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, April 18, 2006

The State of the Magic

It has been a while since I have posted on this blog, and a lot has happened. Congratulations to the Magic players for an exciting finish to the season. As a long time Magic fan I am excited for the future prospects. I see that the blog has expanded and has attracted some bloggers in addition to the contributors. I also see that one of major contributors who was, in my opinion, a voice of wisdom and reality is sitting on the sideline. Let me put my dime in and sign off since I do not agree with this shortsightedness caused by extreme sense of excitement. Last year, Golden States was beating up on everybody towards the end of the season, but that did not carry over to the next season. Chemistry is not something that you could bottle up. Let me give some perspective to this state of the Magic:
  1. Magic has a nice core of players, but only one debatable superstar in Dwight, and that's it. As exciting as a player that Jameer is, he is not a superstar. To go places you need to have two superstars. So if someone tells me there is no need for Grant next year, I say check your head.
  2. It was excruciating to follow some of the postings on the so-called "foul or not to foul". On the side line was the issue of a timeout that Hill could have called, that he didn't. I give Hill credit for staying out of the way of the players who have played their guts out. But come next season and a fresh start, Hill would impose his autocratic nonsense of a system, I assure you. Hill is not taking this or any team anywhere. he has proven that he is not a capable coach, and that's the end of that discussion, at least for me.
  3. Otis Smith has done well for the Magic, but nobody is as stupid as Isiah Thomas or as desperate as Joe Dumars trying to sign a franchise player. We have witnessed the results of light weight managers promoted to the GM level ... Gabriel and likes. They are good up to a certain limit, and then wheels come off from underneath. It is a cut throat business, and you need a lot more than basic knowledge, and a lot of good intentions.
  4. The arena issue is a very complicated issue (go back and read some of the earlier postings on this blog to refresh your memory). It is more of a political issue with a bit of accounting in the mix. The key is held by hotels' industry (Rosen), which is not excited by the recent Magic success, I assure you. Mayor Dyer has all good intentions, but he can't offer any thing more than the city's resources, which is not much. Mayor Crotty is not suicidal, so he is not gonna oppose Rosen and the Hotels' industry moguls for the sake of an out-of-towner who has not proven that he is willing to put some of his own money on the table as a sign of good faith.

At the end, the state of the Magic is bright unless some moron comes in to mess it up. When a veteran leadership is added to this group of players, sky is the limit. They can go places hard to imagine. That, however, would not happen with Brian Hill and this front office.

You can blast me as much as you want, but to no avail. I am going back to the sideline.


  • At 10:04 AM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    Why the duck and run and where have you been?

    Anyway, no blasting, just a few friendly rejoinders to your offset your pessimism.

    1. Golden State example is a non sequitur. Last year: March 6-9, April 4-6. Finished on a 4-0 run 2 wins coming vs. Portland.

    2. During Jan/Feb activity dropped to nothing at this blog because it was so damned depressing to follow that team. The renaissance that followed the trades pepped us all up and rightfully makes us excited about the future.

    3. Not just the bloggers. Magic completed the season with 10 sellouts. There were only 9 over the previous two seasons.

    4. When I became an NBA fan the rule was 3 stars. Bulls, then Lakers changed it to 2. Tim Duncan and San Antonio changed it to 1 & Detroit did it with 0 superstars. It probably depends on the quality of the supporting cast.

    5. I would add Darko to the list. If you consider this year to (finally) be his rookie year in the NBA he is a damn fine prospect. He is also younger than Chris Paul. Makes me optimistic thinking about two young 7 footers leading the way. In the last 25 years it's only been tried with Houston (Akeem/Sampson), San Antonio (Duncan/Robinson). And they should both be juniors in college next year!

    6. Has there ever been a more beloved team-wrecker than Grant Hill? Sure it's not his fault, but he destroyed the Magic the last 6 years, not once finishing a season by being on the court. The single best thing about the end of this season is it was accomplished without Hill playing the last 20 games. In the 21 he played in the team record was 6-15. Great guy, great veteran but the only value he has left on-court is his expiring contract.

    7. We all equally hated B.Hill here but by the end of the year he proved to be a middle-of-the-pack coach. I still don't like his in-game moves but give him credit to let a young team play through its mistakes. Arroyo was almost ruined in Utah/Detroit by coaches who pulled him after every mistake. It took forever, but when Milicic and Ariza were finally inserted into the lineups they were allowed to play. And it's amazing how much better anyone can coach when his ball pounding PG gets sent out of town.

    8. I'm the guy who kept calling Otis a moron on the Sentinel and I was wrong. Other than the Spanish Guy (and Twardzik has scout responsibility, so gets more blame) he has not screwed up. He deserves the job and the team will have a bright future and long run of winning basketball with his approach to team chemistry and cap management.

    9. Why would you follow one thread if it's excruciating? Move on.

    10. A motivated fan base is the key to a new arena. Between the winning, Dwight the Beast, Darko's fundamentals and Arroyos Latin roots the TDW dump started to sell out. I've never met Dyer but know quite a bit about Crotty who is all about politics. It can get done just like it did in Tampa (twice).

    11. After years away from the place I saw them three times in the last 5 weeks. They are a good team now. Darko & Arroyo know how to spread the floor and move the ball. When they are on the court they are constantly pointing to teammates where they need to move to. Because of them moving without the ball became contagious and everyone got into it. Howard got 6 assists one night. Turk stopped being a black hole and improved his passing game. They smile and laugh a lot. Every time Arroyo makes an amazing play the PR flags come out. Even saw a bunch of Turkish flags one night in response. Next year the Serbs will probably show up.

    Next year we will buy a package of games for the family and start going to games again on a regular basis.

  • At 10:40 AM, Blogger Pete said…

    WeRDevos, thanks for the kind words and the friendly reminders. I don't have the time or the patience to get into stating of the obvious, time after time, and that's why I don't find this blog, or many other blogs for that matter, appealing. I enjoyed some of Matt's posting since they made business sense. I am not pessimist about Magic's future but I don't base all optimism on a nice nucleus of players. I don't think that the organizational structures are in place to support this young group for whom sky is the limit. Additionally, I don't share your optimism that next season Brian Hill will behave as he did towards the end of the season when the stakes were so low.
    I have met both Dyer and Crotty. Dyer is sincere in his desire to assist in building a new arena, but he doesn't hold the key ... Crotty does. I wish Crotty would have decided on the public support (which is not there yet), but one cannot expect him to take that as the only determining factor. Without new arena, Magic is as good as gone from this town in a couple of years, especially with the sweet taste of success.

    That's it for me. I will read the blog when I get a chance. There are a couple of contributors that I still care for. I wish Matt will re-join.

  • At 10:43 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    We're on the same page weR,pete's opinion's 1-3 were just that,opinion's,point 4 is probably somewhat accurate but i disagree in the fact that,this team playing well,and fans coming to the games like they have been (10 sellouts),is reason to get negotiation's back going,losing made them stop,but more so,i respect pete's opinion's,even though there were alot of just general statements in there,and not one's that stick to a certain position,after reading all that,i still dont know what pete thinks this team will accomplish next year,in one statemnet he says the future's bright,in the next we're still gonna suck b/c BHill's the coach,i'm confused? Oh yeah,We all agreed (except pete i guess,not sure) that grant needed to be a sixth man,so i guess that means we need to check our heads then? And dwight the superstar? Thats not even debateable in my opinion,how can you be a superstar,when your not even an all-star? Dwight,darko,and jameer in my opinion have potential to become allstars,but the pistons & spurs showed that in this day and age,superstars arent needed to win championships,which makes that a non issue!

  • At 1:14 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    Four last points.

    1. It's a group blog which hopefully generates a diversity of views without devolving into flame wars. Here's hoping everyone finds the time to contribute what and when they can.

    2. TDW was hopping in April. Everyone should dedicate themselves to making at least a game or two next year. (That includes Illinois Mike, though may be a stretch for Mattieu)

    3. This offseason will be interesting as the team tries to lock up the core of young guys, add a few cheap parts without screwing up the chemistry, and keeps open the opportunity for adding a star in 2007.

    4. We need to attract more commenters next year.

  • At 1:59 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Pete, it was nice seeing your post and some of the nice things you had to say about the Magic, and that you're excited for the future prospects of the team. You're certainly entitled to your views about Brian Hill and the front office, but I respectfully disagree.

    I tend to be on the side of WeRDevos and his views, as he did an excellent job in his 15 or so points expressing how he feels about the team, coaching, front office, and this blog.

    Pete, I wish that you and Matt would re-consider your decision not to contribute to the blog, and will decide to re-join us. We all want the best for the Magic, so everyone's views and opinions are appreciated and needed.

    Lastly, WeRDevos, I made it out to 2 Magic games this season on my holiday vacation to Orlando, and can't wait for next season and my holiday vacation... hope the Magic have lots of home games in Dec. and Jan.

  • At 1:10 AM, Blogger Ken said…

    Although I appreciate Petes' point of view, I unfortunately don't share his views on the future of this team.
    I don't think anyone here is suffering from, as you say, "shortsightedness just because we don't look at this as nothing but a buisiness adventure.

    This is the first time since Grant Hill was signed that any Magic fan has had something to actually cheer about. A young, athletic core of players who are really just now getting their feet wet in the NBA, but they displayed they can play "team" basketball and are only going to get better as they get older.
    Everyone here knows that BHill is not the one who is going to take this team to the next level. He's a middle school girls' team coach at best. But he'll do for now. At least for right now, the players seem to respect him and are attempting to buy into his so-called system. It's not the best system, but as long as they believe they can win, and do keep winning (yet to be seen) that has to count for something.
    Signing a superstar sounds great, if it's the right fit with this team. They had a so-called superstar, Tmac, who couldn't get along with anyone and then sits out the final month because it isn't worth his effort. GHill would have been perfect, but age and injuries don't make that possible anymore.
    This organization is far from perfect. Absentee owners, inexperienced GM's and a coach who is coaching on borrowed time. But despite all that, this group of players are showing they can compete amoung the best. But don't confuse our excitement and optomistic outlook for this group of young, talented players as a sign of shortsightedness.

    On a final note: I also hope Matt decides to return. He is a knowlegable and respected contributor and member here. So come on back Matt!

  • At 10:03 AM, Blogger Pete said…

    Ken, I appreciate your comments. However, I don't see that we are in disagreement on the future of the Magic as much as it seems from the surface. I don't doubt the bright future for this group of young talented players, but we might disagree on how to go about keeping the core together, and the chemistry in place while cashing on the future add ons. You agree to the limitations of the coach, the front office and the ownership, but say the coach will do for now. I will take Hill if he stays out of the way of the players, as he did in the last 3 weeks of the season, come next season. I doubt he would though, based on the prior experience and due to the fact that stakes and expectations would be much higher to the extent that Hill will impose his authority.

    What's wrong about the blog, as I was viewing it from far was this attempt to justify and even cover up some of the shortcomings and deficiencies by some contributors. The exchanges on foul or not foul was plain foolish. To blame the players when coach had to take a timeout and move the ball up the court was beyond foolish. Who has the patience with such exchanges? I know that I don't. I am sorry that I had to mention this since no one spoke in defense of Matt, whose views I can connect with and appreciate from a business standpoint.

  • At 10:43 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Matt had a valid point in that situation. Still, it's a 50/50 around the league in regards to foul or not to foul. In regards to not advancing the ball up the court, that was stupid, but I honestly didn't know if we had any timeouts left. If we did it would have been plain ignorant to not advance it being that they needed a 3 pointer to tie the game. Honestly, I didn't think I came down on him bad about it. If anything, I think the reason nobody sided with him had nothing to do with whether he was right or wrong. Everyone was on a "high" because of a big Magic win, and Matt, once again, taking a realistic view, first and only thing to point out about the game was the short comings in the end. The Magic won the game, period. Fans around here are starved for something to cheer about, they have been for years. So, being that this is the brightest it's been here for many years, everyone just wants to enjoy it and soak it up. Why dwell on bad when good things are happening? As far as Matt goes, he was one of the main reasons I'm on this blog. In time I expect him to get his butt back in gear, off the bench, and back in the game!

  • At 2:43 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Pete mentioned in his original post that Golden State had a great finish to last season and were a big disappointment this season. I did some further research on Golden State's finish last season.

    They had a 10-6 record the month of March and an 8-3 record the month of April, though 4 of their last 5 wins came against non-playoff teams. GS also finished with 15 wins in their last 20 games.

    That's very similar to this year's Magic team, as Pete pointed out. However, injuries, especially to Baron Davis (who missed 28 games this season), really hurt GS.

    The Magic have every reason to believe that the same thing that happened to GS this season will not happen to the Magic next season. It will be up to the coaching staff to keep the team motivated and focused on every game, and they did a nice job the last 5 weeks in that area.

  • At 4:09 PM, Blogger Pete said…

    Nice job Mike, on researching the Golden Sates situation. Your conclusion, however, is based on the premises that since the coaching staff has done a good job towards the end of the season, that trend may carry over to the next season. That premises is questionable as the stakes and expectations will be much higher by the start of next seasons which may cause a more restricted approach by Hill.

    Honestly, I would like to see somebody besides Ken mention the limitations and shortcomings of Hill, most of which are well documented on this blog.

  • At 3:45 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Time will tell if Pete and Matt are correct in their thinking that Brian Hill will use a more restrictive approach to the team next season because of the stakes and expectations being higher.

    One can only hope that BHill believes in the old saying, "if it ain't broke...".


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