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.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Despite poor FT shooting, TOs, Magic give DET big scare in Game 1 loss

The Magic, shooting just 50% from the FT line, having committed 20 TOs, and trailing 91-77 with under 5 minutes remaining, went on a 13-2 run to cut their deficit to 3 pts with 53 seconds remaining, but could get no closer as DET held on for a 100-92 win in Game 1.

Five players scored in double figures for the Magic, led by HTurkoglu with 17 pts on 8 of 13 FGs; GHill with 14 pts; DMilicic off the bench with 14 pts on 5 of 6 FGs; DHoward with 13 pts, 19 rebs but just 3 of 11 FTs and 6 TOs; and JNelson with 10 pts, all in the second half. DET had all 5 starters score in double figures, led by Rip Hamilton and Chauncey Billups with 22 pts each. Billups added 11 asts.

DET (36 of 73, 49.3%) outscored the Magic (36 of 62, 58.1%) from the field 77-74. DET shot 5 of 14 on 3 pt FGs, while the Magic shot 2 of 5 on 3s. DET (23 of 31) shot FTs much better than the Magic (18 of 36). The Magic had the rebounding advantage 39-33. DET had the superior AST/TO ratio of 29/9, compared to just 18/20 for the Magic. The Magic bench had the solid advantage over the DET bench 30-16.

Game 2 MON night in DET.


  • At 11:59 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    If someone had told me that the Magic would commit 20 TOs and miss 18 FTs in this game, I would have guessed that DET would have won the game by at least 20-25 pts.

    Great FG shooting and outstanding bench play kept the Magic a lot closer than a lot of people would have thought.

    It was very encouraging to see Darko playing, and playing well. Darko was the only player off the bench to play more than 17 minutes. BHill is going to have to use the bench more liberally as the series goes on if the Magic are going to give DET a serious challenge. Ariza needs to play more than 7 minutes, Dooling more than 17, and Redick deserves more than just sitting on the bench the whole game.

    Billups/Hamilton outscored Nelson/Grant 44-24, with 15 asts, 5 TOs. Nelson/Grant combined for 8 asts, 6 TOs.

    What a great AST/TO ratio for DET... 29/9.

    If only the Magic could have made just 70% of their FTs...

    DET will probably foul Dwight at every opportunity now, at least until he can prove that he can make FTs on a consistent basis. Lots of pressure on Dwight to improve his FT shooting.

    If the Magic can improve their FT pct. and cut down on their TOs, Game 2 is there for the taking... DET is not unbeatable.

  • At 4:07 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Throughout this series will our backcourt change? Of course the answer is no, so we can't win.

    Nelson and Grant have never worked together, and will never work, especially against one of the best backcourts in the league. We're exposed at both positions. Neither Nelson nor Hill can defend their man, and neither of them are going to light the hoop on fire on the other end against their defenders. If we want a chance, some kind of change has to happen in our backcourt. And since I don’t think we can match Detroit’s firepower, we’re left with putting guys out there that can actually defend Billups and RIP. Dooling, Ariza, Bogans, Redick, and even Arroyo are all better answers than Nelson and Hill. Don’t hear me wrong, I’m not saying Hill shouldn’t be playing, but this is just a tough match up with him, especially playing out of position. And if we’re going to have him out there playing out of position, we should at least have Dooling next to him to defend a little.

    As of now, I have a problem with Nelson. I consider him a 6th man at best.

    The Magic have struggled in 1st in 3rd quarters for a while now (maybe all season). Yet, Hill holds to his rotation, even as leads grow. But as our bench starts hitting the court, the lead starts going down. If we could just have the right guys out there to begin with, maybe we wouldn't always have to waste energy fighting back into games.

    I don't care if we're in the middle of the playoffs; Darko should start Monday.

    Ariza only played 7 minutes, which is laughable. Yet, I'm not surprised.

    Brian Hill did exactly what I expected him to do. He played veterans. He went most experienced 1st, and down from there. The only exception is Dwight, but that's a given.

    I know the Magic turned the ball over, and I know they missed free throws. Still, I think if Hill put the right guys on the floor together, the ball would be turned over a lot less. And who knows, when a team plays well, their confidence soars higher, and they might make a few free throws.

    The bottom line, the team shot well. The team defended well. They had the exact same problems as always. And as far as I can see, I think the turnover problem could be corrected; just not under this coach.

    Since our starting lineup isn’t going to change. I guess I’m left for hoping for the time Darko and the bench checks in. Even Darko alone in the starting rotation instead of Battie would make a big difference, but that is too little to late at this point with Brian Hill.

  • At 11:34 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    OVERWADED just summed up what we all may have thought. I complement his comments with a couple of my own questions:

    1 - It was ugly to see Jameer on Hamilton and Grant on Billups at the start, like picking your poison. If you don't see your PG being able to defend the opponent's PG why in the heck you choose another mismatch? Once again, isn't it a better situation to start Keyon?
    2 - Obviously Battie was not able to defend Wallace. Why don't you put in Darko earlier or even start him?
    3 - Grant played as well as he could against a good defense, but don't you have to rely on defense sometimes, thus giving more time to Trevor and Bogans to stop DET's roll, as OVERWADED pointed out?

    These are all simple common sense strategic and/or tactical observations. Unfortunately, Hill lacks in many areas including basic common sense.

  • At 11:55 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    BSH chose to go with the team none of us like with arroyo and dooling in the back-court coming of the bench,to me everything comes back to hill,how can we expect to even win a game,he's never coached a team to a win and anytime JJ doesnt play i'm gonna have a problem with bsh no matter how many free throws the team misses,we turned the ball over and missed a ton of free throws and still could have won if we had a coach with a clue in my opinion. Jameer Nelson is a back-up point guard and if he remains bsh's starter every loss has to be solely blamed on hill,everytime i see jameer i feel like the magic have four starters and a back-up on the floor,it is obvious that he is the lone weak link in our line-up defensively and we cant win with him playing starter minutes,add in the fact that he doesnt pass and isnt a capable passer at his height,how can bsh justify keeping him in the line-up?We're going on about 5 losses in a row to detroit,AND NOW INSTEAD OF DOING THE RIGHT and benching jameer for dooling a better defensive guard,bsh is trying to hide jameer as he tried to put him on hamilton and what did hamilton do,exactly what i said couldnt happen for us to have a chance,he shot right in jameer's face like he wasnt even there,chauncey and rip both shoot right over jameer with ease and its getting pathetic to watch,so basically bsh realizes that jameer is a defensive liability because he tried to devise a scheme for him,but choses to keep him in the starting line-up....HUH?????????? THAT SHOULD GET HIM FIRED RIGHT THERE!!!!!!!!!EVERYBODY READY 1-2-3,FIRE BRIAN HILL!!!!!

  • At 1:59 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Well said guys. I'm glad I wasn't the only one that saw the obvious. Sometimes I wonder though, because Hill never changes anything.

    I honestly think I'd rather Dooling and Arroyo playing over Nelson. And even though Arroyo isn't going to lock anyone down, he'll still defend Billups better, and run the team better than Jameer can. Dooling is a given in both areas.

    Brian Hill didn't make changes in the regular season, so we know there is no way in hell he'll make any changes in the post season. This is also the reason every time Brian Hill has lost a playoff series he’s been swept, because he refuses to change and adjust. He’s just a stubborn fool. The only thing we can hope for is early substitutions.

    Will Redick get any playing time? The 1st game was an obvious statement by Hill, reminding everyone that he really only likes playing veterans. My guess is Redick will see 5-15 minutes for the entire series, and that’s pushing it. I’m glad to see all of our young guys are getting valuable playoff time.

    We're a different team with Darko on the floor. He makes things happen on both ends. Things that Battie at his best can’t make happen. His size, strength, athleticism, ability to change shots, pass, and score just change the look of our team (even with Jameer on the court). I said this many months ago; not having him out there 30-40 minutes a game with Dwight is just letting the opposing team off easy. Those two could be dominating right now, but Brian Hill has severely stunted their growth together. Who knows, there is a chance we’ll never see it, depending on what happens this summer.

    As for Darko last night; he seriously impressed me. You could tell his foot was bothering him, yet he still battled and played tough. He also defended Sheed, which for some reason Battie couldn't do. And if Battie isn't defending, then what is he doing?

    The negative; Darko probably earned himself an extra million from that performance along. If he continues to play like that the rest of the playoffs, we're going to have to drop some serious money to keep him. It's not like we didn't know that already, as we said that at the start of the season...

  • At 2:21 PM, Blogger tdawg said…

    In addition to the rotation problems last night and all year long. If Detroit is going to foul Howard in the post, get Howard the ball more. I'll trade some miss FT by Howard, for fouls on Wallace, Webber, and McDyess.

    Also, 100% agree about Nelson being benched. Its painful obvisous to everyone(expcet Hill) that Arroyo and Dooling are better at both ends of the court. The numbers reflected as much, Magic outscored Det. in the 2nd, and 4th quarters.

  • At 10:28 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I expect tonight that there wont be any changes to the starting line-up as we all probably do,bsh will use the logic that if we make more free-throws and turn the ball over less his crappy rotations will work,instead of beating a team easy with your best weapons,it seems like he wants us to play with every odd stacked against us and expect us to win.

  • At 11:57 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Hill should consider that maybe the reason we turn the ball over so much is because of the lineups we have on the floor?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe our "backcourt" of Nelson and Hill had 6 turnovers together in game 1. They're supposed to be our best ball handlers. Grant has an actually excuse, as he's been playing out of position. Jameer on the other hand doesn't have any excuse.

    I'll be interested to see if Dooling outplays Nelson again, yet plays fewer minutes once again.

    Really though, these are the playoffs, Hill can't be worried about hurting a players feelings. If it's best for the team for Jameer to play less, then it shouldn't be a problem However, as we all know, nothing different is going to happen. As BIG said, Hill will say if we make more free throws, and turn the ball over less (with his rotation) then we should put ourselves in a position to win.

    It's so frustrating to watch...

  • At 1:53 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    After watching the suns last night i started to think about our point guard position,they have two point guards that are better than any one we have and one will be a free-agent come the summer,barbosa. He plays off the ball alot for the suns because they like to go small,but could you imagine if the magic could sign this guy this summer to come in and man the point guard position in the east,he's a legit 6ft3-6ft4,he can defend,he's played in tough playoff series's,obviously he can shoot it from anywhere,and what i like most is his ability to find people when steve nash is on the bench,he's played behind and beside steve for a while now something would have had to rub off right?

  • At 2:26 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    If Hill uses the same starting line-up we should expect worse than the first game because DET is gonna make adjustments to improve. Battie cannot stop or contain Wallace, and Jameer would be at Billups' or Hamilton's mercy, pick your poison. The only way that Magic may have a chance is to start Keyon and Darko and get out of the gate fast with a run and gun offense. Grant is good for a 6-minute onslaught, and then Trevor or Keith should be brought in for defensive stops. If Hedo's shots are not falling Hill should not hesitate to bring in J.J. and use Trevor at SF position. A smart rotation of Jameer, Carlos, Keyon, Grant, J.J., Hedo, Trevor, Dwight, Darko and Tony should put us in a position to steal a game in DET. Do I bid my house that Hill would be that smart to use such starting unit and rotation? Are you kidding me? Hill is not courageous enough to make any bold moves. He'd rather lose with an ordinary line-up than a bold one that may expose him for more criticism. Of course that is his mindset the way it is, although I am confident that a bold line-up will make many Magic fans a lot happier even if the numbers on the board are even worse than the first game.

  • At 2:38 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Of course I'd take Barbosa!

    The Magic might also take a look at Steve Blake. He's a pass first guard who doesn't play much on Denver. He's only been in the league 3 years. He's a free agent this summer. He also played a great game yesterday in the victory over the Spurs. I'm pretty sure the Magic could land him at a bargain price.

    Beyond that, two names I've heard the Magic will entertain this summer are both J Kidd and Vince.

    Regardless, the Magic have some serious work to do this summer. They need to find a way to bring in a few keys pieces, dumping some players (it might have to be guys like Jameer or Turk), so they can also resign Darko. It's not going to be easy. But some guys that we probably wouldn't mind staying around might have to go. My only untouchables are Dwight, Darko, Trevor, and Redick. And depending on the offers, that list might shorten.

    And to boot, the Magic will also need to address the coaching problems. Typically that should be done before the players start coming in and going out, but who knows with this organization.

  • At 4:00 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Good analysis by all you guys. The key thing that was pointed out is that BHill has to use the proper player rotations to match up with the Pistons lineup better, in order to cut down on all the TOs and defend better.

    I agree that BHill is not smart or bold enough to do so. If he goes with his usual lineup, I would at least hope that he uses the bench a lot more liberally than he did on SAT.

    By the way, I'm having computer problems with my desktop and have to use the computer at our local library. Don't know for sure when I'll be able to have mine fixed, so I won't be able to post my post-game statistical summary like I always do. If one of you guys can post the game summary, that would be great... thanks!


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