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, December 28, 2006

Magic fall from first place after loss to Lakers

The Magic (17-13, 10-6 home) could not sustain a second quarter 12 pt lead and faded in the second half of a 106-93 loss to the Lakers (19-10, 6-6 road). Combined with the WAS win, the Magic are now % pts behind the Wizards in the SE.

Kobe Bryant led LA with 27 pts on 8 of 22 shooting. G Smush Parker added 20 pts, including 18 in the third quarter. C Kwame Brown had 10 pts, and C Andrew Bynum led the bench with 13 pts. GHill led the Magic with 20 pts, JNelson 15 pts, 7 asts; DHoward 12 pts 8 rebs; HTurkoglu 12 pts in his first game back from a sprained ankle; DMilicic off the bench with 13 pts, 8 rebs in just 19 minutes; and TAriza with 11 pts.

LA (38 of 76, 50%) outscored the Magic (35 of 79, 44.3%) from the floor 82-71. LA shot 6 of 16 from 3 pt range, while the Magic, with TDiener and J.J. Redick not seeing any playing time, shot just 1 of 6 from long range. LA (24 of 27) had the advantage at the FT line over the Magic (22 of 31). ORL won the rebounding battle 36-34. LA had the better AST/TO ratio of 22/15, compared to 18-16 for the Magic. Bench scoring was even at 30 pts apiece.

The Magic have now lost 9 of 13 games, and travel to red-hot WAS on FRI in a battle for first place in the SE.


  • At 4:40 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Another game where the Magic couldn't keep pace with a team that shoots well from the outside. Letting Smush Parker go off for 18 pts in the third was inexcusable. Why weren't adjustments made to try and stop him?

    Nice bounce-back game for Darko; why the heck did he play only 19 minutes?

    I suppose now with all the injured players back, Diener and Redick will be buried on the end of the bench; that's a shame; no one else on our team can spread the opposing defense like those two.

  • At 10:06 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    I am not going to try to repeat the obvious, since it is becoming too tiresome. However, here are some of my observations:

    1 - Travis was in streets clothes, and I didn't see J.J. on the bench, but Garrity was dressed up and ready for battle, although never got a chance to prove his worth, or lack thereof.
    2 - Jameer used to be a decent shooter, but is now hardly trying to shoot. Carlos is just a shadow of the play maker that he showed to be early in the season, and the same goes with his shooting.
    3 - Grant was the only bright spot on the offense. Keyon is regressing, like many other Magic players, and Keith never got a chance to break a sweat. I thought, and still think, that Deshawn and Keith's situation was a wash, but how could I hold on to that as a valid point when one is contributing as a starter, if I am not mistaken, and the other is hardly visible?
    4 - The SFs played well, although both have their limitations, of which Trevor's would be his shooting. That is why when Trevor is on the floor, he should be complemented with shooter(s) or the teams are gonna figure him out soon.
    5 - Darko made a bad pass at the end of the second quarter to Keith, and Keith fouled the Lakers player on a break-away resulting in a 4 point turnaround. Darko was pulled out right away, and never played in that tell-tale third quarter until the very end, and we never saw Keith again. Can we say that Hill is grudgey and unforgiving?
    6 - I can say that Hill is blind due to his short-sightedness but is he illiterate so that he cannot read the basic stats presented to him? May be somebody should become his eyes, and read the stats to him.
    7 - The two Lakers centers not only defended Dwight well, but had too many close range shots. That was less of a case when Drako and Dwight were both on the court.
    8 - You don't have to be a statistician to know about regression, although in statistics it is called "regression analysis" leading to a regression curve. What I was talking about in my earlier post titled "An Idea whose Time has Come ...", which by the way got little traction, was exactly the regression of the team. In a simple analogy, although the team is not "falling like a stone from the sky" but is very close to it. In fact, if we were going to draw a regression curve for the Magic, in the month of December, it would not be a curve, but rather a downward slope with occasional slight upward lines (as a result of some wins). Please revisit that post and air your views in detail, or adjust your earlier views, as the case may be. In particular, I am interested to explore the possibilities of when Otis Smith may come to the rescue, if that ever happens. The main focus may be on two areas: 1) Team's overall approach to offense; 2) Starting line-up and player rotations. However, feel free to expand the domain as you deem necessary. Introvert316 had an excellent post on the Magic/Lakers preview that covered a lot of grounds.

  • At 11:45 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Starters:Battie 4pts,and this is our starting power forward. Grant hill 0 assits,and he's one of our starting perimeter players. Jameer,hedo and dwight were solid when it comes to the starters. Bench:Keyon 0 points in 20 minutes,ouch.Keith 0 points,had three back to back bome head plays,but at least he didnt play alot of minutes and finish with 0.carlos,trevor and darko were solid also when it comes to the bench.Those were the ten players that played,and after looking at the box score you can see that there were more reason's for the loss than just coaching (even though the coaching is bad).Hopefully this will take care of itself and the players will realize they have to play better despite the coach,because i know they can (play better).FIRE BSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • At 12:06 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    That last post was about the players,here's one for bsh.How long is battie gonna start and not be used to finish? What was up with the funny line-ups during the third quarter? Why in the world would you have your guards go under the pick and roll letting smush parker shoot open jumshots off of the roll,when you can trail him and force him into the best shot blockers in the league? How long are we going to continue with the same rotation,that can be easily defended because of the lack of being able to spread the floor? How many games do we have to lose for bsh to get a clue? Oh yeah and those comments from bsh saying that he didnt have any answer's just show how much we are in trouble under this coach,its a coaches job to have the answer's,and if he cant see whats wrong then we may not even make the playoffs,because i dont see the rest of the league letting up anytime soon,some of our players have been figured out,like for example,carlos & keyon used to be a good back court but as the league has started to find out,neither is a good three point shooter % wise (4 pts combined last night and no three's),which gives teams the ability to sag,no floor spacing for dwight and darko.

  • At 5:17 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 5:23 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Can I just say, I AGREE WITH ALL OF YOU?

    I mean really, I don't know where to start. As a few of you saw, I posted a few thoughts on the Magic/Lakers Preview. My feelings haven't changed.

    Darko had a great game last night. 13 pts, 8 rbs, 2 blk, 1 stl, with only 1 TO; he also changed many more shots, played aggressive, and was very active. If you break it down, he was our must productive player per minutes played. He only had 1 foul. WHY THE *#*$ DOES HE ONLY PLAY 19 MINUTES?!

    Oh wait, it's because he splits minutes with our STARTER Battie who gave us his average, 4 pts, 5 rbs; AWESOME!

    Dooling is still playing too much. He should be used as energy off the bench, not as a 20+ minute a game guy. He doesn't do enough on either end of the floor. What is Brian Hill's argument, he defends well? Sure, he plays solid defense for an undersized guy, but he is nothing more than a spark off the bench. He isn't Daryl Armstrong, and he never will be. Last night in nearly 21 minutes of play, he had 1 rebound, 1 TO, and 2 fouls; THAT'S ALL.

    As one of you pointed out... I remember the days when Jameer would shoot 3 point shots. Now teams are daring him to, and he continues to pass the shot up, WHY?

    Again, as already mentioned... One of our local fan favorites might not last here much longer if his play doesn't change. Arroyo's stock is dropping fast. He's showing zero patience on the floor, and seems to be rushing everything he is doing. I thought he was a PASS FIRST POINT GUARD? The only player he seems to be trying to get involved for a while now is HIMSELF.

    I agree with Matt that Bogans for Stevenson was a wash. But as of right now it isn't. Bogans doesn't exist and he hasn't even had a chance this year.

    Diener is obviously never going to be given a real chance with this team. Every time he has played any real minutes he produces, yet based on what, seniority, he always finds his way back to the inactive list. I picture him as a "throw in" down the line in a trade.

    So I guess Redick is a rookie this year is just isn't good enough to crack into our over flooded backcourt. Even if we are struggling to score, lack shooters, playing undersized, and the floor continues to be a cluster-f because nobody can spread the floor. Maybe Redick will get a chance in the summer leagues? Maybe he's Travis Diener part II? Or maybe he won't recover from this? Regardless what the case is, this IS NOT good for his development, and is only going to make it more difficult for him in the future. Why he can't play 10 minutes off the bench is beyond me.

    Otis Smith should have already made a call to Brian Hill. There are many obvious problems with this team that can be addressed right now. Brian Hill obviously doesn't understand what is going on(he said it himself, more than once). Maybe he needs a little help? Actually, there is a funny vibe going on right now with these players. It's reminding me of the 90's. I'm starting to wonder if some players are purposely not responding to Brian Hill.

    Alright, I'm putting myself on the bench; I'm getting pissed off.

  • At 7:28 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    A couple of notes:

    1 - Hill has said that we told NY that if Ariza is not included we have no deal. Besides taking some credit on that trade that belongs to Otis Smith, how stupid is that? You (I mean Hill) was not going to make that deal to get rid of a troublesome player, if one little-known player was not included? What a puny mind, and how stupid of a boasting.
    2 - Is it coincidental that about this time of the season Hill's teams start falling apart? Remember that it happened last year, as well when the team started well, especially on the defensive side, but when offense got bogged down, it pulled the defense down with it. Is it because Hill's system is no fun to play in? Is it because he does not know how to keep players motivated on a consistent basis? Is it because of his lack of communication skills? Judging from his post-game interviews, it is not difficult to rule on the latter, but probably all others are true, as well.

    Introvert316 has an interesting theory about the similarities with Penny' rebellion. Although I don't see the combustive conditions in there yet, but I hope the potential exists. We can certainly afford to lose 15 more games causing the oust of Hill, and turn it on for marching into the play-offs. As it stands right now, I don't think we have a chance of making to the play-offs should we lose to the types of CHA, TOR and GS anywhere, let alone losing to them at home.

  • At 8:20 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    All you guys make some great points.

    To me, the question is, what kind of starting lineup and player rotation should be used to take the most advantage of our depth and talent, and the fact we need the good long-range shooting of Diener and Redick?

    Here's my idea of a starting lineup and player rotation: PG Nelson; SG Diener; SF GHill; PF Darko; C Dwight. As for the bench rotation, Arroyo at PG; Redick at SG, Hedo at SG/SF, Ariza at SF, Dooling at either SG or SF, Battie at PF/C, and Garrity as an afterthought.

    The only drawback I would see in that lineup and rotation is that we might have a tough time matching up with some teams defensively, especially with Diener starting, but with the floor spacing that would be created on offense, and the hustle on defense, I think it would be worth it. I would love to see Diener and Redick split time at SG.

    I sure don't expect our predictable coach to make any changes like that in the starting lineup and rotation, but with the team having lost its hold on first place, something is going to have to be done soon. Do you guys have any other ideas how Diener and Redick can be involved in the regular player rotation?

    According to BHill, he may not have any answers, but there's no question we need Diener or Redick on the floor to spread the opposing defense and not make things so tough on Dwight with the defense packing in on him.

  • At 11:10 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    None of you will like my prediction for Travis Diener, but I'm going to say it anyway, after all, it's not what I want. I really don't think he has much of a future here. As long as Nelson and Arroyo are here, Diener will have the exact role he has today. And I don't see Nelson or Arroyo being traded anytime soon.

    As for Diener getting time at the 2, that might happen 1 out of every 20 games. You might as well chalk that up as a never. And he really is to small to play any kind of meaningful minutes at the 2 spot.

    This also affects Redick, because Hill really seems to use some sort of seniority when it comes to playing time. Unlike Diener, I believe Redick to have a future with the Magic. I can see him playing big minutes one of these years, either as a back up, or a starter if he doesn't continue to ride the bench.

    As for our starting 5, if Brian Hill hasn't inserted Darko in as a starter yet, you can forget about anyone else cracking that line up, especially Diener.

  • At 2:55 AM, Blogger Ken said…

    Excellent points everyone. To answer matt's 2nd question: Yes, Yes, and Yes to all three. BSH's lack of vision and ability are sucking the life right out of this team. We have seen this tooo many times with BSH coached teams. Different players, same results. A team that started the season with so much fire and passion, is now just going through the motions, walking on eggshells, afraid to make a mistake for fear of being benched in favor of Garrity.

  • At 3:35 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I realize that if BHill hasn't put Darko in the starting lineup yet, there's no way he would ever put Diener as a starter. I was just trying to think of some way to get Diener in there, even though he's not really suited to be a 2. You might be right, Introvert316, that Diener may not have a future here in Orlando and could very well be traded. It's just so frustrating that we have 2 good shooters on the bench, and the only time they ever see any action is if someone gets injured.

  • At 4:11 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I agree with you 100% Mike. I actually enjoyed watching Diener and Redick playing in the backcourt together. For a few minutes in 3 games things actually opened up a little on the court for us. One of them actually produced a big victory against the Cavs.

  • At 7:50 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Excellent points, everybody. I Think the consensus is that we have a glut at guards position, and at any rotation we need to sit at least one on the bench, and give a second one very limited time to play. As for Travis, I have been thinking for a while that he needs to bulk up, a bit. He is listed at 6' 1" and 175. If he could bulk up to 185 he wouldn't be small for a PG, although undersized for a SG. Excellent shooters have made a living in NBA even undersized, although I agree that drafting J.J. Redick made Travis expendable.

    My team would look like follows:

    PG: Jameer Nelson
    SG: Grant Hill
    SF: Hedo Turkoglu
    PF: Darko Milicic
    C: Dwight Howard

    PG: Travis Diener, Carlos Arroyo, (keyon Dooling)
    SG: J.J. Redick, Keyon Doling, (Keith Bogans)
    SF: Trevor Ariza, Keith Bogans
    PF: Bo Outlaw, Pat Garrity
    C: Tony Battie

    In this rotation, I have matched up Trevor with Travis and J.J. (or at least one of them) since he needs to be on the court with shooters, not only to cover his shooting deficiency, but also to open up space for him to operate.

    This is the way I see it, and I don't care what Hill thinks or will do. I hope that he would be accountable for his lack of many attributes, but abundance of one; PIGHEADEDNESS, and I hope that it would be sooner rather than later.

  • At 10:11 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Matt your line-up is perfect,its actually the same line-up i was going to post,i think our starters are fine this year (but not next year,i'll elaborate in another post)with the exception of battie,and i would play travis and JJ rather than carlos and keyon,with trevor,bo and battie finishing out the reserves,like tonight i would use keyon to defend arena's when nelson comes off the floor,making keyon a defensive specialist point guard,instead of just giving him 20 minutes at the 2 guard,carlos wouldnt play tonight for me.Travis is fine physically,he's the same size as steve nash and nash was the MVP,also travis could never be a starter at the two position,he would have to guard guys twice his size,which doesnt make any since to put him in that position,he's fine as the back-up point guard its just that our coach doesnt see it how we all do.And when it comes to trades,how can our GM trade players we drafted?In my opinion travis and JJ should be off limits because of that fact,carlos and keyon have moved more than a few times,why not move them?

  • At 10:23 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    To me rotations should be a case-by-case/opponent-by-opponent basis,how i use my reserves tonight may differ from how i use them tommorrow,but bsh has chosen to map out the minutes and rotation the same way every night,and teams have figured this current bunch out,its almost like they have to play perfect basketball for four quarters to win games,while other teams play one good fourth quarter and beat us. Then looking at the minutes,why do our starters sit 5-6+ minutes?To come in with about 3-4 minutes left in the half or game,how can they get back into a rhythem?

  • At 10:57 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    This magic team depends on to many players to be successful,we play ten guys regularly and some times 11 or 12,but it seems like lately the starters have played well enough to win and we're not getting much from the reserve's like we were earlier in the season,if one of those 10 or 11 players doesnt show up one night were almost sure to lose because we depend on everybody's production which isnt good,we are a team that manufacture's points from alot of different area's and dont have that one bonafied scorer that can get 30 on any given night,thats why its easy to defend us,with so many guys trying to score the ball there's no way you can get all of them to attack the basket,someone's going to try and shoot from the outside (like keyon going 0-3 the other night),but when you play two guys that are better at other things that many minutes(carlos,keyon),the fact that they arent good outside shooters gets magnafied. I said i would elaborate in another post about next year,IN MY OPINION we need a bonafied scorer,grants not it,neither is dwight and those are our best two players,i dont think any magic player this year has scored 30 pts which shows that technically we should be easy to defend,we dont have a player that anybody fear's.I have figured out a way to fix this via free-agency,none of you guys may like this but hedo's got to be traded so that grant can return to his natural position small forward,then you sign vince carter.Vince would technically be an up-grade for hedo,the problem with hedo is that he's to tall to play shooting guard and doesnt do enough without the ball to be a top notch small forward like grant,grant is playing the two and cant shoot while hedo is playing the three without an all-around game,hedo pretty much just spreads the floor for us,looking at how flawed we are i dont even know how we got off to a good start,my best guess would be that we snuck up on teams,putting vince at the two guard would give us a bonafied scorer who has the total package,outside three point shooting-good defender (better than hedo)-athletically gifted-from florida-and the list goes on,jameer-vince-grant-darko and dwight would win championship's for as long as they want to.

  • At 1:48 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    A very intriguing proposition, Big Figure. I like it at the first glance, but I need a bit more time to review and absorb it.

  • At 3:00 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Matt, you have my exact starting 5 and player rotation down.

    Big Figure, you're on the right track. The Magic do need a scorer, someone who can spread the floor, and make big shots. When this team has done well, that job has feel on the shoulders of Nelson, Hill, and Hedo, all depending on who was playing well that night. It happened often early this season, and a lot less as of late seeing that most of our games haven't been coming down to the final seconds.

    Rashard Lewis is still my choice. It sounds nice on paper to bring Vince home, but I don't know if I trust his heart. I think he's out of his last paycheck, and he takes nights off game to game. Still, I wouldn't complain if that was the move they made. It'd be worth a shot. The other area I have to disagree would be the keeping on Hill and trading off Hedo. I know as of today, G Hill is still healthy, but we're just getting ready to hit 2007. He's yet to play an entire season, and he'll be 35 next year. If we keep G Hill, at 35, I think it'd finally be time to start using him how Dallas uses Jerry Stackhouse, as our 6th man, but Brian Hill would never do that. Don't get me wrong, I'd still like to see G Hill around, just in a different role making the VET MIN. As for Hedo, he's still young, he's 6-10, and can do a little of everything. I'd like to see him around longer, especially for the fact that he is the only player that actually gets time that shoots 3's. So if Vince was our guy, my lineup would consist of Nelson, Vince, Hedo, Darko, and Dwight.

  • At 3:25 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    How about Corey Maggette? He's a poor man's Carter, and they might be able to pick him up for next to nothing with how the Clippers have been openly shopping him. He has a nice all around game, and is only making 7 to 8 million per year over the next 3 years.

    What combo of players we'd have to trade to make that happen is another story.

  • At 4:37 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Nah,if were going too fill our two guard spot via free-agency then we have to take the best guy available,corey would be 5th or 6th on the list,plus he cant even crack the starting line-up on the team he's on. Intro im like you,if the magic brought in lewis i wouldnt be madd,im actually a rashard lewis fan and i view him and vince as a wash,vince may be a little better athletically and rashard shoots a little better,either way it would be an up-grade at the two,plus rashard is a little younger also.And after taking into consideration that grant will be 35,i can see keeping him around as a sixth man a smart move,but you'll lose trevor's value with grant playing back-up three minutes,but as you said bsh would never do that(putting grant on the bench)and if i had to chose out of hedo and trevor my choice would be trevor because of his defense,youth and because he fits into our salary cap structure better.On another note:Why would san antone let hedo walk?Why would miami let keyon walk?Why would cleveland let battie walk?Why would utah let carlos walk? The more and more i think about it,the more a reality i dont like keeps slapping me in the face,we're giving major minutes to other teams throw away players,the magic didnt break the bank to sign these players,the teams they played for at those times couldve matched the magic's offers,it wasnt like the magic broke the bank for any of them,the answer to me seems to be that all four just arent that good,they do some things well,but as a whole they arent championship material,their more like 500%/average ball club material.Hedo,battie,carlos and keyon have played for about 10+ different teams combined in their careers,thats no coincidence.

  • At 6:43 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Matt, thanks for helping me out on the starters and player rotation. It would be hard for me to demote Carlos to third-string pt guard, because when he is on top of his game he really helps the team, but because we desperately need the long-range shooting that Diener provides, I would reluctantly agree to have Diener be the second-string pt guard.

    Interesting scenarios by you guys about the possible free-agent signings for the Magic for next season.

  • At 7:39 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Corey isn't a free agent next summer. He has 2 more years after this season left on his deal. I was just throwing his name out there as he is a more than solid player that is on the trading block.

    In response to those four guys, I can't argue with you. But pretty much all of them being let go related to money, besides Arroyo's situation in Utah.

    The only reason Detroit let Arroyo go was money issues, as they were hoping to use that money towards Ben Wallace. They suffered last year, including the playoffs because of their lack of back up at the point guard position.

    As for the Battie trade, the Cavs got Drew Gooden and Side Show Bob (Varejao). They were looking for young guys to put around James. The Magic were looking for a blue collared guy as they were trying to get rid of anyone that had anything to do with the losing-give-up-T-Mac-types.

    Then there's Dooling with Miami... Dooling left, as they were bringing in a bunch of new old players to try and put together a broken dream team. I'm pretty sure they'd like to have Dooling back now, as they've been seeking a point guard for over a year.

    And who's last, oh, Hedo, I don't recall who SA signed for sure instead of Hedo, but I'm pretty sure it was Brent Barry..............

    I'm not trying to argue, because it's all valid speculation, but every one of those players moving involved money (avoiding luxury tax) in one way or another.

  • At 7:48 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    There is a chance that one day our starting 5 will consist of:


    The obvious question would be Ariza, but he plays great defense, rebounds well, and is sick around the basket. If he continues to work on his jumper, even if it's only a "Grant Hill 18-footer", expect to see him starting as soon as next season.

    Besides the reasons above, here are two others. He is a bigger upgraded version of Deshawn who once started here.

    He's also the type of player Brian Hill loves to play.

    Free agency, and the future of Grant Hill is the only thing that is going to keep Ariza out of the starting 5. Actually, if G Hill goes down this season, I expect him to get the call, unless Brian Hill decides to take Bogans out of the dog house.


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