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, December 12, 2006

Suns surge in second half to rout Magic

It was a close game for a half, but the Suns (14-6, 6-4 road) broke open the game in the third outscoring the Magic (15-8, 8-3 home) 30-14 and cruised to a 103-89 victory, led by Amare Stoudemire's 30 pts and Steve Nash's 18 pts and 15 assists. The win was the 11th in a row for PHO.

DHoward, who was in foul trouble throughout, had his worst game of the year with 4 pts 3 rebs in just 19 minutes. Coach Hill was very upset with several calls against Howard and drew a technical for arguing. TAriza led the Magic with a season-high 19 pts. GHill, starting at SF, added 14 pts, CArroyo 12 pts, DMilicic 10 pts, and KDooling, starting at SG, added 10 pts. Shawn Marion added 19 pts 11 rebs for PHO, who saw all 5 starters score in double figures.

PHO (38 of 74, 51.4%) outscored the Magic (38 of 84, 45.2%) from the floor 80-78. PHO shot 4 of 16 on 3's, while the Magic struggled again shooting 2 of 12 on 3's (TDiener 1 of 5). PHO (23 of 27) had a decisive edge on the FT line (ORL 11 of 21). The Magic outrebounded PHO 42-36. PHO had the better assist/turnover ratio of 25-16, compared to 18-17 to the Magic. The Magic reserves were solid, outscoring the PHO reserves 52-13.

Magic had a chance to show how they would fare against the hottest team in the league, but after a good first half, they came out and played a horrible 3rd quarter, and have now lost 4 out of 6 games. Their lead in the East is now down to 1/2 game over DET, and 4 1/2 in the SE over MIA. TOR comes to visit WED night.


  • At 2:26 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    The crowd was awesome.

    The Magic players were average.

    The officials were below average.

    Brian Hill was awful.

  • At 4:02 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Here are some numbers that illustrate how the Magic are struggling offensively: Through 23 games, the Magic are averaging 93.8 ppg. In 13 of the last 14 games, the Magic have scored over 100 pts only once. In those 14 games, the Magic are averaging 91.3 ppg. Moreover, in the last 10 games, the Magic have failed to score 100 or more pts, and are averaging just 89.2 ppg in that span.

    Compare those numbers to the final 22 games of last season, when the Magic finished 16-6. They averaged exactly 100 ppg in that span, and scored 100 or more 14 times in those 22 games.

    Defensively, the Magic are doing slightly better. Through 23 games, the Magic are allowing 92.9 ppg, compared to 94.3 ppg in that final 22 game span last year. These last 10 games, the Magic are allowing just 90 ppg.

    However, these last six games where the Magic have lost 4 of those games, the numbers really become alarming. They have averaged just 86.8 ppg, while allowing 95.5 ppg.

    Last season, during that outstanding final month, many of us thought that the Magic have a chance to be a version of the Phoenix Suns of the East, with a high-powered, aggressive, fast-break offense. What's happened to that offense lately? Sure, defense is what ultimately wins championships, but the Magic need to get their offense playing the way its capable of playing to complement their good defense, and Matt detailed a number of changes that would only help.

  • At 9:25 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Nice job in putting the numbers together, Mike. Between you and WeRDevos, we have two outstanding number crunchers. I don't know how much you use statistics in your jobs, but you are very capable of compiling data for appropriate interpretation.

    I am not sure whether or not the shooting problem is as bad as it had recently been. The team as, a whole, shot a lot better prior to, and even during part of, the long road trip. Of course part of it was due to high percentage shooting by Dwight and Trevor (dunks and layups), but the rest could be contributed to others, including Jameer (he is in a funk), Carlos, Darko and Keyon not to forget Hedo (when he was hot) and Keith. I expect Jameer to come out of the funk and be in the mid 40%. I also expect Carlos and Keyon to get back to mid to high 30% or even low 40%. However, shooting may remain a chronic problem for this team, and the league has figured out how to defend us; deny and frustrate Dwight in the middle and dare the others to make shots from the parameter. The clear evidence was against generous PHO defense who allow 100 points to the opponents, easily.

    Ariza to rescue? There were times last night that seemed Trevor could not miss a jumpshot, but do we expect him to turn into a jump-shooter, all of a sudden? Of course not. But the lesson is, all players at some time in their career, should develop a short jumpshot (Shaq is the exception). Trevor has been working on it, why not Dwight? He has been rudely shot down when he mentioned his intention. May be that is the goal on his next summer practice time.

    Here is the point; Hill had a marvelous time in the Shaq and Penny era with playing inside-out due to excellent shooters in Nick, Dennis, Jeff and even Penny himself. That is not the case with this team, and yet Hill thinks that he can use the same unsophisticated scheme to his advantage.

    Based on all mentioned above, it is necessary to bring shooters in the rotation. Now there are two ways to do it: 1) Put in proven shooters (Travis and J.J.); 2) Develop and encourage potential good shooters to focus on improving their shooting abilities. After all it is a personal and individual commitment on the part of the players; Nick Anderson and Michael Redd were average shooters in college and in the early part of their NBA careers. Keith and Keyon, in particular, could become better shooters if they focus on that part of their games, not within the flow of the routine practice time, but rather after practice.

    The game against TOR will show where the Magic is. If we struggle and even win close, we would be in for a rude awakening.

  • At 1:59 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Jameer is killing us,7 pts no assists,pathetic.

  • At 2:08 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Jameer and Hedo were huge in our finish last season. As of today, at least Hedo has an excuse, unlike Jameer.

    It was nice to see Travis get some playing time, although he didn't match up well. I guess Brian Hill's thinking was; Travis has been here longer than J.J., so he is the 3 point shooter we'll give some playing time too?

  • At 3:59 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    I don't buy that any of them have excuses; Here are the numbers:

    2005-06, 45.4% and 40.3% (3s)
    2006-07, 37% and 35.6% (3s)

    2005-06, 48.3% and 42.4% (3s)
    2006-07, 48.4% and 31.4% (3s), I am not sure whether or not the recent shooting slump has been reflected in Jameer shooting percentage, but his 3-point shooting is definitely down.

    In my view shooting is all about commitment and practice which leads to confidence and efficiency.

    I want to see both Travis and J.J. on the floor at the same time. It should be some firepower, I guess.

  • At 4:54 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Haha...The only excuse Hedo has is that he's injured and not playing. Beyond that, Hedo has had a disappointing season in my view. His lone highlight this season has been a game winning shot. Other than that, his numbers have been pretty poor.

  • At 8:29 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Let me expand further on the recent struggles of Jameer: The first 13 games of the season, Nelson averaged 15.0 ppg on 55.7% shooting. These last 10 games, Nelson is averaging just 9.9 ppg on 38.5% shooting. The first 14 games of the season, Nelson shot 10 of 23 from 3 pt range (43.5%). These last 9 games, Nelson is shooting just 6 of 28 (21.4%) from 3 pt range.

    The last 10 games, Jameer is averaging 5.1 ppg less than the first 13 games; and his shooting % is down an alarming 17% from the first 13 games. His 3 pt shooting has dropped off even more. Even though his season FG % is a respectable 48.4%, the steep dropoff in the last 10 games is troubling.

    Last season, Jameer averaged 4.9 asts per game, compared to 4.0 asts so far this season, so his production in the assist area has dropped off also.

    Now, we all love Jameer as a player, and we all know what an outstanding player he is when he plays to the best of his ability. It's critical for the Magic that Jameer snaps out of this 10-game funk and starts playing the way we know he can.


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