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.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Shorthanded Hornets stun cold-shooting Magic in OT

The Magic (22-17, 8-11 road) were held to a season-low 78 pts by NO/OKC (15-22, 9-10 home), who were missing 4 regular players, including star G Chris Paul. NO prevailed 84-78 in OT, as the Magic did not score in the OT until a meaningless 3 pointer in the final 10 seconds.

NO was lead in scoring by reserve Jannero Pargo, with 25 pts on 10 of 18 shooting; Desmond Mason 21 pts; and Rasual Butler 19 pts. DHoward led the Magic with 17 pts, 15 rebs; HTurkoglu 16 pts; JNelson 12 pts; and DMilicic led the reserves with 11 pts, 10 rebs. Pargo also hurt the Magic last season in a game as a member of the Bulls.

NO (30 of 80, 37.5%) outscored the Magic (29 of 83, 34.9%) from the field 64-63. The Magic hit on 5 of 15 3 pt FGs, while NO was 4 of 17. NO (20-23) also had the advantage from the FT line over the Magic (15 of 23). The Magic had the slight edge in rebounding 49-48. Both teams had 16 TOs, while the Magic had an AST/TO ratio of 15/16, and NO 11/16. The Hornets reserves, led by Pargo's 25 pts, outscored the Magic reserves 29-20.

The Magic finish the road trip a disappointing 1-3, losing the final 3 games. After playing LAL and PHX tough, the Magic were very flat against NO. Magic miss TAriza and his energy off the bench. Redick and Diener continue to sit. Things only get tougher for the Magic, starting FRI night in ORL against WAS. The Wizards are now percentage pts ahead of the Magic in the SE.


  • At 1:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    tough game for the magic. i've read through some excellent posts on this site and wanted to add my own two cents:

    --many of you have rightly discussed the need for redick/deiner to recieve some, and milicic more, playing time. this team desperately needs consistent outside shooting, which our current rotations do not provide.

    --you have also suggested reducing arroyo's playing time in favor of deiner. as unfortunate as it is for our puerto rican fans, i agree. but there are other problems worth considering, too. to wit:

    --is nelson the medium-to-long term answer at PG? we all love his heart, decent-to-sometimes hot shooting, and clutch performances. but he is, ultimately, a shoot-first PG who makes too few assists and makes too many (if declining) TOs. moreover, he is a major liability on defense, because he's simply too small to defend. nearly all of the impressive performances against the magic have come from the G positions.

    --is dooling the right person coming off the bench? his scrapiness and periodic hot shooting are great, but he might be a net negative overall. dooling shoots poorly on average and doesn't do much else. and even though he's energetic on defense, he's still small and routinely exposed on that basis.

    --be realistic about bogans. he's been valuable for us of late, but look at his shooting percentage over previous seasons (and up until last week this season) and you'll see that he just isn't a great shooter, even with all the 3s. bogans has done some good things for us, but he probably shouldn't be more than 9th man, either.

    --so where are the bright spots? we have many. howard, ariza, hill (for as long as he plays), milicic, and even battie are strong foundations for a team. but the guard positions are, frankly, weak, both offensively (which you've noted) and defensively (which is worth noting, too, and redick won't help there). we need to focus on upgrading these positions in the off-season.

  • At 2:20 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…


    Yo "anonymous"; you seem to know your Magic pretty well. Feel free to jump aboard anytime you want.

    Honestly, you touched on a lot of the points I was going to bring out. So I'll try to do what I do without repeating too much.

    I'm agreeing with "anonymous" in regards to Arroyo. How long do we have to watch Arroyo seriously struggle before Diener sees ANY game time?

    If Redick isn't going to play, then Bogans needs to get more playing time. He's a good defender, and he knows his role. He should be taking minutes from Dooling. As "anonymous" pointed out, Dooling is an energy guy, but nothing more on a consistent basis. Even if he does provide energy, he's undersized and tries to do a lot more on the offensive end than he's actually capable of. As for Bogans, he's basically a .40% career shooter, which isn't bad for a guy that has always played sporadic minutes. Although this season, his field goal % is up. I like what he brings this team off the bench. He hustles, he's bigger and stronger than Dooling, he's a spot up shooter, and unlike Dooling, he doesn't get carried away and try to make "superstar" plays.

    Unlike "anonymous", I'm comfortable with our PG's. The only problem as I see as of now is we have too many and a decision will need to be made soon in regards to the amount of small guards we have. As for Nelson, I still see him as a starter. There have been many championship teams that have won with guys like Nelson running the point. The Magic need someone to put next to him in the backcourt. Is it Vince Carter, who knows, its way to early to say? And if you think about it, and take a look around the league, there are not that many great PG’s out there besides the obvious names.

    Still on Nelson; one thing I might have to agree with "anonymous" about is Nelson on the defensive end. There have been some pretty average guards putting up big numbers on him. And it's not like they're abusing Nelson's size, they're just shooting the lights out on him. Nelson needs to focus more on the defensive end, as he might tend to fall asleep from time to time.

    I've concluded that Darko will never start this season. However, he continues to show effort and energy out there. Tonight he had a nice game. The only way he's going to get better is with more time, especially more time with Dwight. If he's not going to start, he needs to be playing 30 minutes. I think he's earned that much.

    The Magic are going to miss Ariza terribly. From the outside, it's easy to look at him just as a role player for this team; but he was doing a lot more than that. Many nights he was our difference maker, because he brings it every night on both ends of the floor.

  • At 8:34 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    I don't know which words could describe last night's loss; probably a truck load will do the justice. For now I settle for two; ABSOLUTELY PATHETIC.

  • At 11:44 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Yeah Matt, as you might have noticed, that's why I didn't talk about last night's game in my post. It was actually hard to understand how it happened. I mean, I saw how, but my mind still isn't getting it. That's probably a good thing; if I wasn't in some kind of "denial-shock" I'd probably be breaking stuff.

  • At 12:19 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Intro the reason we lost is simple,how many times do you remember the magic taking the ball to the basket?Just look at the box score,grant goes 2-7 with 7 pts in 38 minutes,YEAH 38 MINUTES!!!!,i can remember him missing a big jumpshot late.Jameer goes 6-17 in the same amount of time,he hit the shot that sent it into overtime,but didnt hit much before or after. Carlos is the biggest mystery,at the begining of the season when jameer was in a funk,carlos was coming of the bench getting 20 a night,we all started questioning whether he should be the starter,now he cant hit a bucket to save his life,he goes 0-6 last night,all jumpshots except for one ugly shot a the rim he tried to bank off glass.Keyon wasnt much better going 1-6,mostly on jumpshots.Anybody see a common theme,this team shoots to much and doesnt have direction from the coach to make them attack the basket.(1)this team just isnt very good when it comes to the routine things a good team should do,when was the last time we had a guy hit double figure assists (anonymous is right about the future of this teams point guard situation,jameer is solid but doesnt assist the ball enough to be a championship starter,and winning championshiops is the only thing they play for).(2)They dont get to the free-throw line enough,settling for jumpshot after jumpshot from player after player,missing jumpshots trying to get your jumpshot going seems to be the way this team see's scoring,intro you talk about how much you hate DWade,but he's actually the smartest guard in our league,i wish all of our perimeter players played more like him,he puts the pressure on the officials,they are the one's who make the calls,i dont blame DWade for getting fouled when he goes to the basket,i praise him because its smart basketball,if you want to place blame,blame it on the officials.

  • At 12:55 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    As much as i'd like to blame bsh,the guys are gonna have to start to look in the mirror,how can you let a team so injured of the hook without challenging them at the rim? Thier big man fouls out,and none of our guys attack the basket,huh? They are an undersized team,but all we got is one lob all night,huh? To answer anonymous's question,jameer is the medium answer.What is jameer's highest assist total game? The answer to that question to me shows why we can up-grade that position.Speaking of carlos,when he was hitting his jumpshot everything seemed fine,but what else was he contributing in the box score outside of the occasional 5-6 assists,after watching his total game struggle(not just his jumpshoot)for weeks now,i would have to say he contributes nothing when his jumpshot isnt hitting,and thats our back-up point guard?Our starter doesnt pass(enough),our back-up does but sucks everywhere else,pathetic situation.Jason kidd is reported to be on the trading block,with the way jkidd pushes the ball without even being coached to do so would open up our offense and team,we should forget about wing players and try to get a point guard who will actually be able to match up with arena's and billups,jkidd has 7 triple double games this year,he'd be the closest thing to aquiring steve nash at this point,jkidd would instantly make dwight a 20 pt scorer just because of transition passing (jkidd throws lobs all night),we need point guards who are going to make our team and players better,and right now jameer and carlos arent getting it done,and honestly with the way their game's are designed,i dont know if either can be the player we need them to be,i'd rather fix it with a proven change of pace point guard,and with the way medicine is today jkidd and grant could play together for the next 3-4 years,they were co-rookie of the year winners,how fun would that be to watch them play together,plus jkidd is a much improved three point shooter.Jameer would be a perfect back-up to someone like jkidd.

  • At 2:06 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    We see on a regular basis what it looks like for a player to play with a pass first point guard that can actually shoot the basketball,anybody think stoudamire would be getting 40pts in a game without steve nash? I dont think so. Right now i'd have to say that grant hill is the best point guard on this team,followed by travis. Watching the magic,i asked myself a question while watching the game,how many of our players do something as routine as a bounce pass? (steve nash and jkidd throw bounce passes and lobs all game,it seems like jameer's only passes come when he leaves his feet,and that gets him into trouble alot)Grant was the only player i saw throw a bounce pass the whole game,coming off of a pick and roll,grant fit a bounce pass through two defenders to dwight,dwight winds up getting a three point play opportunity out of it (very nash to stoudemire like),something so simple that our true point guards just dont do,and obviuosly arent coached to do,last year when i attended a magic game i posted that i saw travis use a bounce pass that got deshawn stephenson a wide open jumpshot,thats why trav would come in second in my opinion,because he at least understand's what smart routine basketball is,just like grant.Seeing jameer get the occasional 6-7 assist game(usually more like 4-5),but only average about 15 pts a game isnt worthy of keeping your job long term into the future,if your gonna be a starter with low assist totals,then you need to be more efficient and less streaky on the scoring end,jameer needs to be averaging an efficient 20pts a game for the assist totals to be excused,and i dont think jameer's that good to do that consistently,throw in the fact that his on the ball perimeter defense isnt good because of lack of height (everybody shot over him on this road trip)and what you have is a great scoring punch off the bench,jameer could be used similar to vinny "the microwave" johnson,for years we've watched opposing guards shoot over magic point guards dating back to tim hardaway over daryl armstrong in the playoffs,we need to finally get an answer at that position,because as smush parker and others have showed,jameer's just to short,his thickness and on the ball post defense is the only reason he's a capable point guard.When it comes to carlos,i'd let him walk at the end of the season,travis is ready.

  • At 1:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    just to add that it pains me to think that jameer may not be the answer. i thought the magic organization was right to view jameer as our franchise PG, based on his previous performances. and even this year, he's played okay-- his shooting percentage and points are still good even if his assists and (declining) TOs are off. the successful model for Jameer is Jason Terry, who shoots first (and well) while dishing out a few assists. and while i don't expect Jameer to be as good as Terry, I note even Terry's weak spots-- assists-- are better than Nelson's. crucially, nelson is also weaker defensively, partly because he's so short.

    i haven't given up hope on nelson. but even if he isn't our right starting PG, he could still have a valuable role: As Big Figure suggested, he could be an excellent Vinnie Johnson-type player. But his pride may be too big to accept that role here.

    big figure is also right about arroyo. he can still dish the ball but nothing else. losing his production off the bench may be the single greatest difference between november and now.

    --same anonymous as above (i may eventually come up with a nickname if i find time to post more often)

  • At 8:40 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Excellent points by all. I cannot blame it all on the players. Citing their prior performances, we are aware of their pros and cons. Jameer could be more productive, as he proved in the past, while we are aware of his defensive shortcomings. In all he is not an assist-type point guard. Carlos was playing so well which, as Big Figure noted, we were doubting if Jameer's starting job is safe. Now all he does is pounding the ball, and eventually taking a clunker. He does not even pass the ball when he should, which happened a couple of times in the last game, ending up with a miss while a rushing player could have had a layup.

    So the question is what happened to these players that they are not performing as they used to? The answer, in my view, is two-fold: 1) They are restricted when they shouldn't be, and 2) They are not guided when they should be. The first element is typical of Hill's teams; example: Deshawn Stevenson was not allowed to take 3-pointers, and he didn't, but look at where he is in that category with WAS. The second element is due to the fact that Hill is not a smart coach on offense; he is basically defense first. Therefore, there are times that players are not fully aware of what is expected of them, or can we call it a lack of offensive scheme? That, in closest analogy that I could think of in business, equals a company where employees do not have clear and precise job description.

    In conclusion, those players, especially our guards, that are to be blamed for our recent inconsistencies, are in fact the victims of a lack of direction, individually, and a lack of their role within the team, collectively.

    Anonymous, welcome and find a name to jump in the mix. We appreciate smart basketball minds, and if you wish to join as a contributor, that could be arranged, as well.

  • At 10:26 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Matt thats deffinitely the other side of the equation so to speak,you're right we have no offensive system,i posted that throwing it into dwight and playing inside out isnt a system months ago,which is why i say this team wins depsite the coaching.While i agree with your post,at the same time the post kinda takes the pressure off of the players and i cant do that,i talk about how bad bsh is all the time,so when the players need to get ripped i gotta do it.Bsh is responsible for most of whats wrong with this team,but when our 4 perimeter back-court players (jameer,grant,carlos & keyon)go a combined 9-36 for 22pts(4 PLAYERS 22PTS,pathetic)you have to start to wonder if they care about their individual performances and if they care about individual games,against a team that had their 3 leading scorers out and their top bench scorer out,you would think that the magic would have had an advantage just because we had better ballers on the court,regardless of offensive guidance or offensive play calling,the guys choose whether they want to go to the rim or not,you dont need an offense to drive to the basket,trevor when healthy chooses to go to the rim,why wont everybody else.I posted about a month ago that this team depends on too many players to be successful,it would be impossible to get all of them to attack the basket because eventually someone is gonna wanna shoot no matter what offense is ran,to me that say's we still have the same team,win 5 lose 5,regardless of our record we play like a 500% team,at home we beat the teams we should beat,and on the road we cant beat anybody respectable because we dont play smart,on the road jumpshots arent smart,getting to the free-throw line is.Hey anonymous,get yourself a name and jump on,this is the place to be for intelligent magic break-downs.

  • At 3:33 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Big Figure, please don't get me wrong. I am not trying to take the blame completely away from the players. What I was trying to do was to find the root cause of why players are not performing as they used to. We have lost many games just due to zone defenses by the opponents, and our inability to make the jumpshot. If the shooters, like Travis or J.J. are on the floor, chances are that non-shooters would not have to take a desperation shot with the clock winding down, as a result of which, their numbers may not look as bad as it does now. I agree that Jameer and Carlos had some real clunkers in recent games, but some of the shots that they took were with the shot clock running down, and they had to get them off. In summary, bad offensive sets leads to bad shots, and bad shots, especially against zone defenses, translates to losses.

  • At 3:51 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Had a chance to crunch some numbers last night regarding JNelson and CArroyo, and here are some of the stats I came up with in regard to the drop-off in their performances:

    Nelson: So far this season, in 35 games, he is averaging 13.3 ppg on 46.6% FG shooting (33.7% 3 pt FG shooting) and 4 asts per game. In the last 19 games of last season, he averaged 17.1 ppg on 50.2% shooting, including 43.9% from the 3 pt line, and 5.2 asts.

    In regard to Arroyo, his drop-off is even more dramatic. In November this season, he averaged 10.3 ppg on 48.7% shooting, and 9 of 19 3 pt FGs. Since then, Arroyo is averaging just 6.8 ppg on just 33.5% shooting, including a pitiful 1 of 17 on 3 pt attempts. That's right, Carlos has made just one 3 pt FG since DEC 1st. Last season with the Magic, in 27 games, Carlos averaged 10.8 ppg on 50.2% shooting.

    The highest number of assists for an individual for the Magic this season is 7, accomplished 3 times by Nelson. The last time a Magic player had double figures in assists was last March, as Nelson had 10 in a game. He also had 13 in a game last season.

    Matt's previous post gave a number of good reasons as to why Nelson's and Arroyo's performances have declined so noticeably. In addition, these guys need to look at themselves in a mirror and know that they can play much better than what they're doing now. Diener is waiting on the bench, if Arroyo doesn't turn it around pretty soon. I still have faith in Nelson, that he can regain his consistency and return to being the outstanding player he was the last month of last season.

    "Anonymous", welcome to the blog and hope you have time to contribute on at least a semi-regular basis and get a nickname. You fit in with the rest of us very well... you know your Magic basketball.


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