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.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Magic give Suns battle in loss

The Magic (22-16, 8-10 road), after falling behind by as many as 18 pts in the third quarter, made a game of it in the fourth quarter and got as close as 3 points with a couple minutes left, but could get no closer as PHO (28-8, 17-3 home) held off the Magic 107-101. The worse news is that TAriza, who has been such a key off the bench, will miss 6-8 weeks with a sprained MCL he suffered against GS.

The Magic were led by JNelson with 26 pts on 9 of 15 shooting; HTurkoglu 18 pts; KDooling led the reserves with 13 pts; DMilicic and KBogans each added 10 pts off the bench; and DHoward finished with 10 pts, 5 rebs. Steve Nash led PHO with 23 pts 8 asts; Boris Diaw 19 pts 11 asts; Shawn Marion with 16 pts; Raja Bell 15 pts; and Amare Stoudemire with 12 pts 10 rebs.

PHO (43 of 81, 53.1%) outscored the Magic (38 of 82, 46.3%) from the field 95-85. The Magic matched PHO in 3 pters, making 9 of 17, while PHO made 9 of 25. The Magic (16 of 20) had the edge at the FT line over PHO (12 of 16). PHO outrebounded the Magic 43-38. The Magic turned the ball over just 11 times, compared to 16 for PHO. PHO had an AST/TO ratio of 26/16, while the Magic were at 15/11. The Magic reserves outscored the PHO reserves 37-22.

The Magic played both LAL and PHO tough, but fell just short on both games. They will need their defense to step up a notch in the next several weeks, without the services of their best defender Ariza. The last game of this 4 game trip is at NO/OKC on TUE.


  • At 10:04 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    All of us predicted the last two losses,hopefully the magic can get this last game to go 2-2 on this trip.

  • At 10:30 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    I got all that I wished for out of this game; Jameer and Hedo shot well, Dwight matched up a lot better against Amare compared to the game in Orlando, and the Magic had a valiant come back to make the game decent. Too bad we didn't win but that was not part of my wish list. Credit to Hill for his rotations, in general, although I believe Carlos's minutes should be shared with Travis and/or J.J. (who was in street clothes, this time). My question is if he is not using Garrity (and rightly so) why not have him on inactive list and have both Travis and J.J. available? In games against teams like PHO, no matter how good you defend them, there are times that you have to not fall too far behind compared to their offensive output, and that is exactly where you need shooters. I don't know which assistant coach is working with Darko? It is important for somebody to tell him not to rush his shot attempts close to the basket, and rather be more deliberate about it.

  • At 5:02 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…


    I actually didn't predict a loss in LA. I thought the Magic would win that game. Of course when I made that prediction, I was doing so with the assumption of Ariza being available.

    The last 2 games have been as encouraging of loses as we could possibly have. LA and PHX are two of the toughest places in the league to win, and we played them both to the final seconds. That’s a lot more than Cleveland did in PHX a few nights ago.

    Matt pointed out something a few articles ago. When Dwight is played one on one, our offense runs smooth. But the Magic struggle when Dwight is double teamed, as we usually don't have any pure shooters out on the court with him. Darko helps this cause a little; when he is out there with Dwight things happen; their size and skills make it tough on defenders because when one of them misses, the other is left on the weak side for the put back. But they don’t play that much together and that’s not the best solution. We need to surround Dwight with shooters. I thought the organization understood this. Maybe they do, and Brian Hill doesn’t understand this yet? Let’s go down the line. Jameer has picked up his shot a little since the return of the leather ball, but he's still streaky. Hedo is our best shooter that plays on a regular basis, but he’s also streaky. Keith doesn't play enough to be a constant threat. Dooling plays a lot, and his shot is not even close to consistent. G Hill, Ariza, and Arroyo have no range what so ever. And I don't view Garrity as an NBA player. So that brings me back to the topic we've talked about many times; J.J. and Travis. Just for once, when a team is doubling down hard on Dwight, it'd be nice to see B Hill insert Travis and J.J. into the back court to force other teams to make a decision. Either you play Dwight one on one, or you take your chances with our shooters. Hill could throw a squad of Travis, J.J., Hedo, Darko, and Dwight out there and let the other team pick their poison. Of course I don't even see this happening, but it'd be nice to see our coach show the ability to adjust every now and then.

    The Suns are a fun team. However, they shot 25 3's last night. I know this is a normal thing for them, but when it comes down to the playoffs; I still can't see them beating the Spurs or Mavs.


    I really try to hold my tongue when it comes to officiating, especially when the Magic still have a chance to win the game regardless of bad calls. I was a little pissed with the finish of the Lakers game, as I thought they were really getting the benefit of the whistle, but I didn't say anything until now.

    Last night, I thought the officiating sucked, but it sucked for both teams.

    My biggest complaint; Dwight lives on the block, and many times it's very obvious that teams are hacking the hell out of him. Often he's being hit by multiply defenders who are swinging their arms around him; and nothing is called. Maybe he's earning his stripes, but I'm almost surprised Dwight hasn't been in a fight yet. He really does have strong character, as I’ve seen the look in his a face a few times like he wants to hit someone, but he always walks away.

    As I said, I wasn't going to bring up officiating, but I couldn't help it as I was provoked. Blame it on whoever's responsible for the BS that goes on in this league. I already knew that the Heat had won 3 games in a row, as the media was trying to claim their "championship swagger" was back. Well, last night they beat the Jazz for their 4th straight win. Wade had a big game. He finished with 32 points and 10 assists. He was 21-23 from the free throw line. What? This means he only had 11 points from the field, 3 of those points was a lucky buzzer beating 3. Beyond that 3 he only made 4 other baskets. He ended the game 5-12 from the field; 21-23 from the free throw line. When SportsCenter shows the game highlights, you can literally see every shot Wade made from the field. It amazes me how a post player like Dwight can take constant contract and not get to the line nearly as much as Wade. I mean seriously, am I being a whiny bitch for pointing this out, or is there really something wrong here? The guy had 32 points, and 21 of them came from the free throw line! Am I supposed to take this BS seriously? If a guy goes to the line 23 times, he should be dropping 40, 50, hell 60 points. Actually, 21 is the exact amount of free throws Agent 0 Gilbert Arenas made when he dropped 60. There is something wrong here.

  • At 5:45 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    I always thought that officiating, good or bad, in favor or against, would eventually even out, if not within a game then from game to game. If you bite your tongue on a bad call or be nice on objecting to it, the referees will notice it and will call in your favor, next time around. However, OVERWADED has a valid point on the root cause of bad officiating, may be without being intentional, which I think is happening because referees are watching players in motion. Players who are moving could not even be touched (since when NBA turned into a whimpy league?) but players who are in limited move posture are neglected, time and time again, especially if they are big. I don't know what is the the solution to this flaw. It could be either adding one more referee, or alerting referees to be watching fouls indiscriminately rather than focusing on the moving fouls.

  • At 10:41 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I looked at the box score of the MIA/UT game. The game was very tightly called... while the Heat went to the FT line 45 times, the Jazz went to the line 54 times! I give the Heat credit for making 42 of their FTs, while the Jazz could make just 37; and I give DWade credit for being aggressive and driving to the basket, getting the fouls called against him.

    As for the reason that DWade didn't score 40 or 50 pts or more with the 21 FTs he made, that's because his teammates were shooting well and helping him out... Jason Williams with 20 pts, Jason Kapono with 18 pts, and even Antoine Walker with 13 pts. MIA shot a scorching 13 of 23 from 3 pt range, and shot 50.8 % overall. DWade also made an effort to get his teammates involved, as his 10 assists attests to.

    With Shaq due back later on this month, DWade having a fantastic season, and his teammates contributing... the Heat may finally be getting their act together after a very mediocre start to the season. However, I like the Magic's youth, athleticism, depth, and talent to finish ahead of the Heat this season by the time it's all said and done.

    I agree that DHoward needs to get more respect from the officials, but maybe that's starting to come, as he attempted 16 FTs against the Lakers and 15 against GS; but I'm sure he deserved more than 2 FT attempts against the Suns.

  • At 4:44 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    DISAPOINTED; and I might talk about it later.

  • At 2:45 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Whenever I watch an NBA Game, I know that the officiating won't be perfect. There will be several missed calls, and calls that were made that shouldn't have been. A typical NBA game is difficult to officiate; sure, the refs should let the players play, and not call every ticky-tack foul, but at the same time, they shouldn't lose control of the game, and need to look at some things that aren't being called fouls; so it's kind of a fine line to balance. All I ask for when I watch a game is that it be called relatively even, with no huge decided edge for one team.

  • At 3:30 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Mike, that's all I've ever wanted... I also wish Neverland existed, but it doesn't, unless I want to go play with Michael Jackson.

    Yesterday, Midnight Magic pointed out how Dwight Howard is getting zero respect from the officials as he's being hacked continuously. Sure, you can say he shot 15 and 16 free throws in the first two games of the road trip, but that is because teams are intentionally fouling him every time down; AKA hack-a-Shaq. As far as I can see, nobody out there is trying to intentionally foul D Wade. If anything, defenders have to try just as hard to run away from the guy as all he tries to do is throw himself into people.

    I don't expect anyone else to think much of this stat. Tonight, I punished myself and watched the Lakers/Heat game. I found myself cheering for Kobe on a rare occasion. In the end, the Lakers won so I didn't care. But Kobe and Wade play similar games. How does it work out that Wade got to the line 10 more times than Kobe? I really don't get it. The guy has obvious talent, and I won't deny it. All I'm saying is just let him play and prove it. Stop trying to make this guy something. He would average in the teens if they didn't put him on the line so much. I just don't understand rewarding a guy on a consistent basis for playing for the foul. It truly makes me sick, as half of the shots he takes he's not actually shooting for the basket, he's shooting for the foul to be called. And there is no better example of this than in the world games, when NBA officials are not bailing him out over and over again, Team USA couldn't win; ONCE AGAIN. Don’t get me wrong, I know he wasn’t the only player on that team. But in the end when they lost, it was a team of D Wade type players that went down.

    I’m off to drink my "hateraide".

    It’s Tuesday; back to the Magic. Let’s close this trip with a W!

  • At 7:55 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I caught most of the second half of the Heat/Lakers game. I was surprised also that Kobe did not get a few more calls. I credit the Lakers for keeping their focus and not letting the questionable officiating distract them.


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