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.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Great start for Magic in rout of Bulls

The Magic brought out their 'A' game, led by DHoward's 27 pts and 11 rebs, for a surprisingly easy 109-94 triumph over a Bulls team coming off a 42 pt win in Miami the previous night.

Lots of good performances for the Magic in addition to Dwight. JNelson (21 pts on 7 of 8 shooting), GHill (19 pts), and HTurkoglu (11 pts 7 rebs).

The Magic dominated statistically. They outshot the Bulls 59.3% (35 of 59 including 6 of 8 3 pt FG) to 45.1% (37 of 82). Even though the Magic was outscored from the field 80-76 by CHI, the Magic had a huge edge in FTs (ORL 33-42 78.6%; CHI 14-24 58.3%). Magic had a solid edge on the boards 36-27. Magic had 21 assists, but only negative was 23 TOs to 15 for CHI. Magic also had a decisive edge on fast break pts and pts in the paint. The Bulls bench outscored the Magic bench 38-27. CArroyo and Darko led the reserves with 7 pts each.

The Magic totally frustrated the Bulls, as they could not get out on the break against the Magic like they did against the Heat. The Magic showed what a talented, athletic team they have. Nice job by the offense running the break when they had the opportunity. Great job by the Magic D forcing the Bulls to take jump shots. Dwight was a monster on both ends. A healthy Grant Hill makes the Magic that much better. Can you believe that PGarrity didn't play a single minute? And dare I say it... good job coaching by BHill during the game and preparing the Magic for this game.


  • At 3:28 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I guess you can say the long wait for the season to begin was worth it... wow, what a performance by the Magic!

    I re-read the pre-game analysis by you guys, and it was right on the money, as everyone brought out solid points in their keys to a Magic victory over the Bulls. However, who would have thought the Magic would commit 23 TOs and win so easily?

    Matt, very solid analysis of the Bulls on your part about them being too much of a jump-shooting team. Also, you were closest out of all of us in your prediction of the final score.

    Great to see Jameer have such an outstanding game shooting-wise. I would like to see a better assist-to-TO ratio however. Though the numbers didn't really show it, I thought Battie played outstanding defense down low, and that helped force the Bulls into taking jump shots.

    I know all of us were worried that Pat would be playing minutes at Darko's expense, but Pat didn't play a single minute.

    Great FG shooting and 3 pt FG shooting by the Magic.

    Great to see a full house at TDW and the fans so into the game... I'm sure we'll see a lot of full houses here this season.

    Bring on the 76'ers Friday night!

  • At 3:50 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I remember having that conversation back when the Bulls brought in Wallace. Their fault last year, and in the playoffs was they had no inside scoring presence. By dropping 60 million on Wallace they basically gave up on the idea of scoring in the paint figuring their defense would make up for it and allow them to be a jump shooting team. When it came down to it, it didn't matter if they had two of the best big defenders in the league with Wallace and Brown because Dwight was able to do ANYTHING he wanted against them. They had no answer for Howard, and it was great to watch!

    Grant and Howard both played well as I thought they would. Arroyo didn't look bad, but he didn't look great. The same goes for Darko. Darko seems to need a little time on the floor before he gets in the flow of the game. How that is going to be addressed, I don't know. But there were a few flashes of Dwight and Darko playing together that looked great. Something else that stood out was how when Darko was out there without Dwight, they were going inside out with him.

    I don't know how many TO's were committed per quarter, but the 3rd quarter stood out as the sloppy one to me. But a lot of the turnovers I noticed were tough calls. There were some bad offensive foul and traveling calls. We also seemed to struggle for a little when there was nothing but our 2nd unit on the floor, but it was very brief.

    One thing is for sure, with the presence of Dwight and Darko down low, shots are going to open up on the outside. It would have been nice to have J.J. out there tonight, as he would have had plenty of looks.

  • At 7:29 AM, Blogger Brutal said…

    I came away surprised how easily the Magic dominated the Bulls from the start. They sure scored more points than I predicted.

    Its hard to not get carried away by the effort but the Bulls are a flawed team. Just as Chicago exposed Miami, Orlando exposed Chicago. As introvert stated the addition of Wallace (and Brown) pretty much means the Bulls will not score inside. The team was built to take on the Heat, only problem is they play in the Central and I am not sure how well they match up with the Cavs, Pistons, etc...

    I am not going to get carried away based on one game....but other than the turnovers there really isn't much to complain about.


  • At 8:29 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Great start. Kudos to everybody. I figured high scoring due to Magic falling behind early. I had it right in reverse! Darko looked rushed at times showing the lack of his playing time with the first unit, but he was active and moving as good as I have seen him moving.

  • At 10:15 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    A couple of worthy notes:

    1- The first quarter of the game was just about as good as a quarter that I have seen Magic play. They set the tone early on and never looked back.
    2 - As Big Figure pointed out, Hill did not impede Magic's running game. I hope that is not going to be limited to this game and will continue in the future. It may be known to many that the way to play with Bulls is not to stay in front of them defensively (they are too good to be beaten that way), but rather run with them.
    3 - The first player off the bench was Darko. His offense looked rushed at times, but his defense was terrific, especially against Nocioni, who had a good track record against Magic, but Darko made him a no factor. He had a huge contribution to setting the tone early, that I have discussed time and time again. Hill needs to take a note of that.
    4 - Introvert316 predicted that Grant would be impressive, and he was.
    5 - Dwight looked like a possessed player. As expected, he was unstoppable.

    Having all that said, let's relax and not overlook PHI coming in.

  • At 11:27 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    There's not much you can say when the team plays like that,even BSH said he was surprised we played so well,i mean how often is it you see the whole team playing well,but thats what we got and on opening night for a change,dwight was unstoppable,grant was calming and effecient,jameer was a leader that picked his spots well,hedo chipped in with a very solid floor game,and i think battie might be ready to have the best season of his career,keyon,keith,carlos and darko all played well with the second team keeping the lead,just a great performance. I guess the fact that we turned the ball over alot,will give us something to re-focus about and want to go out against philly and get better protecting the ball,philly has the size to make it an interesting game,analysis coming soon! Also why and the hell did the bulls get rid of tyson chandler,after watching him make dwight struggle the last two years with his length,i would have figured that keeping a young athletic defensive minded big would be a no brainer,but they got smaller with ben,and less athletic with PJ,on some of dwights dunks PJ didnt even get off the ground.......Paxson isnt as smart as i once thought.

  • At 12:19 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    With regard to Chandler, I think after acquiring Ben Wallace for a premium pay, they had to dump Chandler's large salary. Once again, that is the short-sighted approach of staying within salary cap. Bulls may become a bit better when Sweetney comes back, since although not being tall enough, he has some post game.

  • At 12:33 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    The bulls traded tyson for PJ,tyson is now a new orleans hornet,so they meant to do it,why i dont know?

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

    Maybe PJ's contract was easier to fit into their new salary structure after aquiring ben,who knows? ANYBODY GONNA PLAY MAGIC BINGO (LOL)!!!!!!!!!!!

  • At 2:38 PM, Blogger Brutal said…

    PJ's contract comes off the books at the end of the year, Chandler has something like 5 years 50 million remaining. The Chandler for PJ move was a salary dump.

    Also, Bulls fans were never big on Chandler, hardly a fan favorite in Chicago. And from what I understand Skiles was not fond of him as well


  • At 2:38 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Big Figure, let me try to answer your question about why the Bulls got rid of Chandler.

    Once Paxson decided that he wanted Wallace, it was a gimme that Chandler was going to go, other than for cap reasons. Yes, Chandler brought energy, athleticism, and defense to the team. However, he was foul-prone, injury-prone, erratic, and turnover-prone. Last night against BOS, Chandler fouled out in just 28 minutes of PT.

    In signing Wallace, the Bulls got maybe the best defensive player in the game. Even though his offensive game is limited like Chandler's, Wallace is a much better passer and sets screens well, and won't turn over the ball like Chandler.

    Scott Skiles is really going to have to get creative to figure out how the Bulls can score against talented, athletic teams like the Magic, other than just jump shots.

    Like was mentioned, the Magic exploited the Bulls like the Bulls exploited the Heat.

    Do not discount the great job Paxson has done putting that team together in the last 3 years, after the train wreck he inherited from former GM Jerry Krause in April 2003. No players are left on the team from then.

    Also, even though the Bulls have great depth, they don't have that player who they know is going to develop into a superstar, like the Magic with Dwight. Hinrich and Gordon are talented players, but have to bring it every night, especially Gordon. Rookie Tyrus Thomas certainly is talented and athletic, but is very raw.

    I still expect the Bulls to finish with 50 wins this season, because of their depth and coaching, but based on last night, I'm not so sure they can finish ahead of the Magic in the conference standings.

    It's a loooong season... it's going to be very interesting to see how things play out game to game.

  • At 3:17 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    I think Bulls would still be in the top 4 of the east, only if they could play only in the east. The problem is due to the lack of a post player (Sweetney may offer some relief), they will lose a lot more to west teams, which in turn may affect their standing in the east. Ben Gordon is probably their best offensive player, but he is mainly a jump-shooter. If teams got anywhere relying merely on Ray Allen, so would Bulls relying on Ben Gordon.

  • At 3:27 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    If I were handing out grades for last nights game, they'd be something like this:

    A+ Dwight Howard 27-11-3 plus two blocks 9-10 FT. Wholly dominated anyone he faced. Had at least five plays that made me instantly rewind to watch again. Is it possible his upper body has become wider over the summer or is it just my new plasma tv? 50 wins is easy if this guy stays healthy. ESPN's John Hollinger is an idiot ranking him 15th best PF in the league.

    A Hedo. 11-7-6. A year ago he was a black hole who shot whenever Francis saw fit to pass him the ball. Now his touches make the whole team better and he rarely seems to force a shot. I love his game right now. He had 4 turnovers, 2 of them looked like the new ball slipped away while passing.

    A. Jameer. 21 points, 3 assists. 7-8 from the field. His assists will suffer because this current team is not a one-pass team and assists aren't handed out like hockey.

    A. Grant Hill. He will scare me all season long. He is one hangnail away from ending his career. And he hardly looked like he forgot a thing. Only one of his 7 shots looked forced, the rest came within the flow of the offense and he had a couple of brilliant finishes on fast breaks.

    B+ The bench. Chicago is deep too, so the bench didn't dominate like it has. It did provide 25 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists. Darko's arms look much bigger but he hesitated quite a bit last night. Dooling seemed like a much bigger spark than his numbers showed. Arroyo has had better nights. Missed Ariza. Grade upped a notch for DNPCDing Garrity.

    C. Tony Battie. Not picking on him at all. He is an average player at best and the team requires average play from him. Last night he delivered exactly that.

    B. Coaching. Offensive teamwork is terrific. Individual perimeter defense had it's moments, but the team still doesn't rotate quick enough on 3 pointers. Could have pulled the starters a few minutes earlier but that is a minor quibble. Darko played 18 minutes. Like the end of last year, Hill seems happy working a 9 man rotation.

    D. Travis Diener. Came in to play at the end of the first half and quickly stepped out of bounds causing a turnover. Hill cringed and put him back in the doghouse where he spent all of last year. Interesting to see if he gets minutes Friday.

    Incomplete. Redick. Right now he has contributed as much as the Spanish guy and you have to figure he's so far behind that he is not going to see a lot of minutes until after Christmas.

  • At 4:18 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Everyone has great thoughts. Nice report card werdevos. Some interesting things I noticed around the league with starting positions.

    One, PJ starting of Nocioni... Does that not completely resemble the Battie-Darko scenario we have going on here? The only difference is they just acquired Brown, where Battie was here before Darko. Also, Battie will end up being here longer, where as Brown might be out next year. Nocioni is their future, although he sure didn't look like it last night. As pointed out, Darko probably had something to do with that.

    My pick for rookie of the year Adam Morrison is coming off the bench right now to BREVIN KNIGHT.

    "He's done well, but he's still a rookie," Bickerstaff said. "This is a different level, but I think Adam will be just fine. He's a good basketball player, but he has to navigate his way through being an NBA player."

    A team that young, with no real playoff hopes, bringing a #3 pick off the bench; does that really happen?

    I've never thought anything of Bickerstaff, but Skiles is a solid coach. At least Brian Hill isn't the only oneā€¦

  • At 4:41 PM, Blogger Brutal said…

    I think Knight will be traded out of Charlotte at some point this year, so Morrison will claim that spot at some point. I think Charlotte starts him now to showcase and possibly get a better deal. I spent lots of time watching NBA League pass last night and can think of teams that could use a Brevin Knight, tops on my list would be Minnesota, Miami (if they don't sign Jalen Rose) Indiana (Tinsley just isn't the guy there, Darrell Armstrong gave em nice minutes off the bench however) and maybe even Cleveland.

    Speaking of last night, the Knicks will be heavy in my league pass rotation to start the year. What disfunction. They did everything they could to give that game to the Grizz. Francis and Marbury in the same backcourt is a painful thing to watch (and I like a little pain once and awhile). Also I was very impressed with the Bucks beating the Pistons. Detroit gave up 62 points in the paint...I think they will miss Ben Wallace more than the Bulls will enjoy having him.


  • At 4:56 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Yeah, I was watching every game I could last night. The Knicks game was painful to watch. The only thing that kept me with it was that I wanted to see a 4th OT! It was like neither team wanted to win. Mike Miller had how many chances to win the game? The Knicks are still a train wreck. Thomas should just step down, but he won't, so he'll be fired by years end.

    I think the Rockets are going to regret trading Rudy Gay.

  • At 11:23 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    I'm a bit late getting here so what can I say that hasn't already been said?
    After watching the Bulls dismantle the Heat the previous night I had mixed feelings about how the Magic would perform. I could almost vision Ben Wallace having a 25 rebound night and the Bulls swarming around like killer bee's much they way they did in Miami.
    However, just minutes into the game and seeing Dwight's spin move on Wallace, showed that this game was going to be nothing like the night before. The Bulls will be one of the top 4 teams in the East, however, their lack of size, and being primarily a jump shooting team will be something the Magic can exploit to their advantage.
    Kudos to the entire team. Ball movement, balanced scoring won this game in my opinion. The turnovers were a bit much, but i guess some of that can be attributed to opening night jitters.
    One more thing. It was nice to see BSHill take a minumal approach in coaching the game. And it was nice to see Garrity never get out of his warm-up suit also. Bring on the Sixers..


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