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.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Magic fade in 4th to lose rematch with Pistons

Despite going into the fourth quarter with a 4 pt lead, the Magic (27-29, 18-11 home) could not build on it and DET (35-19, 17-9 away) came back to beat the Magic 94-89. It was a much better effort by the Magic after their embarrassing loss WED to DET, but not quite good enough. DET outscored the Magic 27-18 in the fourth.

The Magic were led by DHoward with 20 pts on 7 of 12 FGs and 13 rebs; HTurkoglu also scored 20 pts; GHill 15 pts; JNelson 10 pts, 6 asts, but 5 TOs; and CArroyo off the bench with 8 pts. DET was led by Chauncey Billups with 28 pts; Rip Hamilton 22 pts; and Raheed Wallace 14 pts, 10 rebs.

DET (28 of 71, 39.4%) outscored the Magic (29 of 62, 46.8%) from the floor 62-61. DET hit on 6 of 17 3 pt FGs, while the Magic were 3 of 8 from long range. DET (32 of 37) had the edge at the FT line over the Magic (28 of 36). DET had the edge at rebounds at 39-37 over the Magic, including 12-6 on the offensive boards. The Magic committed 18 TOs to 15 TOs for DET. DET had a 15/15 AST/TO ratio, while the Magic's ratio was 15/18. The Magic bench had a slight advantage over the DET bench 16-13.

The Magic now fall into a virtual tie with MIA for the 7th seed, and are only 1 game ahead of NJ and 2 games ahead of NY, with both teams winning FRI night.

Grant Hill had this to say after the game: "We have to correct those mistakes (turnovers) down the stretch, but we competed. If we do that for the rest of the way, then we give ourselves a chance."


  • At 12:27 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    At least the Magic came ready to play, but give the veteran Pistons team credit for pretty much dominating the game in the 4th quarter and taking advantage of the Magic missed shots and TOs. The Magic didn't even make a FG until a minute and a half remained in the 4th.

    HTurkoglu is becoming the Rex Grossman of the Magic... capable of either being very good or very bad on any given night. We saw Good Hedo FRI night. However, JNelson continues to struggle and is in another one of his funks.

    Some efficiency ratings for the Magic for the game: The good... HTurkoglu 65.7; DHoward 56.8; CArroyo 50.0. The bad... KBogans 0.0; KDooling 8.7; JNelson 23.5.

    It's a shame to see J.J. Redick on the bench while Dooling produces little if anything in 23 minutes.

    Hopefully TAriza can play Sunday against the Rockets and bring his trademark hustle and great defense back to the team.

  • At 2:31 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I thought Ariza was cleared to play? That was the big story before the start of the game. When Grant was cleared to play, he was thrown right back into the starting 5. Ariza gets cleared and doesn't even get a single minute? Why not?

    It was awesome watching Dooling play 24 minutes. We know he doesn't bring offense, but he's out there for his "defense" right? Yeah...no, it wasn't fun watching him get abused all night attempting to guard taller, bigger, stronger players. Even better, it's always fun watching him play offense, as he thinks he is some kind of threat. Someone needs to bring this guy back down to reality. I wonder whose job that is?

    Teams continue to dare us to shoot from the outside. Redick totaled 0 minutes and Bogans 8. Either one of them would have matched up better than Dooling.

    Grant and Nelson each had 5 turnovers; ouch……..

    The 4th quarter was extremely painful to watch. The Pistons didn’t even have to try. The final score made it look like we were in the game when the Pistons were just on cruise control. This is professional basketball right? I’m puzzled how a team of “pros” can manage to go most of the quarter without a single field goal; at home to boot? I wonder what’s going on in that huddle? The problem couldn’t relate to Brian Hill though.

    Did anyone else catch the start of the 4th quarter? Darko had just checked back into the game. There was a play on the offensive end. Darko was calling for the ball in the post. Dooling and Arroyo couldn't get him the ball. The shot clock was winding down, Darko came to set a pick and he rolled. The ball was passed but never really connected. The pass should have never been made to begin with as he would have been getting the ball with no time left anyway. The play turned into a shot clock violation. Brian Hill flipped out on Darko. You could see him screaming, and you could see Darko opening his arms like "what did I do"? Right after B Hill finished screaming; he turned and called Bo's number. Bo then checked into the game. Darko walked to the very end of the bench, asking the players down there to move. As was pointed out by the commentators, he was trying to get as far away from Brian Hill as possible. But, he is the right guy for the job, so I shouldn't question any of this. He knows what he is doing.

    The Magic have shown what they are capable of, in flashes. When it comes down to it, preparation, motivation, comfort level, confidence, what's being said to these players, execution, it all comes back to the coach. You can see, when the game matters, none of our players are comfortable out there. I could go up and down the list, but when is Brian Hill going to be held responsible?


  • At 3:16 AM, Blogger Ken said…

    Another meltdown in the 4th. Yes Ariza was cleared to play tonight. Even one of the reporters asked BSH in the postgame interview if he had been cleared to play. If I recall, BSH made some comment that, at the time the starters were playing well enough that he felt it wasn't neccesary to use him at the time... Ummm ok BSH, whatever you say, your the boss and know everything. Something has to change, I don't see how he can continue to coach this team.

  • At 1:43 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    The Magic's 3 game losing streak could turn into an 8 game losing streak very easily.

    We have 1 more home game against the Rockets who have played well all year, even without Yao.

    Then we’re heading out on the road where we’ll be lucky to win 1 game.

    Maybe this will be what’s best for the team. It needs to totally fall apart, bottom out, before someone will make a change.

  • At 2:01 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    I, for one, am not so critical of this particular game, except that, as usual, we did not have an offensive scheme, as well as proper adjustment to deserve winning. I disagree with the assertion that Keyon played bad, and that is where the efficiency rating is skewed since it does not account for the defense. In my view, Keyon played the best defense of any of our guards. He was fast on his feet, and defended well on the ball. You want to talk about abuse, talk about Jameer and Carlos being abused on the defensive end. Jameer’s size and subsequent defensive deficiency is becoming an issue, now that his offensive output is declining. If the point guard is not scoring, I would rather have Keyon at the point who could at least defend. Carlos is so slow that he cannot keep anybody in front of himself, and that is why he is always reaching with his hands, and lunging behind the offensive player who has passed him.

    In my view, Magic played one of their better defensive games, and that explains the lower shooting percentage for DET. The problem was the offense, or lack thereof, and that all falls on Hill. I may understand his hesitation in playing Trevor, and may be with the intention of giving him more time to heal. However, there is no obvious reason for leaving J.J. out and keeping Keith’s minutes so low. When Trevor comes back in full force, the team’s (although reluctant in calling this group a team) defense is going to get better, as well as scoring may improve due to his knack for offensive rebounding. I still expect Magic to limp into the play-offs, but I don’t know how much of an experience that would be for the young players to be embarrassed in the first round elimination. It’s painful to watch any of their games now.

    FIRE BRIAN HILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • At 3:14 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    I collected parts of Hill's comments in half-time interviews last night. It was something to the effect that our objectives remains the same, meaning winning a championship. this moron is so stupid that anything that comes out of his mouth is an insult to human intelligence. As for Otis Smith, I saw parts of his mumbling without being able to understand what he was talking about. It seems to me that he never opens up his mouth enough when speaking so that his mumbling could be audible. These two are well qualified to carry this Magic's cart to the championship game, but with what or whom in it, is yet to be determined!!!

  • At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    matt-- great analysis. keyon is our best defensive backcourt player, and he can actually look quite good when he's defending PGs instead of SGs. his offense is, of course, generally horrid.

    It's obvious that we can't score in the 4th quarter (or, more broadly, ever). While we need a scoring SF/SG to fully remedy this problem, BHill can provide at least provide help the situation a bit by playing Redick.

  • At 3:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    to be specific, ariza is easily our best defensive backcourt player, when he's playing. i do think BHill will put him back in the rotation soon.

  • At 4:52 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I think Brian Hill didn't want to play Ariza just yet because he's not 100% healthy. Both Brian and Otis are planning on this guy savings their asses. They claim that all the problems started when Ariza went out (false), so you know they're both a bit nervous right now to see what happens, especially with the stretch of games we have coming up. What's the saying, "never put all your eggs in one basket"?

    I'll give you guy’s one thing, Dooling is quick on his feet. He does have the ability to play some quality defense on opposing PG's. However, he hasn't played that position all year long, so Dooling being a defensive threat is null and void. I can see that's he's quick on his feet. But that quickness isn't helping him when he's guarding taller, bigger, stronger players that are getting any shot they want on him. Dooling has played in many games this year when opposing players he's guarding explode on us; he isn't stopping anyone. He's not even slowing anyone down. To make the matter worse, he's a waste of space on the offensive end. If he's such a good defender, then why does he average more TO's than steals and blocks combined? Again, I will say, I believe he could be an effective defender if he was guarding PG's, but until that happens; I'm going to continue pissing on him; especially when we have a bigger, stronger just as good of a defender in Bogans sitting the bench. Add the fact that Bogans can hit some three's, and he knows his role offensively, and I think I have a right to be pissed that I have to continue watching Dooling TRY to play shooting guard.

    With that said, don't even get me started on our PG position. I think if we combined Nelson, Arroyo, Dooling, and Diener we'd have the perfect PG. I also think we can get away with the guys we have at PG if we can get a capable scorer on the wing. Until then, we're going to continue to suffer.

    Matt, when I saw the Otis Smith interview, my response was similar to yours. I actually texted a friend of mine who I knew would be watching the game. It said this: "Is Otis Smith slow? He really needs to avoid speaking publicly".

    As for Brian Hill, they ask the guy about the season and current stat of the team, and he responds with "our goal is still the same, to win a championship". Umm, someone fill this guy in. His team has been falling apart since December. For him to even mention "championship" is just retarded. It's insulting as a Magic fan to have to listen to this total crap coming from our coach and GM.

  • At 5:33 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    4th quarter,6:00 minutes left,grant hill gets his first post up opp against rip,he turns the ball over and then the next time down the floor bsh calls for a dwight howard post-up.Our best match-up against them and it was virtually never used as intro said would happen.There's nothing wrong with the collection of players on this team,this team could win easily with an average coach.FIRE BSH NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

  • At 6:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    good points, big figure and owerwaded. even though i said dooling was quick defensively, he deserves sporadic, stopper-type minutes only. bogans and redick should get far more minutes than dooling.

    other thoughts: i agree we should fire brian hill. but do you all really think we should do so now? we're frustrated, but firing bhill now may create a perception of instability, making this team less attractive to coach. we already fired bhill once mid-season, and i would be reluctant to do so twice. it might be better to wait until the off-season (playoff miss or sweep).

    lastly, i will defend otis, to a degree. he is an inelegant speaker who made a very poor draft pick for vasquez. his other moves, however, have been anywhere from good-to-superb. significantly, his non-moves (not trading for carter) have been wise, too, despite orlando sentinel perceptions otherwise. lastly, it's difficult for otis to meddle in bhill's (bad) decisions on a day-to-day basis without undermining his role as coach.

    so far, i think otis has done a good job. the test will come in the off-season...

  • At 7:55 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    I never said that Keyon, especially as a SG is a better player than Keith. Keith was a starter in my preferred line-up if Grant is moved to SF. I don't understand how Keith could be a starter in the absence of Grant, but not the first guy off the bench for the SG position? I even mentioned that Keyon's natural position is PG. My point is that Keyon is not as bad as some of us may think or the "efficiency rating" may suggest, which I sincerely wish Mike to stop using. How could Carlos be over 50% and Keyon at below 20%? we have to be careful with any collection of numbers that are misleading. Statisticians interpret the numbers the wrong way all the time to prove a point, and mislead in the process, and non-statisticians fall so much in love with numbers that they think all numbers are equally valuable. In my view, Keyon could be a decent PG especially on the defensive end. On offense, he is a streaky and unreliable shooter, but he is explosive and very athletic attacking the basket.

    As for Hill, I have no respect for him, at all. Smith, honestly, annoys me especially since he has surrendered the authorities that GMs typically have to interfere with a coach's decision when it is detrimental to the team's health. It is either that he doesn't see anything wrong with Hill's decisions, in which case he is equally stupid, or he sees the wrongs but does not dare to interfere so that his job security is not jeopardized. In the latter case he is dishonest and does not deserve any benefit of the doubt.

  • At 8:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    matt-- how common is it for an NBA GM to step in, short of firing the coach? i don't have a clear sense.

    for what it's worth, i like the efficiency ratings, as a limited but useful guide.

  • At 8:34 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Obviously, the Magic are not playing well now for many reasons... poor player rotations, players playing out of position, injuries, and player inconsistency among them. That doesn't mean that they can't snap out of this and start playing the way they did back in NOV and last MAR.

    Last season, the Magic were 20-40 and given up for dead when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, they won 16 of 20 games before losing the last 2 games.

    I think it's possible that something similar could happen this season in the final month, because the schedule eases up then, and all the injured players now will be back in the player rotation, which should help better the consistency of the team. A lot will be dependent on BHill using the correct player rotation and matchups. Of course, there's no guarantee that he will. Like Big Figure said, an average coach can win with this same roster of players.

    About KDooling... I realize that BHill is playing him out of position, that Dooling is more of a natural pt guard, so it's not all Dooling's fault that his stat numbers for some games are practically non-existent (1 reb and 1 block in 23 minutes against DET). Like Matt said, he may do some things defensively that are good that don't necessarily show up on the stat sheet. However, I tend to side with OVERWADED with his views on Dooling.

    I agree with "Anonymous" about BHill... it wouldn't do much good to fire BHill right now (he has the built-in excuse of injuries anyhow) but that this coming off-season, if the Magic close the season continuing to play poorly, serious consideration should be given to relieving Hill of his coaching duties, and I would be all for it.

  • At 8:54 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Matt, I can appreciate what you're saying about the ER... it's not a perfect formula obviously, and doesn't factor in intangibles. While I agree that ER shouldn't be the sole factor in evaluating a player, it does give a quick indication of a player's statistical contributions based on minutes played.

    That's why I point out the ERs on my comments... not on my main posts when I recap the game. You can take the ER numbers for what they're worth, or ignore them.

  • At 8:54 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    There are so many anonymous posts here that I am not sure they are all the same. FYI GMs interfere with coaches decisions all the time. Now, there are high profile coaches who are beyond GMs authority, but those coaches are less than the fingers on one hand, and for sure Hill is not one. As for efficiency rating, that is the danger that I was referring to when non-statisticians fall in love with numbers. There are all kind of stats out there, some of which are a collection of numbers put together by people who are amateur number crunchers. The efficiency rating that we are talking about, have two shortfalls: 1) It doesn't account for defense; 2) It is not accurate until weighted. Having that said, if you guys are happy with it, have fun with it but don't throw it in my face.

  • At 10:58 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Mike, when you see Arroyo at 50.0 and Dooling at 8.7, doesn't it raise a red flag? This is not a "quick indicator", as you have called. It's a sham.

  • At 4:43 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Matt, I wish I could see all the Magic games here in the Chicago area, but I can't, other than following the game on the internet or watching a rare nationally televised Magic game. That's why I like to try and interpret statistics to see why a team won or lost a game.

    As far as Dooling's stats for the DET game, he had 1 rebound, 1 assist, and 1 block in 23 minutes to go along with 4 pts. I don't need to look at an efficiency rating to conclude that Dooling had a poor game statistically. You say he defended well, but OVERWADED, who watched the same game you did, said Dooling did not play well defensively. You both are entitled to your opinions, but just by looking at the numbers, they support OVERWADED and his comments.

    By the way, the previous 2 games, Dooling did have a good ER, which I posted in my comments.

    As far as Arroyo goes for the DET game, he had steady numbers and didn't turn the ball over in 14 minutes. His defense was probably lacking, however. If a player doesn't play that many minutes in a game, the ER isn't a good stat to use. For example, KBogans had a 0 ER, but played only 8 minutes. He deserves more playing time than that to try and analyze his statistical numbers. I won't use the ER anymore for players who play under 12 minutes in a game.

    Matt, if you feel that a certain ER for a player in a game isn't indicative of how that player played, you can certainly give your opinion as to why, like you did here with Dooling, or you don't have to pay any attention to it. I think the team stats I point out on my main posts recapping the game are a better indicator of why the Magic won or lost that particular game.

  • At 8:14 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Mike, I am an statistician, and I know the smell of a rotten set of stats, the same way that I feel the smell of rotten fish, from a mile away. There are all kind of stats out there that you are using competently. They are separated in relevant single categories which are straight forward and easy to interpret. What does it take for you to understand that this particular set of numbers are no good?

  • At 11:30 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Matt i would ask where did it seem like someone was throwing the ER stats in your face? After reading the conversation it seemed like Er's were only brought up in one's opinion of last nights game.I dont want to even be part of that conversation because whether the stats are correct or not,keyon wasnt great defensively against the pistons,and i too watched the game,i also tivo the games and watch them again the next morning for perspective and not for enjoyment like the night they are played,after reviewing keyon his on the ball defense is better than average,whichs means he does a great job of preventing players to get to the basket and he's probably best on our team at that whether he's guarding a point guard or shooting guard,but his challenging shots defense is down right horrible,rip hit jumpers in his face right over the top of keyon as if he wasnt even there,and even worse is the fact that outside of dwight keyon's defensive performance was the best out of all of our guards against the pistons,so what does that say? bottom line is this,for a quick indicator of production over a certain amount of minutes some of us enjoy the ER,so mike keep using it please within your post game comments like you have,and matt when they are used,dont take it as if someone is throwing them in your specific face.Can we all move on now?

  • At 12:44 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    This debate is turning similar to one other silly argument that I remember when logic is not the central piece. I don't agree with ER (as though this nonsense deserves an abbreviation) to be repeated since it is not scientific, and I don't want to see it be thrown around and picked up by some as though it is reliable. That creates confusion, and requires extra effort to counter unfounded assessments. That's the end for me.

  • At 3:06 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I don't care either way; because I’m still going to have my opinions regardless if I look at the stats.

    And no matter what the numbers say; I play basketball, and I watch basketball. I guess I could call myself a student of the game. And I don't like Keyon Dooling. I like him for giving a burst of energy for 10 minutes a game. And I'd like it if I saw him playing his natural position. I don't have to look at the stats to see him chucking up crappy shots. I don't have to look at the stats to see guards scoring over him all the time. I don't have to look at the stats to realize that we get burned constantly by players he's often guarding. All I have to do is watch the game. So for me, when I'm done watching a game, and I'm pissed because I saw Dooling on the court way to much, I'll look at the stats to confirm I'm not crazy; and its just that Dooling really isn't that good, at least now for how he's being used. And if this is the only way he’s going to be played here, then he needs to be traded, because it’s not working; especially with Bogans and Redick sitting the bench behind him.

    If Brian Hill wasn’t a complete moron, almost single handily destroying this team; we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    I almost forgot the Magic were playing right now. It sucks that somehow, the only time the Rockets and TMac come to town, and the game doesn’t get any TV time. You think they could have picked another game not to air.


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