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, April 12, 2007

Magic upset bid over DET falls short

Facing deficits of 18 pts in the first half and 16 pts in the second half, the Magic (36-42, 13-26 away) came all the way back to tie game at 95 with around 1:30 left in the game, but DET (51-27. 25-14 home), thanks to a 3 pt dagger by Chauncey Billups, scored 9 of the final 13 pts to beat the Magic 104-99.

The Magic were led by GHill with 22 pts (17 in the first half) on 10 of 12 FGs; JNelson 17 pts (all in the second half), 7 asts; KDooling off the bench with 17 pts; and DHoward 12 pts, 16 rebs, but just 6 of 16 FTs; TAriza added 9 pts, 5 rebs off the bench. DET was led by Billups with 28 pts on 10 of 13 FGs and 8 asts; Rip Hamilton 21 pts, 6 asts; Tayshaun Prince 17 pts; and Antonio McDyess off the bench with 14 pts.

DET (41 of 75, 54.7%) outscored the Magic (37 of 74, 50%) from the field 90-78. DET hit on 8 of 15 3 pt FGs, while the Magic were 4 of 7 from long range. ORL, even though they did not shoot well from the FT line (21 of 35), had the advantage over DET at the FT line (14 of 16). The Magic outrebounded DET 37-31. The Magic had a very good AST/TO ratio of 22/10, but DET's was even better at 31/11. The Magic bench outscored the DET bench 35-26.

With IND beating MIL, the Pacers now trail the Magic by just a game for the 8th seed. The Magic trail NJ by 1 1/2 games for the 7th seed, and WAS by 3 games. Magic get 2 days off, then play at PHI on SAT, which trails the Magic by 3 games. Just one more week left in the season.


  • At 1:41 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    The Magic did a lot of what they had to do to have a chance at winning this game: they shot the ball well from the field, had good performances from several players, and had a really good AST/TO ratio. However, they did not shoot FTs well (mainly due to Dwight), and they couldn't stop Billups most of the night. He hit a number of clutch shots, especially that killer 3 with about 25 seconds left to put DET up by 5.

    The Magic could have given up in the second half after they cut the lead to 62-58, only to see DET score 12 in a row to move back out to a 16 pt lead. But they battled back in the 4th to eventually tie the game. Give credit to Billups for hitting the late 3 and all his late FTs.

    The Magic just put themselves in too big of a hole to have a realistic chance of winning this game. DET shot 16 of 21 FGs in the first quarter to get out to a 13 pt lead after one.

    With the score 97-95 DET with under a minute remaining, I thought the play call on the Magic's ensuing possession was suspect. Jameer dribbled to the basket then continued dribbling and had to put up an ill-advised 3. They couldn't have drawn up something better than that?

    However, if the Magic play their remaining 4 games with as much effort as they showed this game against DET, they will be there in the playoffs.

  • At 3:46 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I'm not worried about making the playoffs; just the positioning.

  • At 3:57 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    With that said, the Magic played a pretty solid game. They had their problems, and Detroit really didn't. Detroit played a close to perfect game.

    The things that stood out to me; Grant looked amazing in the 1st half, and was almost none existent in the 2nd. It was the opposite for Jameer.

    It also would have been nice if we could have seen more of "my starters", our bench, as they were changing the pace of the game and making things happen. Battie was a waste. Hedo was close to a waste, minus a few of his passes. Jameer was a waste in the first half. Dwight struggled all night, but he has to stay on the floor. Grant was awesome in the 1st half, and vanished in the 2nd.

    Overall, I can't be upset. The Magic could have rolled over more than a few times, but they didn't. Jameer did a pretty good job at going toe to toe in the 2nd half with one of the best in the game which was encouraging. Regardless, I still don't want to face this team in the 1st round. If we play Detroit in the 1st round, the series is going to go 5, or 6 if we're totally lucky, and I don't want to have to watch that.

  • At 11:25 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I think what happened last night was good,the magic played tough but didnt win,if they had won that would have sent a false sense of security too bsh,and every un-educated magic basketball fan in the city would have come out of the woodworks talking about how we can beat the pistons in the first round,so the fact that we played them close is good enough for me.Last night's game also showed me that even though keyon isnt a great outside shooter he's our best point guard,anytime he came into the game the magic instantly got competitive,thats the one thing i love about the pistons is that they show you exactly who you are as a player because they play the right way,it's 100% glaring that when jameer was in the game the pistons were able to mount leads,we put in keyon and instantly we were able to cut into leads,so who should be the starter? Keyon at 6ft3 can see over the defense as evidence he hit tony battie under the basket with a bullet pass of the roll,but later in the game jameer missed dwight twice under the basket,and not that the pass was off,he didnt even see dwight under the rim,jameer with his scorers mentality turned his back to the rim,a point guard should never do that,it shows that jameer dribble's too much looking for clear space to start his offensive game on that specific possession,and doesnt have the pass first mentality,watching him he's too short to be a full time starter,the pistons showed that at a championship level which is the type of basketball they play,jameer wont cut it,the only way he made himself a little worth the space last night is by getting a few jumpshots to go late,but wouldnt that serve us better coming off the bench?If keyon defends billups for the majority of the minutes maybe he doesnt have the energy to hit such a crucial shot at the end of the game,it seemed like chauncey was toying with jameer the whole game shooting jumpshot after jumpshot right over the top of him right in jameer's mug!

  • At 12:17 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    Well said big, about Chauncey toying with Jameer all night. Nelson was outplayed and just plain over-matched against Billups. I agree that the Magic would be better served with Dooling in the starting lineup, but as long as we have the coach we have, well, not much will change.. At least the season is almost over...

  • At 12:26 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Smart post, Big Figure. I agree with all the points that you have made. If Hill was wiser in bringing in Keyon and Trevor before we fall behind by far in the first quarter, we could have won the game. But then, as you have smartly pointed out, may be it was a good thing that we didn't

  • At 1:09 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Thanks guys,it's evident to me that with better leadership this team could be just as good as the pistons,if they are the bench mark then technically we beat them last night with our ability to make them have to foul us or be scored on,it's 100% clear that rip or any big man they have cant guard grant and dwight straight up in the post without getting into foul trouble,if we make our foul shots we win by more than a couple of points,and i dont want to hear any of that they werent motivated crap,they played their butts off to hold us off and win the game,but the magic actually showed the rest of the eastern playoff contenders a flaw within the pistons which is the fact that they dont have a low post threat,they live and die with the jumpshot.So we're good enough to beat the best team in the east,but against everybody else we're a below 500% team,plus we turn the ball over the most in the league,guys rashard lewis who isnt a great passer either isnt going to make this team better,there's only one thing that will bring turnovers down and make us a well oiled machine like the pistons and that's better leadership from the point guard position.Keyon or chauncey billups should be next years starter in my opinion,if grant retires JJ can take over the two guard spot,if rip can win 50+ games without playing great defense then so can JJ,if trevor can beat out hedo then hedo can come off the bench,this team needs a "TEAM" on the floor and not just a new collection of talent or adding a wing player.We need a true point guard like keyon or billups,we need a shooting guard who can play off of screens which will make dwight that much better,see how anytime rip ran hard around a screen it spreads the defense and even dale davis was looking great in that situation,JJ can do the same exact thing with starter minutes,we need a small forward that can do all the dirty work like guarding the opposing teams best offensive player and getting offensive rebounds,to me these guys are already on the roster being miss used,we have all the piece's we need and the more you evaluate the more you can see that leadership(we can live with missed free throws)is killing us,keyon and hedo both have played on teams that won more than 50 games and made it past the first round of the playoffs so it's not them making us bad.

  • At 3:32 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Well said BIG.

    Still, this is why my starting 5 consists of Dooling, Redick, Ariza, Darko, and Dwight. They are the best TEAM we can put out there. Strange how we understand this concept, but Brian Hill doesn’t; not even close.

    You're totally right with Jameer, he should be coming off the bench. I'm hoping they're just giving him the rest of this season, and then he's done as a starter. He’ll be a great 6th man. Even though he made some big shots at the end, he did miss some important passes. The obvious was in the closing minutes, when Dwight was jumping up and down wide open under the basket, and all we got out of the play was Jameer jacking up a baseline 3.

    Grant's another problem. He looked great in the 1st half, but he just doesn't have enough to go like that the entire game. RIP made Grant look like an old man on the defensive end. It was sad watching Grant trying to chase RIP off screens. The whole time, all I was thinking was; how about we put Redick in and give them a taste of their own medicine? Of course Redick only played a few minutes, and Grant was fried by the end of the game.

    Hedo, I understand why he's in the game. Yet, if Hedo is keeping Ariza out of the game, then I have a problem. Ariza makes things happen on both ends of the floor, and needs to be out there as much as possible.

    Battie is a major problem in my book. He played 26 minutes, and had 6 points and 4 rebounds. As BIG mentioned, Detroit doesn't really have any low post presence, so what is Battie playing so much for? Why not put Darko out there a little more than 20 minutes and force the Pistons to deal with Dwight, Darko, and Trevor all together?

    As for Dwight, he has to stay on the floor regardless, but if he's going to miss free throws like that, he needs to play off the ball. And for that reason, is why we need one of two things; a playmaking point guard, or a scorer.

    In the summer, we probably won't land both. So let's say the Magic land a scorer. The next step would be to take Jameer out of the starting 5, and put Dooling out there to run the team. The Magic have a few options, but no matter what, all end with Jameer out of the starting rotation. You can add G Hill to that list also. And who knows what’s going to happen with Darko this summer, so we might be stuck with Battie as a starter.

    Regardless, we’ll need a new coach to shake things up, run a better offense, and put the proper guys on the floor together. As BIG already mentioned, that’s out largest problem right now. We have a lot of the right pieces, but most of them are being totally misused as it stands now.


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