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, January 30, 2007

Magic slide continues with another loss to ATL

The Magic (23-22, 9-13 road) continue to struggle mightily, as ATL (16-27, 8-12 home) beat them for the second time in 4 days, this time 93-83. It was the Magic's 8th loss in 9 games.

ATL was led again by Magic killer Joe Johnson with 34 pts on 12 of 24 shooting; Josh Smith 19 pts, 12 rebs; former Magic G Ty Lue with 13 pts, 7 asts; and Marvin Williams 12 pts. The Magic were led by GHill with 21 pt, 6 rebs; DHoward 15 pts, 7 rebs; and JNelson 16 pts, 5 asts. DMilicic led the bench with 9 pts, 8 rebs. J.J. Redick scored 2 pts in 17 minutes.

ATL (33 of 68, 48.5%) outscored the Magic (28 of 71, 39.4%) from the floor 73-57. The Magic (26 of 32) actually shot decent from the FT line for a change compared to ATL (20 of 27). ATL shot 7 of 14 from the 3 pt line, while the Magic were a woeful 1 of 9. ATL won the battle of the boards again 39-30. The Magic had 14 TOs to 19 for ATL, but the Hawks had nearly twice as many assists as the Magic, 25 to 13. The Magic bench outscored the ATL bench 20-13.

Coach Brian Hill after the game: "I can't put my finger on it. I don't have the answer. I don't know. I'm sorry... it's frustrating. It's disappointing."


  • At 4:53 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    That comment by our coach is really pitiful. Instead of reassuring everyone that he is going to try his hardest to find answers to try and get the team out of its slump, he sounds totally baffled and clueless, resigned to defeat, which comes across in the play of the team.

    When Jameer takes 17 shots from the field, 6 more shots than anyone else, and makes only 6, that spells trouble right there. Only 13 assists for the Magic the whole game... again, pitiful. Look at how well ATL ran their offense, with 25 assists.

    Nelson played 33 minutes while attempting his 17 shots, an attempt in less than every 2 minutes. Meanwhile, Hedo gets 10 shot attempts in 36 minutes, Dwight 11 attempts in 36 minutes, Grant 10 shots in 30 minutes, Bogans 4 shots in 23 minutes, and J.J. 4 shots in 17 minutes.

    Other players need to be getting involved more in the offense, and that falls on the pt guard, namely Nelson. At least Arroyo made an effort to get others involved with 4 asts in just 14 minutes. I just can't believe this is the same team that averaged 100 pts a game the final 22 games of last season. Even though the Magic are currently second in the East in fewest pts allowed, it really doesn't matter with the offense doing so poorly.

    I have to come up with at least one positive... at least the Magic shot over 80% on FTs!

  • At 8:51 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    If losing will bring change,then im not going to get upset with loses anymore.One or the other has to happen though,either we change the coach or we change the collection of talent.Yesterday in the sentinel,bsh made a comment that pretty much says he aint going anywhere,Quote "maybe we will have to make some personel changes".Seems like bsh isnt so convinced that this current collection of guys can play quality inside out basketball,neither am i.In my personal opinion i'd like to see both changes happen.

  • At 9:43 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Dwight's the only untouchable now? Damn,jameer has played his way right into the dog house also,point guards are supposed to get everyone involved,but as we can see jameer isnt the greatest of passers,plus when he chooses to pass alot of times he leaves his feet or tries to make some spectacular pass that gets picked off.As much as i would like for hedo to be a shooting guard,he isnt.The magic looked their best last night with hedo on the bench,grant was playing his normal position of small-forward with keith bogans at the two,the magic played their best defense of the night with that line-up on the floor and was able to cut the lead to 6,jameer-hedo and dwight come back on the floor,the lead ballons back to 13.Grant doesnt shoot the three,but if he's playing the small-forward he doesnt have to,he's a smart enough player that he'll put prssure on the defense by attacking the basket because he probably leads the team in drives to the basket anyway,at the shooting guard it doesnt work for grant cause he cant shoot long range,but at his normal position of small-forward he can give you all-star numbers.Maybe giving grant back his spot,moving hedo to the bench and starting keith bogans would help the teams slide,i think it would.

  • At 10:29 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    I agree with Big Figure's assessment of line-up changes. Grant is probably the best player of the team right now. The question is where to play him in combination with other players on the current roster? Here are the factors to be considered:

    1 - Considering that Grant is not a shooter, he has to be paired with a shooter;
    2 - Since his natural position is SF, I am all for it to move him back to SF;
    3 - Since Hedo is not a SG, and he cannot defend SGs, I am full-heartedly with Big Figure starting Keith at that position. Statistics support that move comparing the shooting percentages of the two for the year; 39.8% (38.7% on 3s) for Hedo compared to 44.8% (49.1% on 3s) for Keith. Keith is enjoying his best shooting year despite limited minutes. Those numbers could expectedly improve when, and if, he gets more consistent minutes.

    I would like to add one more line-up change, to no surprise of anyone since we have been mentioning this for quite a while; Darko to start in place of Battie. Darko has been erratic lately on his offense, rushing his shots when he shouldn't. That could change when he is practicing with the starting unit, and his confidence grows. Regardless, his shot blocking and rebounding is there.

    But all this would not happen with Hill at the helm. Was it OVERWADED who mentioned that the players may be tanking? No matter what is the case, the line of communication between the so-called coach and the players is severed, to the extent that players are not responding to his commands, especially on the defensive end where Hill is expected to excel.

    So are you ready? FIRE BRIAN HILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • At 11:04 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    I consider my last post a positive one, don't you agree?

    I overlooked the situation with Jameer. His numbers are down compared to last year; 45.8% (34.9% on 3s) compared to 48.3% (42.4% in 3s). The big drop seems to be in 3-point shooting. Jameer is a scorer PG not a distributor one, and probably would not change. However, he is a fearless scorer when placed in the right conditions. Recently, he has been taking the ball to the hoop a lot, and that is not his strength due to his size. Teams are figuring that out, and that is why his shots at close range have been blocked more than expected. If he is playing with a good shooter at SG, a penetrating SF, and bigs who attract a lot of attention, his shooting percentage will go up. Fortunately, Carlos has come out of the funk, and is playing a lot better. That difference of style in the two PGs should suit Magic well. But first the team needs a boost of confidence, and they are not gonna get it from a so-called coach who is so resistant to change, without which this trend is not gonna end.

    So are you ready? FIRE BRIAN HILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • At 11:35 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I agree with both posts 1000%,i mean damn,how many games are we gonna have to lose before this guys starts to try other things? FIRE BRIAN "THE BABYSITTER" HILL NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • At 2:26 PM, Blogger Sports on a Schtick said…

    I had a dream this morning where Brian Hill was fired. Too bad I had to wake up.

  • At 5:13 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    Brian Hill continues to suck the life out of this team. His big "shake up" experiment of using Deener instead of Arroyo as a backup PG failed so he went right back to his original tactics. You can almost set your watch to the minute when he will make his substitutions.

    Personally i'm almost fed up with watching Jameer run down the floor and launching up ill advised shots with 20 seconds left on the clock. PASS THE DAMN BALL FOR CRYIN OUT LOUD!!! I'm all for giving Darko a shot in the starting lineup. Something needs to change there because he isn't exactly WOWING anyone with the time he is currently getting. I understand his fragile ego and confidence problem, but how long do we have to blow smoke up his butt? Your a highly paid professional, time to suck it up, be a man, and show us what your made of.

    Another thing that I don't understand is this: In the beginning of the season Ariza saw very little playing time. The team was off to a incredible start. Ariza is awarded more minutes and becomes a valuable asset. Then, when Ariza goes down the rest of the team turns to crap??? What happened to everyone who started the season and got us off to such a great start???

    Some of this may sound harsh, but i haven't posted in quite a while due to frustration and needed to get some of this off my chest. I will try to post more in the future and hopefully be a little more optomistic. I however, do believe that all of this can be corrected with one coaching change. A change to someone who actually knows the game and is leader of young talented men.
    It actually scares me that all of Dwight Howards' talent and potential is being wasted and flushed down the crapper under the current regime. Just like BSH's first stint with the Magic, it isn't until players leave his control, until they can truly flourish and become stars...

  • At 8:07 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I like the idea of inserting KBogans as the starter at SG and moving GHill to SF, Darko to PF and Hedo to the bench. J.J. Redick could be used as the backup SG instead of KDooling.

    JNelson, as the PG, would have to do a better job of getting all these players involved in the game. As was pointed out, Nelson's shooting pct. would probably go up also.

  • At 2:53 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    The offense our team runs is horrible. What offense do we really run? I often see 3 plays called.

    First, putting a player in the post; this is usually Dwight or Darko. The problem, we often don't have a group of shooters out there when we do this, so defenses just collapse on us, force a turnover, or a low percentage shot. Dwight is getting pounded every night, and I blame this on Brian Hill.

    Second, an isolation play. This is usually done for Grant or Hedo. The play gets nobody involved.

    Third, we sometimes run a pick in role. I really don't think we do this enough. It's a simple play that can land us easy baskets, and often gets others involved. The problem often is, the player setting the pick has to have shooting ability. While I think Darko has this, and I'd love to see him running the screen and role with Jameer, this never happens. I also don't think Darko has the "green light" to shoot jumpers. He should, he played great in the summer games playing outside in. However, B Hill seems to only want to use him on the block; which is not what he excels at.

    I know we run a few more; it really just doesn't seem like it as our offensive sets usually look like a total mess which ends with whoever has the ball in the final 5 seconds having to force a shot. This is the point when Jameer usually feels it’s the appropriate time for him to try and shoot more. I don't study offensive play sets, I just know ours suck. The again, it doesn't take a genius to see that our offense sucks. The funny this is, I really don't think it's our players fault. I think the problem is our coach who doesn't know how to use players strengths.

  • At 3:15 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    So what are my suggestions?

    1. FIRE BRIAN HILL; but that should be a given. I really don't see how this guy is going to turn this team around and do any good here. He's never been a winning coach. The only time he won was when he had Shaq, Penny, Grant, Nick, and 3D as a starting 5; who couldn't have won with that lineup. Then again, let’s break down how our offense was then... Give the ball to Shaq in the post, if he's double, hit the open man. Grant had the 18 footer, and the rest could shoot 3's. This brings me to the next change...

    2. A change that pretty much everyone agrees with; Darko starting at the power forward spot. He has shown in the past to have an 18-footer. All he needs is for B Hill to give him the green light.

    I'm going to steal a comment from Brian Schmitz's. Here is what he had to say in regards to Darko.

    "Re-evaluate Darko Milicic's role. I seriously don't know what is happening with Darko anymore. Is he getting better or regressing? Monday night he shot at least two long jumpers when all the Magic have wanted him to do is pound it inside like Dwight. What is he? I'm not sure he knows. This summer, he always looked good playing outside as a passing big man, with his Serbian teammates working off him. Try it."

    Poor Darko, he went from a coach that had a thing against playing young guys, to a complete idiot. Everyone can see that Darko is inconsistent, but I'm starting to believe his inconsistence is because of the lack of direction and guidance. He should also be playing with the starting unit, as he'd fit in better there. He'd be playing a spot that is more natural for him, rather than making him pound it down low. Give the kid some more consistent minutes, like 30 a night, and see how he does. We'll never know what he is capable of how things are going now. He's always playing with different guys; bench, starters, both. His minutes fluctuate between 15-25; once in a blue moon he'll get 30. Add on the fact that he's playing a role that he isn't used to playing, should we wonder why he's considered inconsistent? The only person I can blame for Darko's inconsistency as of now is Brian Hill. If our coach had a clue, then maybe I could turn the blame elsewhere. So just let the guy play how he’s comfortable playing. Not even the best of players perform well when they play out of their comfort zone. Did we not bring him in to play from the outside in? That was the talk when we traded for him, that is his talent, a big man with outside capabilities. But since the start of this season, B Hill has wanted Darko playing exactly like Dwight, WHY?

    3. The shooting guard position needs to be addressed. While I'm not thrilled about Bogans starting, I still think that would help us right now. As BIG pointed out, G Hill did look great playing his natural position last night. I think by moving Hill back to the SF, his overall game would improve just because of the players he'd be matching up with. I think our offense would run smoother, and our defense would improve.

    Hedo needs to be benched. His play has been very much below average this season. He's not playing aggressive. He's not taking it to the basket at all. He's not really doing much at all. I think he's only broke 20 points one time this year. What's happening to Hedo? Maybe losing his starting spot would wake him up a little?

    4. Try and use J.J. Redick. Run him off some screens. Last night, he never stopped running, but he rarely got the ball. And when he did, it was like he was expected to create something for himself. The only shots he got were basically forced. Give him some help. Maybe B Hill should watch some old Duke tapes and see how Coach K used him. The guy can obviously put the ball in the basket, but it’s up to B Hill to make this happen.

    In the end, I can’t blame anyone right now except for Brian Hill. And I really don’t see any of our problems being solved until the Brian Hill problem is solved. He doesn’t know how to utilize player strengths. He doesn’t understand that some players compliment others, and more importantly, that others don’t. Then again, he really doesn’t understand much. The only thing he’s decent at is defense, and the players are becoming very disinterested in that. As our offensive struggles continue, our players will only become more frustrated. In the end, I could have saved myself a lot of time by just saying: FIRE BRIAN HILL! But I feel better saying it, when I can justify why I’m saying it.

    One more time...


  • At 3:39 AM, Blogger Ken said…

    I remember when BSH instisted on playing Penny at the point. A position he hadn't played and obviously wasn't comfortable with. But BSH in all his wisdom wouldn't listen to anyone.

    I'm with ya OVERWADED!



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