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 05, 2007

Magic waste huge first quarter in yet another tough loss

Despite scoring a season-high 37 pts in the first quarter on a sizzling 15 of 18 FGs, the Magic (34-41, 22-16 home) cooled off and were unable to catch TOR (42-33, 15-23 away) late in a 111-108 loss. The largest Magic lead was 15 pts early in the second quarter. Four of the five Magic starters scored in double figures.

The Magic were led by a career night from HTurkoglu with 37 pts on 12 of 22 FGs, including 6 of 10 3 pt FGs. Turk, however, missed the potential game-tying three in the closing seconds; GHill 19 pts, 5 rebs; DHoward 18 pts, 15 rebs, but 7 TOs; TBattie 13 pts on 6 of 7 FGs; and KDooling off the bench with 10 pts. DMilicic was scoreless in 7 minutes and was ejected from the game in the third quarter for arguing a foul call. TOR was led by Chris Bosh with 28 pts on 14 of 15 FT and 10 rebs; Anthony Parker 20 pts; Joey Graham 18 pts, and T.J. Ford 16 pts, 8 asts.

The Magic (39 of 75, 52%) outscored TOR (35 of 71, 49.3%) from the field 84-79. TOR hit on 9 of 19 3 pt FGs, while the Magic were 6 of 12 from long range. TOR (32 of 39) had the decided edge at the FT line over the Magic (24 of 30). The Magic held a solid rebounding advantage 41-27. TOs once again hurt the Magic with 23, and TOR had the better AST/TO ratio of 19/15, compared to 20/23 for the Magic. The TOR bench outscored the Magic bench 22-15.

Grant Hill after the game: "I'm tired of saying we're still in it, because at some point if you keep saying it and you keep losing you won't be in it."

Magic only shot 24 of 57 (42.1%) after the first quarter, and are now 1 1/2 games behind NJ for the 7th seed, and 1 1/2 games ahead of IND for the 8th seed. Magic host MEM on SAT night.


  • At 1:21 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Grant Hill's comment after the game says it all; the guys are getting really frustrated with these close losses that they could have won instead. This is the third such loss in the last week.

    In SUN's loss to the T-Wolves, the Magic bench played very well, while the starters (except Hill) did not play well. Against TOR, it's the exact opposite; only Keyon played well in reserve. Darko and TAriza combined to score 36 pts against MIN, and against TOR they combined for ZERO pts!

    BHill didn't give the other guys off the bench much of an opportunity... Redick played just 5 minutes and Arroyo 7 minutes.

    Another poor night for JNelson (6 pts on 2 of 9 FGs). I'd like to see BHill try something really bold (even though he won't) and install Dooling as the starting PG the rest of the way, as Keyon has done really well since he's been the backup PG, and I think he could do a much better job than Nelson at leading the club the rest of the way. Jameer might be much better suited coming in off the bench, and giving the team an energy or scoring boost, as could CArroyo. It's just not working with Jameer as the starting PG.

    Seven more TOs from Dwight, despite 18 pts and 15 rebs. Can't the coaching staff work with him to cut down on these TOs?

    In Dwight's rookie year, didn't the Magic have a big man on their coaching staff to work with Dwight? The Magic need to hire someone like that again to work with him, because this current coaching staff doesn't seem to be helping Dwight on how to avoid all those TOs.

  • At 3:32 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Dwight's turnovers are usually the same every time. And as long as the floor isn't spread and we continue playing with a lack of shooters, defenses will continue to sag off the perimeter, and Dwight will continue turning the ball over.

    Examples, Nelson, Battie, and Hill do nothing to compliment Dwight's game. The only player in our starting 5 that truly compliments Dwight's game is Hedo.

    And at times, it doesn’t matter if guys like Hill, Nelson, Battie, Arroyo, Dooling, etc have good individual games, because they do nothing to make the game easier for Dwight on the offensive end. And while you can have a few players on the floor like this, because they bring energy or defense, every guy on the floor can’t fall under this category. There has to be a few players out there that will compliment our star player. The ones that seem to play the best with Dwight are Hedo, Redick, Ariza, and Darko; but Hedo is streaky, and the other three play backup minutes that change every night.

    Beyond that, big men always turn the ball over a ton in their early years. Shaq did it here back in the day.

    If guys like Arroyo and Bogans deserve to be benched, then Brian Hill needs to consider doing the same to Jameer. His play is unacceptable, especially for a starter. He needs this made clear to him by someone.

    Why is nobody asking why Darko still remains on the bench?

    The season will be over very soon, and what have we really learned about these players, this team, and capabilities? The organization and Brian Hill has done their best to waste an entire season.

  • At 10:32 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Mike Clifford Ray is who you were thinking of.Intro is describing dwight isnt the problem,our coach starts off the problems with his cluelessness which is what i've come to expect,then our GM follows him up by not doing a damn thing around the trade deadline,its obvious that this team has to many volume shooters,just look at the box score,grant and turk both had good games but together they MISSED a combined 17 shots,so even in games where we get good performances from our perimeter we waste the performances because one guy isnt killing the other team,we try and have everybody's contribution from night to night to beat a team,but when you have a team full of streaky shooters you get the magic.Take the 17 shots grant and turk missed and add them with the 11 dwight and jameer missed,28 MISSED SHOTS by our starters and i dont remember any of them being missed lay-ups,this is on a night where we played well too,then darko and trevor dont score,and JJ gets very little minutes,thats all a recipe for losses in my opinion. Jameer,grant,turk,keyon,carlos and trevor cant survive together and be a good team at the same time,not one of them is a spot up shooter which is what is needed for dwight to be able to reach his full potential,lets be honest jameer is steve without the headaches(hedo being the only one who can get hot and become a spot up shooter for stretches like last night). We currently have one and a half guys who compliments dwight,JJ for sure and hedo when he's motivated,you can live with keyon and trevor because of energy,so that leaves Jameer,grant and carlos. They have to be replaced with spot up shooters this summer to make this team work. Example: Miami i thought made a horrible decision to bring in Jwilliams,posey and walker to start last season,but if you look at it,each player can hit the spot up three pointer making shaq that much more effective,haslem (outside of shaq) being the defensive presence in the front-court is the only player in their starting five who cant hit the spot up three.Jameer and Turk are way to streaky and grant doesnt even attempt three's,our starting five couldnt compliment anyone,if your gonna play inside out that means you want to take advantage of your best big's inside game and make the defense pay with outside shooting when they double,Pat riley gave miami a collection of players to be able to execute that no matter the coach,its otis smith's turn with this team this summer if he wants a winning team,there's way to many volume shooters on this team,and not enough spot up shooters to surround dwight.

  • At 11:04 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Every team in this league goes as their point guard goes,T.J. ford 16 pts 8 assists very respectable,jameer 6 pts and 3 assists very poor,jameer cant blame bsh either,because he has the ball in his hands bsh cant tell him exactly what to do everytime down the floor,at some point you would think he has to understand that he can have a bigger impact on the outcome of the game by getting others involved,jameer is 5 ft 10 so he has to leave his feet often times to get passes over the defense,last night toronto got their hands on those passes and tipped them into fast breaks,jameer's stature is his own worst enemy,he's been trying to prove he was tall enough to play at high levels so long that scoring the ball has become his only way of proving the doubters wrong,earl boykins and nate robinson seem like they do the same thing to me,the only difference is out of the three jameer is the only starter,both of the other guys come off the bench,and so should jameer when you evaluate his game,he could finish his career here,and be the default starter anytime there's an injury.

  • At 11:23 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I no longer will support jameer and his assist totals as the starter of this team,even when he's playing well as intro best described,it just means the shots that he forces are going in and not that he actually is being a point guard,and i hate to say it but i dont think jameer will ever be a double figure assits guy or even close,he's too thick to be quick like nash or ford,and he's too short to be dominant like billups or kidd,he's somewhere in the middle and middle isnt good in basketball,they call guys like that "tweeners",usually tweeners fall out of the league or become career back-ups.I can deal with hedo because hedo even though he's streaky is our best passer,grant i can deal with because of his mid-range jumper and the fact that he gets to the rim better than anybody else on the team,but what does jameer bring to the table? I'm starting to think what intro said weeks ago about billups being the answer might be true,this team maybe good enough to win consistently with good leadership from the point guard,we need a new leader at the point of attack.(No pun intended)

  • At 1:57 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At 1:59 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Excellent points Big Figure. While the limitations of Jameer is not new to any one of us, in my view, this group of players are not as bad as the recent results show. Please note the following:

    1 - Remember when I mentioned that the percentage of the close games that we were winning at the start of the season is an aberration and would not hold true for long term?
    2 - The lack of consistent shooters is quite obvious, and that's why Magic should put all they have in acquiring Rashard Lewis. I don't care how they can manage it, but it is quite obvious that the presence of a player of that capability is priceless to the Magic.

    The fact is this group of players (if we accept that replacing Deshawn with Keith is a wash) played well, towards the end of last season, despite the fact that Trevor was not as good as he is now, and was not as involved, as well. That brings us back to inefficient use of the talents that we have on board. The players have been put in certain restrictions that may not suit them. Did you notice Jameer's hesitation to take shots several times when he was open? That is because Hill preaches to take the ball to the rim all the time. What happens then is teams pack in and the players end up with turnovers or charge fouls. Big Figure is right on the money when he says we need spot-up shooters. Jameer can shoot if he is allowed, the same restriction that was placed on Deshawn, and look where he is when he joined WAS.

    Make a long story short, it all boils down to how players on a team are used efficiently, meaning that first each player is analyzed for strengths and weaknesses, and then placed in an environment at which they can flourish.

  • At 9:53 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    Excellent points big and matt. I agree with both of you. I also agree about the need to pursue Rashard Lewis aggressively. He would be a great fit to our group of young athletes. Some over on the slantinel board have even mentioned pursuing Chauncey Billups. I think this is all well and fine. However, I think if we still have that mental midget they call a coach at the helm, it isn't going to matter a hill of beans who the Magic aquire in free agency. Just look at his history of playing players out of position. Knowing BSH, he'd want to make Chauncey a Fwd, or Rashard a shooting guard. That may sound ridiculous, but this is BSH we're talking about. And wouldn't it be just like BSH if they were lucky enough to land Lewis, knowing BSH, he would have him as reserve, making him earn any playing time he received, just because he would be the new guy. Maybe he wouldn't, I don't know. But BSH has a history as a team chemistry wrecker, and alienates his best players. Not to mention his overall lack of basketball knowledge. Someone over at the slantinel site also made a good point, comparing a coach to a chef. to paraphrase, a good chef can take a minimal about of ingredients and prepare a gourmet meal. But you can have all the finest ingredients available, and if you don't know what the hell your doing, all you wind up with is crap.

  • At 4:25 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I agree with everyone. And even though I'm not a fan of Jameer right now, Matt did bring up a valid point. Jameer at the end of last season, and the start of this season was shooting his jumpers without thinking twice about it. Now days Jameer passes up on open shots ALL THE TIME. WHY? How can it not be Brian Hill influence? That's all the guy preaches, going to the basket. And while I understand that's an important part of offense, there is also a time to take those outside shots. Look at some of our players... Stevenson, actually could shoot, but didn't here... Jameer, shooting less and less from the outside... Darko, he gets benches if he shoots his jumper, even though that is how he has always played... Redick and Bogans, well, they are both spot up shooters, and we see how much Hill uses them... Hell, Travis is one of our best shooters, right up there with J.J., and he's all but done for the season, even though he has actually played well when given a chance. Catch my drift? No matter what player problems we have, none of them will ever compare to the larger problem that is Brian Hill. And in all honestly, it’s really hard to write off any player on our roster as long as Hill is the man coaching them.

  • At 10:15 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Exactly, OVERWADED. That is what I was trying to mention until I run out of time or space (may be just the former), but I couldn't have said better, anyways. Darko has silky smooth jumpshots, but how many he has taken lately? I remember just one. If Darko takes those shots (which by the way Battie is allowed to take) it will lure the defenders to him opening up for Dwight. I was wondering where we are in the league on number of charges called on us? As OVERWADED mentioned, taking the ball to the rack is a good part of any offense, but all offenses have to be selective, and cannot become one-dimensional and predictable.

  • At 1:04 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Well said Matt.

    Another thought... Remember not long ago when Dwight was averaging around 25 points a night, and shooting anywhere between 50-80%? His offense was coming to him easier than ever, and for a few weeks, seeing him drop 25 felt like nothing close to special. Well, that all happened when Darko was in the starting rotation with him. That's not to say that I don't appreciate what Battie does on the court, because I do. It's just to say, that he really doesn't compliment Dwight. He's no threat on the offensive end. He can't really shoot. He's a defender. But he doesn't help things come any easier for Dwight. On the other hand with Darko out there with Dwight; Dwight's offense was at a career all time high. Remember the stretch of games where names like Wilt Chamberlin were being mentioned because Dwight was shooting 80% from the field? I remember making a comment about it back then, and what is happening right now proves it. Even though Darko was on and off from time to time, he still kept defenders honest, because he still had those abilities Battie doesn't have. Now that Battie's back in the rotation, playing a majority of the minutes, ONCE AGAIN, Dwight offense has started to struggle again. And it's not that he's really struggling, or doing anything different. It's just that none of his teammates offer anything to compliment his game. And as I said before, you can have a few guys that do not compliment your star, but you can't put an entire rotation out there that doesn't, and expect things to happen.

    By the way, I'm someone that believes Ariza compliments Dwight's game. While he's not a three point shooter...yet...he understands the game of basketball, and flashes to open spots all of the time. Dwight finds him often. Ariza is also the type of player that when his defender leaves him, even if Dwight doesn't find him, he'll find the ball on his own. This doesn’t happen often, but he’s got a knack.

  • At 3:34 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Good posts by all you guys regarding our players not being used the right way and according to their strenghts. I agree that these same group of players would no doubt do much better under a different coach and system.

    The way Jameer and Darko are being used right now is proof of that.


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