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.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Smith isn't finished fixing Magic

I decided to post Brian Schmitz's column. As today the trade deadline passed, and the Magic made no deals. So we're left with a talented mess, a clueless coach, and a questionable GM. What good can come out of the rest of this season? What should we be hoping for?

Smith isn't finished fixing Magic

The Magic might not be engineering a trade as they did last season --- a deal that sparked a late-season run --- but this team still needs pleny of tinkering.
If GM Otis Smith's goal is to build a championship, he need to unfold the blueprints again and roll up his sleeves.
Certainly, they need to make the playoffs or this season has been a waste of Dwight Howard's marvelous progression.
But they're looking at a No.6, 7 or 8 seed at best. That's far from a championship path.
The Magic need more consistent players. They need better defenders. And they need some guys who have a different mental make-p, players who get serious before desperation (missing playoffs) sinks in.
At a time Howard, in his third season, is putting things together, the Magic are wasting his efforts.
Sure, they've been injured.
But they've blown games agaisnt the Hawks and Hornets and Bobcats and suffered another loss to the Knicks on Tuesday night.
The shooting guard and small-forward positions are a mess, to put it bluntly.
SF Hedo Turkoglu, whether it's the mystery virus or not, has not had a season you'd expect from a veteran. Trevor Ariza is ready to return this weekend, and while he's a difference-maker, he's far from polished.
SG Grant Hill simply can't be counted on night in and night out. That's no revelation. How can the Magic go through another season, with Grant always a question mark?


  • At 5:17 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I was just listening to sports radio, and the guys were talking to Otis Smith. They asked him about Vince Carter, and Otis referred to him as "fools gold", so everyone in Orlando that had hopes of Carter coming home can put a nail in that coffin.

    The Magic are not going to win with this roster with the coach we have.

    The only way I can see the rest of the year being salvaged is if we start playing some of the right guys, which Brian Hill refuses to do.

    J.J. Redick needs playing time, PERIOD, no excuses.

  • At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Vince Carter is fool's gold. Just because Otis Smith should trade for someone (eventually) doesn't mean he should trade for Carter.

    Also, Redick deserves significantly more playing time, but playing Redick may not change anything for the Magic this season. Redick is limited, and we should be realistic about those limits. Dooling has also played reasonably well since coming back, which may (unwisely) factor into BHill's decision-making.

    Lastly, I think Hedo and Dooling have played poorly and would love to trade them. But keep in mind that every other team realizes they've played poorly, too. So, they will have few, if any, takers in a trade. Deiner, for this part, probably hasn't played enough-- and has too unimpressive a resume (height, weight, career stats) to receive much interest.

  • At 7:42 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Good comments, OVERWADED and "Anonymous".

    While Redick may have his limits, as "Anonymous" pointed out, he does spread the opposing defense because he's a threat to shoot and hit from basically anywhere on the floor. Even though Dooling has played reasonably well since his return, he does not spread the floor like Redick would because Dooling doesn't have anywhere near the shooting range that Redick has.

    With Dwyane Wade out for several weeks now due to his major shoulder injury, it no longer is a sure thing that MIA will pass the Magic in the standings. However, for the Magic to finish ahead of MIA, let me repeat what OVERWADED posted... the only way the rest of the year can be salvaged is if Brian Hill plays the right guys at the right positions in the proper rotation.

  • At 8:02 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    I agree that something has to be done. However, let's not forget that we won with this roster and we can win again provided the right combination of players are in place and the rotations are not as poorly as Hill managed them to be. I also agree that Grant is nowhere near what he is capable of, and therefore I am for starting Trevor when he comes back at SF. By the way Grant has always been a decent defender and rebounder, which Hedo is neither. Redick's limitations are offset by his shooting abilities, but then so is Keyon's speed and defensive prowess versus his poor shooting. in my view, it is not Keyon vs. Redick because Keyon's natural place is PG. In fact, we have a glut at PG position more than any other position. If Grant moves to SF, there wouldn't be too much of a problem finding minutes for J.J. although, as it stands, he does not deserve more than keith does.

  • At 8:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Agreed. For our best chance at a playoff spot, my recommendations are:

    C: Howard, backup: Battie
    PF: Milicic, backup: Battie
    SF: GHill, backup: Ariza
    SF: Bogans, backup: Redick
    PG: Nelson, backup: Arroyo

    This would make for a nine-player rotation, with Ariza receiving the most minutes off the bench. For frontcourt foul trouble, Outlaw would get a few minutes. With poor backcourt shooting, Dooling, Hedo, and Deiner would play.

    Even if BHill put this rotation into place, we might still play badly; trades need to happen before this team returns to success.

    But this rotation won't even happen.

  • At 8:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    oops, correction: Bogans at the SG position.

  • At 8:39 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I hope that when TAriza comes back, that BHill won't play him and GHill at the same time on the floor, as he had a tendency to do before Ariza's injury. They both have similar offensive games, which bogs down the offense if they are both playing at the same time.

    It might be wise to ease Ariza back onto the floor slowly, and as he gets more playing time and shakes off the rust after a few games, I would like to see him eventually start at SF.

  • At 1:53 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Hedo and Grant's stats are a lot closer from top to bottom than you realize.

    I know we can win with this roster, because we've done it before. But for that to happen, it all comes back to the coaching. He is the only one that can make a difference right now. However, when Ariza gets back into the rotation, I think we'll start looking better. Unfortunately, I still don't see B Hill using Redick or Bogans to often.

    I really haven't seen any of Redicks so called limitations. He’s labeled with these limitations because he’s a "white boy". I myself couldn't be more pleased with his style of play. My only complaint as of today is that he is not playing. I think his basketball IQ is just as high as anyone on our roster. He's very fundemental, which is highly underrated in todays game. I also think he compliments Dwight, Darko, and Ariza very nicely; especially with the offense we attempt to run.

    It's B Hill's job to put Redick in a situation where he can flourish. So that means, on the offensive end, he needs to be out there with Dwight and Darko to spread the floor. And he needs to be playing the 2 spot.

    An example of how not to use Redick was against NY. Hill didn’t play him at all until the 4th quarter. Hill put him out there and had him guarding Channing Frye who is 6-11? NY plays a ton of smaller guards. Redick should have gotten into the game earlier. He also should have been matched up against a shooting guard.

    The few minutes Redick played in the NY game, I guess he was our SF, and Dooling as playing SG. Brian Hill just loves to play guys out of position. WHY? He does it all the time when he doesn't have to.

  • At 4:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    overwaded-- i agree that we'll start looking better when ariza returns. i'm just not sure how much better.

    on redick: his limitations are probably the same as those from which he suffered in college. redick is a poor defender and has trouble creating his own shot. because of the skill at that position, these deficiencies are more damaging to an NBA SG than to a college SG.

    but redick can still be an important role player in the nba. if we play an inside-out shaq-style game (not necessarily the style we should play), he can easily be a dennis scott-style contributor. the fairytale model player for redick is reggie miller.

    that said, i agree that bhill is not using redick effectively.

  • At 12:22 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Anonymous makes a great point,even when trevor returns he'll be worked in off of the bench as the second small-forward behind hedo,thats the problem,our starting line-up mainly the starting shooting guard and small-forward positions are still flawed,remember at the begining of the season our starting unit wasnt playing good basketball,it was the combination of the bench and the fact that we were out depthing people that was propeling us to early season victories,now that other team are healthy and have seen film on us,its pretty easy to see how to beat us,with quickness,our coaches obvious logic is this:Put your best all-around basketball players on the floor as the starters(we know that battie was a starter until his injury,so that means even though bsh tries to use this strategy,he himself cant even identify who his best all-around players are,which is another problem all in itself)which would give you a line-up of,jameer,grant,hedo,darko and dwight by career statistics,thats a line-up of a point guard,2 small-forwards,a power forward and a center.As long as hill keeps this logic,our starting line-up is going to struggle because hill himself isnt a smart enough offensive coach to know how to get the best out of this specific line-up,the line-up can work,but only with someone who understands how to attack defenses.Dwight and darko are gonna face seven foot defenders every night,thats a given,so technically they wouldnt be the best first option in games,as an offense you always wanna go at either,the opponents best scorer or their worst defender,sometimes the player can be both,but for hedo and grant to stand 6ft10 and 6ft8 respectively,how may nights are they gonna face a perimeter with that type of height defensively,for example tonight rip is 6ft4 and tayshaun is 6ft7,grant has 4 whole inches over rip and hedo even has 3 over tayshaun,if i were the coach those would be the match-ups i would milk,and not some perimeter isolation,i'm talking down low on the block and taking it to the cup all night,dwight and darko would rule the offensive boards if any shots came off because webber cant jump.Rip and tayshaun are very light and can be backed down,so the pistons would probably double to help for rip on grant,which would open up tons of open shots for jameer,hedo and darko on the perimeter,no more going one-on-one for jameer or hedo and many more assists for grant,high percentage basketball,this line-up can work with even an average offensive mind.Tonight we'll see exactly how smart our coach is,if dwight and darko take all the post up opportunities as usual and we lose,obviously his strategy isnt working and thats the bottom line finding something that works against a specific opponent,maybe tommorrow the offensive gameplan is totally different,sunday for example i would attack houstons power-forward position,with mcgrady and battier being 6ft9 a piece,they are better suited to defend our perimeter,someone should count the post up attempts on the low block by hedo and grant for the entire game tonight,going at the weakest part of the pistons defense would be the easiest way to consistently score,we'll see if hill has any offensive knowledge tonight.I think i'm gonna start giving a pre-game analysis that breaks down how we can be successful against each team we play if we attack them a certain way for the rest of the season,obviously you guys can do the same,it'll be interesting to see how much hill differs from our offensive opinions with what the team actually carries out on the floor each night.Also speaking of JJ,he's a perfect back-up shooting guard,consistent offensive output trumps having to be a great defender,and not being able to create your own shot never hurt reggie miller or rip hamilton,both of them primarily worked off of screens and so can JJ,when he gets a guy lost behind a screen he's gonna step back and shoot a three,where as most of the 6ft6 great defenders are going to get by him for a dunk or lay-up or a post up attempt and get two points,what would you take 2 or 3 each possession down the floor? JJ's fine,he just needs a coach that will play him.....FIRE BRIAN HILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • At 2:27 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Well said BIG. However, if I was a gambling man, I'd bet that we won't see Grant in the post AT ALL tonight, and we'll see Hedo a couple times. The only thing we'll see out of Grant is a little face up, maybe trying to take someone off the dribble, if not that, all that's left is his 15-footer. As for Hedo, I expect to see shots from all over the floor from him, which isn't always a good thing.

  • At 4:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    the fact of the matter is the magic cannot score. We lose so many games ismply because we can't put up points. Turkoglu is not a consistent player and Dwight needs another good player especially a good wing player to play alongside him. Not playing JJ reddick is not making the team lose he can be a good contributer but he is not a superstar. The magic made a huge mistake by not trading for another player if they plan to win this season. I can understand why Otis does not want to trade some of the young nucleus but that is the only way we can be on our way to a championship. Jameer nelson is inconsistent Darko has a great game once in a while but isn't not very assertive, he fades in and out in a lot of games. Otis smith needs to stop being such a pussy and make a move. He started off by making a lot of moves and revamping the team but now hes just being a wuss. I'm hoping Otis will realize this and sign Rashard Lewis this summer with all that money.


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