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.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Magic clinch playoff spot after near late collapse against BOS

With the NJ win over IND earlier SUN, the Magic just needed to beat BOS SUN night to clinch their first playoff appearance in 4 seasons. The Magic seemed to be well underway to another easy victory over a team they were clearly superior to, leading BOS by 19 pts entering the 4th quarter, and by 85-68 with 6:43 remaining. From that point on, the Magic were held to just 3 FTs and were plagued by TOs and missed shots, as BOS outscored the Magic 18-3 the final 6:43, but the Magic (38-42, 24-16 home) were able to hold the Celtics (23-57, 11-29 away) on the game's final possession to hang on for a narrow 88-86 win.

The Magic had 5 players in double figures, led by HTurkoglu with 20 pts; GHill and JNelson with 16 pts each; KDooling off the bench with 12 pts; and DHoward 10 pts, 14 rebs. However, Howard shot just 3 of 8 FGs, 4 of 12 FTs, and committed 5 TOs after his career game against PHI SAT. BOS, without Paul Pierce, Wally Szczerbiak, and Tony Allen, was led by Al Jefferson with 28 pts, and Delonte West with 19 pts.

BOS (35 of 78, 44.9%) outscored the Magic (28 of 63, 44.4%) from the field 72-61. BOS hit on 2 of 11 3 pt FGs, while the Magic were 5 of 11 from long range. The Magic, even though they shot FTs poorly (27 of 40), had the decided edge at the FT line over BOS (14 of 20). The Magic had the rebounding edge 40-31. The Magic had a horrible AST/TO ratio of 13/22, while BOS had a more respectable ratio of 15/15. The Magic bench outscored the BOS bench 26-11.

Along with the awful finish to this game, there was more bad news for the Magic even though NJ eliminated IND. With the NJ win, the Magic have to win their remaining 2 games (at WAS, MIA), while NJ loses their remaining 2 games (at NY, CHI), for the Magic to finish in the 7th seed and avoid a first round matchup with number one seed DET.

17 Comments:

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

    Not exactly a high note for the Magic to clinch a playoff spot on with their inexplicable meltdown in the final 7 minutes.

    To me, this game was almost like a loss. All the things the Magic had been doing well lately... very good FG shooting, excellent AST/TO ratios, and dominating mediocre teams from start to finish... it just wasn't there against BOS.

    I had been especially encouraged by the Magic's much-improved AST/TO ratio the last couple weeks, but against BOS, it was an ugly 13/22.

    About the only positive that came from this game was that the Magic finally were able to win a close game, but it never should have came down to that, not with a 17 pt lead with 6:43 left.

    Let's face it, the Magic, even if they win their final two games, won't catch NJ to finish in the 7th spot. NJ may lose to CHI WED, but they certainly won't lose in NY to the injury-ravaged Knicks on TUE, though NY gave TOR a very good game SUN.

    Magic still have 2 games remaining, and hopefully they won't have any meltdowns and will play solid ball from start to finish and have some momentum going into the playoffs.

    Congrats to the Magic for clinching their first playoff berth in 4 years, though they are capable of a lot more. With Brian Hill as coach, the Magic won't ever reach their vast potential.

     
  • At 11:37 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    In addition to Mike's comments in regards to post season positioning; IF the Magic win out at Washington and here against Miami, and Washington loses out, to us and Indiana AT Indiana, we'll be tied with Washington. We'd have the tie breaker with Washington and be in the 7th spot.

    To make it more interesting, if NJ loses in NY and at home against Chicago, we could go as high as the 6th spot.

    Regardless, we need a little help if we want to move out of the 8th spot. And as it stands right now, our best chance to move into the 7th spot, is to beat Washington and Miami, and hope Washington loses on the road to Indiana. If we take care of our business, all we need is for Indiana to show a little pride on their home court, being that it’s the last game of their season, and beat a struggling Wizards team. Then, we’ll at least have the 7th spot.

     
  • At 2:11 AM, Blogger Ken said…

    Jameer Nelson is a turnover waiting to happen. Could he have handled the ball any worse in the 4th quarter? Play like that just won't cut it in the playoffs.

    Did anyone listen to the post-game interview with Grant Hill? Apparently at the start of the 4th quarter announcer Paul Porter made an announcement something like, "Only 12 more minutes until the playoffs" or something to that effect. Grant Hill was livid about that, so was Matt Goukas. Hill felt that it was one of the most unprofessional things that could have been done. Goukas said it wasn't Porters fault, that he only reads what is put in front of him, and that someone within the Magic organization was responsible. I'm not making an excuse for the Magic's poor performance in the 4th quarter, but hearing what Porter said only gave the Celtics all the more motivation in the final 12 to beat the Magic. And they almost did.

     
  • At 4:13 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    That's funny that you mention both of the things you did Ken. That is what I came back to comment on. I’ll try to give my thoughts without repeating too much of what you already said.

    First, with Grant, I've never seen him "pissed off" before, but he was. I guess Paul Porter mentioned the playoffs in that manner twice, at the beginning of the game, and right before the start of the 4th. Both times, it motivated the Celtics, or so Hill was saying. While I agree that the comments should NOT have been made, we were also playing a bunch of bench players on the worst team in the league, up by 20, going into the 4th quarter, and at home. You got to blame more than what the PA says on almost blowing that game.
    Onto the second point, in the 4th quarter the Magic were awful, pathetic, sad, embarrassing, or whatever other words you want to use to describe that mess. And, most of it was Jameer Nelson, or his fault. How and why wasn’t his ass benched is totally beyond me? He was playing so bad in the 4th it looked as if he had money on the Celtics.

    Here is where our coach really hurts us. He watched a 20 point lead go all the way down to 1 in slow motion. The Celtics were not on any kind of tear. The Magic just melted down completely and looked 100% clueless with what they were supposed to be doing on the offensive end. This was a huge game for us, and we almost gave it away. If we had a coach that was halfway decent, the game would have never got to the point it did.

     
  • At 6:33 AM, Blogger Ken said…

    I agree OVERWADED, that was certainly no excuse for the Magic's total meltdown in the 4th quarter. It was nothing but one turnover after another and BSH just stood there and watched it happen. Then towards the end he substituted Arroyo for Hill, then Dooling for Arroyo, but still Nelson never left the floor. Then at some point in the 4th, BSH started playing not-to-loose, rather than playing to win. Because you could see the whole tempo of the game change, that slow-ass, Nelson walking the ball up the court, make one pass, then get the ball back and either take one of his patented ill-advised shots, or just plain turning it over. I'm afraid BSH will never change. He is what he is. A dim witted, no brain, micro managing, power hungry, pathetic looser, and we're stuck with him until management decides he's done enough damage.

     
  • At 6:37 AM, Blogger Ken said…

    Also, I agree about Grant being pissed about the announcer comments. There is no classier guy in sports than Grant Hill, so when he does get pissed, theres no mistaking it.

     
  • At 8:05 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Hill's rotations were awful. Keyon played much better than Jameer last night, and yet after 3 consecutive turnovers by Jameer, Hill does not substitute him by Keyon. My mother in-law who knows nothing about basketball or recognizes any players was saying why the coach does not bring in No:5 for No:14? Coaching a basketball team is not always a complicated matter. Sometimes a little bit of common sense goes a long way.

    As for Magic's seeding, I agree with OVERWADED that there is a good probability that we could end up at 7 beating WAS at a tie-breaker rather than passing NJ. But then if a miracle happens and NY beats NJ tonight, watch out. With CHI still competing with CLE for the second seed, which may come to the last match, they will beat NJ. Meanwhile MIA is gonna shut down since they could do no better or worse than the 4th seed, and that should give us an easy win against MIA. But then again, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde factor may show its effects. If bench players of a least rated team could give us trouble on our floor, what guaranty is there that we could beat WAS, to start with?

     
  • At 1:39 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    The "bROken rEcORd" I am...

    We've mentioned the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde factor many times throughout the year. And really, it's interesting to think about.

    Take a look at the Magic at the beginning of the season, then the meltdown for a few months in the middle, and now for the last 12 games or so they've played above .500 somewhat respectable basketball.

    The place it obviously shows up is on the court with the players. And let's agree; say we have players that play that way, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde basketball. Whose job is it to help them out? Whose job is it to have guys prepared night in and out throughout the season? Whose job is it to hold guys accountable? Whose job is it to make them better basketball players? I know I sound like a broken record. But has Brian Hill made anyone a better basketball player on our entire roster?

    I guess you could tag my comment on the back of the one BIG made a few days ago, because it always comes back to Brian Hill. And last night, it showed its ugly face once again. Forget about his awful rotations; the act of him keeping Nelson in the game after he literally turned the ball over 3 plays in a row, almost 4, was UNBELIEVABLE.

    Dooling was playing a very respectable game. Arroyo would never turn the ball over the way Nelson was. Like I said before, Nelson's turnovers looked as if he had money on the other team, they were that bad. I almost couldn't believe what I was seeing during those minutes. And because of what he was doing with the ball, Grant never got the ball, Turk only got the ball with seconds on the clock forcing him to take tough shots, Darko didn't touch it, and Dwight was left to fight and scrap. Brian Hill sat the sidelines and did nothing about this. He did put in Arroyo and Dooling at points, but Nelson never left the floor? Nelson isn't a superstar. Was he afraid of hurting his feelings? He DESERVED to be taken out of the game, and for whatever reason Nelson is NEVER held accountable when it comes to his playing time. He needs to be held accountable for his own good, and the betterment of the team. I still believe Jameer has a lot of potential, but that potential will never be realized under Brian Hill, and the reasons why are endless, just like the reasons why he shouldn't be coaching.

     
  • At 3:11 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Perfectly said, OVERWADED. The public outcry against Hill is still pouring, and we need to make a post or two wherever possible, especially on Sentinel to keep the fire going. The following post is what I made on the Sentinel's article by David Whitely, nothing new to you:

    "All who have posted here, and majority of the public knows the coaching deficiencies. Alex Martins' audacity to bring up the arena issue after this pathetic entrance to the play-offs is appalling. I have been a proponent of the new arena, but may be this ownership really doesn't get it, thus doesn't deserve it. Public outcry against Brian Hill has been overwhelming, and yet the clueless inexperienced GM comes out defending the so-called coach. The East is so bad that Magic can go as high as 6th spot, but so what? What about next year? Where this group of players (never a team) may go with this clueless coach. Did anybody notice that after 3 consecutive turnovers by Jameer, a better PG for that night, and a better defender in Keyon is still sitting on the bench?

    The old say about "the repetition of proper procedures makes perfect" remains true to this date. With this so-called coach, there is no proper procedures, and obviously no repetition in practice, to make perfect. That is why we are at the bottom for turnovers, and so inconsistent from night to night. The coaching staff and GM blame it all on the players and their youth. Did anybody notice the age of Celtics' players? The oldest was Ryan Gomes at 24.

    Come on ostriches! Get your heads out of the sands and look for what is real. You once lost Shaq because you insisted "Brian Hill is the coach". Who are you gonna lose this time? Do you think the public may give you the arena with Brian Hill being the coach just because you made it to the play-offs? Think again."

    Let's get this FIRE BRIAN HILL campaign going by whatever means at our disposal. I am just about to take a long trip to China, but I am putting as much time as I could in this. We need to shut up a few Hill supporters whose motives are unknown, or their intelligence is in question for that, matter. Hopefully, by the time I come back we would see the results. I have no doubt that the ownership will eventually budge under pressure.

     
  • At 3:19 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Great comments, you guys.

    Matt, I think your mother-in-law might be more qualified to coach the Magic than Brian Hill! She was right on target with her observation about Nelson, who should have gone to the bench when he was committing all those TOs in the 4th quarter, and Dooling brought in.

    Ken, thanks for bringing up the PA announcement Paul Porter made in the 4th quarter. I wasn't aware of it, and it was very unprofessional, as you guys have said.

    OVERWADED, thanks for correcting me about the Magic playoff scenario. I wasn't aware the Magic could still catch WAS, because I wasn't sure of each team's division record, which is the next tie-breaker after head-to-head record.

    Since I wasn't aware the Magic held that tie-breaker, the Magic could still catch WAS and move up in the playoff seeding, as OVERWADED posted.

     
  • At 3:33 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Matt, you’re like our spokesman for our blog. I can tell you’re a good businessman by the way you word things. I don't think anybody could bring out the points and state them as well as you do. Everything you said is valid, and the Magic would be foolish not to address those exact questions. Well said...

    With that said, we have a pretty solid "team" on our blog; better than the Magic, that’s for sure. We all excel in different areas which keeps us in a proper balance.

     
  • At 3:42 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I just checked the season game results for WAS and the Magic. Right now, the Wizards have an 8-7 division record, and the Magic 7-7. But if the Magic win their remaining 2 games, they would have a 9-7 division record, compared to 8-8 for WAS, and therefore the tiebreaker over WAS.

     
  • At 3:43 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    Brian Schmitz's take on the Paul Porter comment, taken from his blog.



    I have the utmost respect for Grant Hill and defended him through his injuries, but Grant criticizing Magic public address announcer Paul Porter was off the mark after Sunday's game.

    Before the fourth quarter started, Porter yelled into the mike, "Twelve minutes until the playoffs!"

    After the Magic survived a near fourth-quarter meltdown to beat the Celtics, Hill told Sun Sports that he wasn't happy that Porter put pressure on the Magic's young team.

    Come on.

    That's pressure?

    If a P.A. announcer can throw off the Magic --- who scored just 10 points and committed 10 turnovers in the fourth --- then what will the Pistons do to them in the playoffs?

    I imagine the Detroit P.A. man is preparing his best material.

     
  • At 4:27 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I agree what was said by Paul Porter was unprofessional, but Grant is wrong in saying that it put pressure on the Magic. A team has got to stay focused and concentrate in that situation, finish off games in a proper manner, and the coaches have to make sure the right players are in the game.

    Even though Jameer played decent for the first 3 quarters, his sudden rash of TOs in the 4th quarter should have been a signal for Brian Hill to remove Jameer from the game.

    Fortunately, there are 2 games remaining. We'll see if the Magic learned anything from their near collapse.

     
  • At 5:23 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Thank you for the kind words guys. I just posted the following on Whit Watson's blog in response to his post "Another Magic Carprt Ride"

    Whit:

    I was curious what purpose this little nice diary of yours will serve? The public is outraged by the ineptness of Brian Hill, and disgusted that most young talents on the team, with the exception of Howard and Ariza, have regressed under Hill. You can see it all over in forums after forums. I know that Sun Sports has contractual arrangements with the Magic, and thus you cannot be an honest observer and narrator of what is going on. This was the most pathetic entrance to the play-offs by a team with a losing record, and yet Alex Martins had the audacity to ask for public support for the arena. For what? By just limping into the play-offs? The Magic ownership treats the public like a retarded stepchild, or else how could they ignore the public outcry for Hill's firing?

    I don't expect you to respond to this post. But in honoring the freedom of speech please let it be there. If you wish to come to our blog, you know where to find me.

     
  • At 5:34 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    I know that we have a great team on this blog, but our reach is limited. If we have any time on our hands, we should go to other forums to get our voices heard. We, the city, and the team that we love cannot survive another year of Hill. FIRE BRIAN HILL!!!!!!!!!!!

     
  • At 9:53 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I'm glad you put it to whit matt!!!

     

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