substitutions though.

  • At 10:45 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 10:46 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Folks, enough is enough. The comments on my points for the last 9 second of the game are laughable. Any student of the basic statistics can prove based on the law of averages the validity of fouling when protecting a 3-point lead. Since this is not a classroom, I don't get into it.

    As for blaming the bad pass on the players, it is beyond laughable. The reason for moving the ball to half court is clear ... larger space to throw the ball to (even to the backcourt); and in case of an errant pass (especially with 3 seconds left) the opposing team has to come a longer way, and spend a longer time to get in scoring position thus reducing the possibility of an errant pass, as well as scoring oportunity for the opposing team. Blaming poor Hedo for it is as bad as blaming poor Nick for missed free throws that he probably would take to his grave. Let's show some mercy and a bit of logic.

    If you want to equate optimism with blindness that's the way to go. The reason for the game becoming so close, in my view, was because we allowed too many 3-pointer on a bad system, and the coach failed to adjust when MIL went small. Any response in sidestepping and trying to spin the issue would receive no response from me.

  • At 2:10 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Oh, but I'll give a response... Thank you Mr. Wizard! I wish I was a "student of the basic statistics" so after that win, instead of reflecting on any positives, I'd dwell on two negatives, and that is all I'd point out and all I'd talk about even though in the end, we still got the W.

    I already have stomach/stress/ulcer problems, if I had a sweet mindset like yours, I'd be dead now. But I guess it works for you...

  • At 3:51 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Matt, the Magic came back after falling behind in the final minute and won the game... that's the bottom line.

  • At 9:41 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    I have been called all kind of names when posting on Sentinel's blog, of which some of you may recall a few. You would be surprised that one of them was "ultimate optimist". That was the time that I was advocating at the start of the season that the front office and the coach should be given time until they deal with injuries and other issues on their hands. Changing my position based on the season's observation while the season is winding down, doesn't make me a pessimist, and entitled to being called names. I still have been positive when I had a chance (and all were not pointed out by others) and have given credit when credit was due. For example, I thought numbers did not support Darko's trade with Arroyo attached, but since then I expressed my pleasant surprise. I, however, do not give up on pointing deficiencies since addressing them would be the driving force to improvement. In business, successful companies have excellent Quality Control Systems in place to monitor flaws and insure continued improvement. Why would anybody give up a quality control system on the Magic?

  • At 10:45 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Based on the law of averages,you should know that fouling is the easiest way to get yourself beat,thats why you never see NBA coaches use that strategy,color commentators love to suggest it when games are coming to an end,but coaches never do it b/c the "make one,miss one,get the rebound and put it back in some kind of way" chances,when all you have to do is tell your players to give them the lane to the basket,and guard the three point line only,five guys all at the three point line spread out is gonna make it very hard to shoot (look at the shot kukoc eventually got,AIR BALL),so the strategy that we used worked perfect! Oh and the only reason they got another shot attempt is b/c hedo fumbled the rebound out of bounds off of kukoc's air ball,thats what i was talking about,thats the fumble i was refering too,the "move the ball up the court issue" doesnt even come in to play if again "HEDO SECURES THE REBOUND",so forget the move the ball stuff,it would have been game over right then,If "you" want to blame BSH for the game going on longer than that,go right ahead,but the "truth" has been told! And blameing a coach for a bad pass is the stupidest thing i've ever heard,matt "no matter" where the ball is (under the basket,baseline,mid-court)its a players responsibility to take pride in making a good pass "NO MATTER WHER YOU ARE ON THE COURT",if your in a situation where you "cant" advance the ball,does that give your players the excuse that they can turnover the ball just b/c it wasnt advanced,Thats just rediculuos,advanced or not advanced,the player has to make a good pass,sure advancing it makes the pass easier,but they've been doing this they're whole lives there's no excuse for not making a decent side out of bounds pass!

  • At 1:13 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Big Figure, go back and read your post again. You are fighting against your own logic that taking the ball up the court would make it easier to pass. Hedo fumbled the ball ... OK, done and over with. What does it have to do with making it easier for the Magic to not only pass the ball into the court, but also more difficult for the opposing team to score, which is coach's decision?

    Now as for the law of averages on fouling or not fouling; that's not too complicated of a calculation ... give me two percentages: 1) The percentage of attacking team grabbing the rebound; 2) The percentage of attacking player being able to score after the rebound or tip in. These numbers could be subjective, but you need to remember that at a situation like that defending team will bring in its best rebounders/shot blockers and/or its best defenders.

  • At 2:13 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Sorry that should read "attacking team grabbing the rebound after the missed free throw".

  • At 3:00 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Matt, I think it's good that you point out the deficiencies of the Magic that you think the rest of us miss when discussing a particular game. We may not agree with some of what you bring out, but as we all know, the Magic are not a perfect team, and BHill is not a perfect coach.

    Like you said, pointing out deficiencies is the driving force to improvement. That being said, 10 wins in 14 games and 8 home wins in a row with our revamped team shows much improvement over where the Magic were 2 months ago. The players deserve most of the credit, but the front office and coaching staff deserve some too. All the positives that have occurred in that stretch certainly outweigh any negatives that may creep up from game to game.

  • At 3:00 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    This trend has to come to an end. Every thing that I am posting is argued to death, and quite senselessly at times. It also seems that some instead of speaking on their own behalf, are insinuating that they are reflecting the opinion of the whole blog. That conveys an attitude as though I am in an absolute minority, which is fine with me, but in the long run and in the eyes of new bloggers joining, could be unproductive in terms of allowing opposite views to come to the forefront. I like this group, and I had a share in bringing the group together. Meanwhile, I have a limited time to give to this blog and my patience is running thin and my interest is waning.

    Let's put this "To Foul or Not to Foul" issue to rest. When I say from a law of averages standpoint it is better to foul, I am crunching numbers in my head. If you come back and say based on the law of averages not fouling is recommended, I would say show me the numbers. You could have asked me the same ... prove it. The problem is it all starts with subjective numbers, and that 's why I wanted somebody else to give me the numbers that they are comfortable with. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that in the case of fouling, the opposing team makes the the first free throw (if it doesn't the whole bid is off) and then intentionally misses the second. I think that the percentage of the attacking team to rebound the missed free throw is less than 50% (since the defending team will have its best rebounders/shotblockers on the court) but I will give it a 50/50 weight. Now if the attacking team is in the position to rebound or tip in, what is the percentage of scoring? let's give the attacking team a 60% chance. That would leave us with a 30% overall percentage. Let's not forget that it all depends on making the first free throw or the whole deal is off. Now we go back and take a look at the capacity of the opposing team in making 3s. MIL, for example, shot in above 40% for the night. So is it fair to assume that they have that capacity to shoot at between 35% to 40% if they get one last or two last chances? There is our answer based on law of averages ... 35-40 as compared with 30 in the case of fouling, and yet all that depending on making the 1st free throw.

    having all that said, every thing is relative. You look at the capacity of a particular team to make 3s. Some of the younger more tech savvy coaches that I have witnessed, have a background support putting all that stat on their fingertips. I think with Magic Tom Sterner has that capacity, but he is on the floor during the games, and I haven't watched any of the Magic games in the arena lately., so I don't know if any of that info is being passed on to the coaching staff from a backstage support during the game, in addition to half time. Please enlighten me if you have any insight to such practice by Magic.

    One other thing that we could do to put this baby to rest is, since Mike is so good with researching numbers, to find out if there are any statistical numbers with regard to percentages of attacking teams rebounding a missed free throw, as well as the percentage of scoring afterwards.

  • At 10:00 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Matt, even though you say you have limited time to give to this blog, you always seem to do a pretty good job explaining where you're coming from when it comes to your particular views, even though some of us might not necessarily agree with them.

    We need and value your input about the Magic, so don't get frustrated.

    In the "foul or not to foul" situation, with the numbers you gave in your explanation, they did make some sense while reading through them. In the case of a team ahead by three and fouling the other team so they can't shoot a three, you're right, the defending team will have their top rebounders/shot blockers in the lane to try and rebound the missed FT. However, if the defending team chooses not to foul, they would have their defenders all near the three point line, so it would be a little harder than normal for the offensive team to put up a clean three.

    Like you said, Matt, everything is relative in regards to the numbers. It all depends on a coach's preference in that situation. That's a good question you posed in regard to if the Magic have any support staff that pass along relevant stats about the opposing team to the coaching staff during the course of the game. I don't know if they do or not; wish I could apply for a job like that.

    When I have time, I'll do some surfing on the internet to see if I can find any statistical numbers with regard to attacking teams rebounding a missed FT and scoring afterwards. If I find any relevant information, I'll post it.

  • At 10:23 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Mike, you are right about teams trying to defend 3-pointers when they are up by 3. However, we see time after time that good 3-point shooting teams get their shots off, and some based on luck and in desperation. I don't know what is the numbers on that. You may just bump into that number while surfing.


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