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 28, 2007

Swept! Detroit ends the Orlando Magic's season

I should start this out by quoting a comment Dwight Howard made before game 4.

Friday after practice at RDV Sportsplex, Howard was asked whether he was getting the ball often enough in this first-round playoff series.

After a weighty pause, he said, "I have an opinion on that, and I'll wait until the end of the season to express that."

GAME 4

The Detroit-Orlando postseason series ended just like the regular-season series: with a sweep.

Chauncey Billups scored 25 points, Richard Hamilton added 19 and the Pistons overcame a lackluster fourth quarter to beat the Magic 97-93 Saturday and sweep the first-round series.

The sweep was Detroit's first in the playoffs since 1990, when the "Bad Boys" won a second consecutive NBA title.

The Pistons handily won the first three games of the best-of-seven series, but the finale was much more difficult -- mostly because Detroit went cold to start the final period.The Pistons were ahead 78-69 early in the fourth, but missed 11 of 13 shots and found themselves trailing 85-80 with about 3 minutes remaining.

But the veteran team, which has advanced to four consecutive Eastern Conference finals, took control down the stretch.

Rasheed Wallace hit a 3-pointer that made it 85-83. Chris Webber followed with a hook shot in the lane. Then Billups and Hamilton took over, combining to score Detroit's final 12 points.

Hamilton hit a jumper in the lane to put the Pistons ahead 87-86, then Billups sank a driving layup high off the glass. Hamilton followed with another jumper that made it 91-88.

The duo also went 6-of-6 from the free throw line in the final 21 seconds.

Dwight Howard had 29 points and 17 rebounds -- dominating the post for the only time in the series -- to lead the Magic. Wallace, Webber and others bottled up Howard in the first three games but had less success Saturday.

Howard was 10-of-15 from the field and 9-of-17 from the free throw line.

Grant Hill added 17 points for Orlando and Darko Milicic had 14 -- half of them in the closing minutes.

It wasn't enough, though.

All five Detroit starters scored in double figures. Tayshaun Prince and Wallace had 13 points apiece, and Webber finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.

The Pistons can only hope their starters continue playing the way they did against Orlando.

Detroit will face the winner of the Chicago-Miami series. The Bulls lead 3-0 heading into Sunday's Game 4.

No NBA team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit.

The Magic looked like they would send the series back to Detroit, but the Pistons closed out the final three quarters strong -- much like they did in Game 3.

They got an unlikely basket to close the half -- Hamilton went coast-to-coast in 3.2 seconds for a layup -- and Prince had a 3-pointer and two free throws in the final minute of the third. Prince's unanswered points gave the Pistons a 73-67 lead heading into the final 12 minutes.

The Magic sliced into the lead with a 12-0 run, but had two big turnovers in the final 2 minutes that allowed Detroit to pull away.

Orlando led 25-22 after the first quarter, its first advantage at the end of any period in the series.

The Magic made it a 10-point game, 37-27, with a string of drives and dunks to open the second. But Carlos Delfino, Webber and Flip Murray put the Pistons back in front.

The trio combined to carry Detroit on a 13-2 run and to a 40-39 advantage. Delfino scored eight points in a 3-minute span, Webber had two buckets and Murray had four steals that sparked much of the spurt. Billups then hit a 3-pointer, and the Pistons had all the momentum.

But Orlando went back inside to quell the storm. Howard had a dunk, and Hill followed with a driving basket and three free throws that seemingly put the Magic up 46-45 heading into the locker room.

Hamilton had other thoughts with 3.2 seconds remaining.

Wallace's inbound pass bounced near midcourt before Hamilton picked up -- smartly conserving the clock -- and then Hamilton dribbled a few times before slashing to the hoop for the layup and the lead just before the buzzer sounded.

Hamilton finished the first half with 11 points. Billups had 12 points and five assists.

Notes: We now head into one of the biggest off season's in franchise history. Both Howard and Nelson could land contract extentions. Darko is a restricted free agent. Grant Hill's contract is up. And the coaching staff needs to be addressed.

12 Comments:

  • At 7:26 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Just a few quick thoughts...

    Nelson and Battie both played less today than they did in any of the previous 3 games.

    In turn, Darko and Dooling played more than they did in any of the previous games.

    Redick actually landed a few minutes.

    We went on our best run of the series in the 2nd quarter today when we went up by 10, with the lineup of Dooling, Redick, Ariza, Darko, and Dwight.

    Back to Dooling, he played a lot more minutes at the point guard position today, where as in the previous 3 games, Hill had him playing the two spot next to Nelson or Arroyo.

    In regards to Dwight's comments he made yesterday. He obviously made his feelings known to someone. The team was actually making an effort to keep getting him the ball. This goes for Darko also. Today, Dwight and Darko played just about as much together as we have seen ALL SEASON.

    Now I know we didn't play perfect and we still lost, but should anyone be surprised that this game was totally different than any other one we've seen?

    And why did it take Brian Hill until game 4 to actually make ANY adjustments?

     
  • At 7:58 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    To me switching roles of bench players doesnt count,again he made no adjustments,the same starting line-up got us off to the same usual start "BAD",then we watch our best line-up play well and take a ten point lead,only to have the starters come back in and lose the game,mainly the combo of jameer and battie.

     
  • At 9:34 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    BIG, you're right.

    But we all knew Brian Hill wouldn't change the starting lineup in the middle of the playoffs. So I'm honestly surprised he made early substitutions.

    Though in the end, it didn't matter. Our starting group still put us in the hole as always. They also finished the game, minus Battie, plus Darko. And if you take a look back at all the final baskets Detroit made. Nelson was shot over at least twice by RIP. And Grant was burned by Billups for the final lay-up. So the series ended, the exact way it started in the 1st quarter of game one. Kinda sad to think about it that way...

     
  • At 10:16 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    With us being up by 5 - without getting into the details of how e got there - a common sense approach would dictate focus on defense instead of offense. Right? Instead of Jameer and a tired Grant, we should have had Keyon and Trevor in there. Hamilton scores twice over Jameer, and Billup blew by Grant twice, and that is the end of the game. My mother in-law with as much common sense she has - little knowledge of basketball - said the same thing. If she was running the team, we had a better chance of winning it.

     
  • At 12:57 AM, Anonymous Ronnie said…

    YES!! FIRE BRIAN HILL!! THE GUY IS USELESS AND DOESN'T UNDERSTAND THE GAME OF BASKETBALL, HE DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO SUB AND DOESN'T MANAGE GAMES VERY WELL! LIKE BIG FIGURE SAID ANYBODY IS AN UPGRADE SO RICK CARLISLE WHO MANAGED THE PACERS GREAT BEFORE THE INCIDENT AT THE PALACE SHOULD BE AT THE TOP OF THE LIST. ALSO, OTIS SMITH NEEDS TO MAKE A SPLASH IN FREE AGENCY, TRADES, OR DRAFT FOR A PERIMETER SHOOTER/GUARD BECAUSE THE MAGIC DON'T ATTEMPT ENOUGH 3 POINTERS AND NEEDS SOMEONE TO OPEN UP THE LANE AND POST FOR DWIGHT HOWARD. ALSO, COACH BRIAN HILL BARELY PLAYED OUR FIRST ROUND DRAFT PICK JJ REDICK AND HOW ABOUT OTIS SMITH DRAFTING FRANZ VASQUEZ A COUPLE OF YEARS BACK WITH OUR 1ST ROUND DRAFT PICK AT 11 BUT HE IS NOWHERE TO BE SEEN NOW!!...THE MAGIC NEEDS NEW MANAGEMENT BUT THE TOP THINGS THEY NEED TO DO FOR A BETTER SEASON IN 08 IS FIRING BRIAN HILL, GETTING A NEW COACH (QUALIFIED), SIGNING DWIGHT HOWARD, DARKO (WE HAVE TO BECAUSE WE TRADED A FIRST ROUND PICK FOR HIM) AND JAMEER NELSON, LET GO OF GRANT HILL, HEDO TURKOLU (WHO IS TOO INCONSISTENT), DRAFT PERIMETER PLAYERS BECAUSE WE NEED THEM AND ARE ALREADY SET AT OUR BIG MAN POSITION, AND IF THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN DON'T EXPECT THE MAGIC TO MAKE IT TO THE PLAYOFFS NEXT YEAR OR EVEN A WINNING RECORD! WOW THAT WAS A LOT BUT AFTER GETTING SWEPT 8-0 TO THE PISTONS INCLUDING THE SEASON AND PLAYOFFS WITH OUR INEPT COACH THATS WHAT HAPPENS! LATER THANKS

     
  • At 1:15 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Right now i feel like we should all do what we can to get otis to recognize the fact that we dont want coach hill back next year,i'm going to start overloading otis's e-mail with fire brian hill messages!!!!!

     
  • At 2:18 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Hello otis my name is Big figure. I’m a magic fan and have been since the beginning. My question to you would be how can you justify bringing back coach hill? I’m not a coach hill hater i actually like him and thought he was a good hire when he was brought back. After watching his coaching style it’s very evident that our players aren’t excelling under his guidance. He has one of the most simple coaching strategies in the league yet his team lead the league in turnovers. I break down game film of the magic for fun and so many times it’s coach hill’s philosophies that are holding this team back. You were a player so I know you understand the roles of basketball players. Point guards are like quarterbacks so they should get everyone involved but coach hill chooses to start jameer who is a very capable scorer but isn’t a set-up guy. Fault coach hill. The rest of the team’s struggle’s are primarily because of the lack of good leadership from the point guard position. Watching steve nash he does the simple things like bounce passes. With jameer it’s hard to get him to pass period let alone something as fundamental as the bounce pass. Dwight howard has to work harder than anybody in this league to get his points because his point guard rarely passes him the ball within an offensive set. Usually one of our wing players is feeding Dwight in the post and everybody else stands around and watches. Keyon dooling would be a better fit as a starter because he doesn’t want to shoot. He comes off the bench and gets 2 or 3 assists in the same time it takes jameer to get his usuall game total which is 3 assists for the season. Everything comes back to coach hill these are his decision’s. I could take this team and coach them much better. Watching coach hill coach us to play inside out then put players on the floor with no outside shooting capabilities is just dumb. I can’t see how he can do that and call himself a coach. Grant and trevor I like but neither of them shoot the 3 pointer so how can any coach put them out there on the floor and say play inside out? Truly there are so many things I could cover that are wrong with coach hill’s strategies and philosophies that it would take me a month to outline them all. So I’ll say thanks for listening and hopefully you can answer the question.

     
  • At 2:20 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I just sent that to otis...It's a very small attempt but it's a start. Matt,intro,mike send him something please!!!!!

     
  • At 2:22 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Oh and i used my real name in the one i sent to otis...LOL

     
  • At 5:52 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Big Figure, your message to Otis Smith is concise and right to the point. The problem is that I don't believe in Otis Smith's good faith, any more. If you receive any response, it would of the kind that I had the unpleasant experience of reading a few from him, like a master who knows it all addressing a pupil.

    The time has come to pass beyond Hill and Smith right to the top of the ownership and let them know that the public is not going to support them in neither their ticket sales nor in their campaign for new arena construction. When asked about Hill's future, Bob Vander Weide was not very positive expressing his support, and rather vaguely stated: "Let me just say I'm satisfied with where we are right now,". In all honesty, I still believe that Hill's fate is sealed not because what Otis Smith may think - he is nobody - but because of the public, as well as players' dissatisfaction.

     
  • At 8:14 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Speaking of Bob Vander Weide; did anyone else notice him sitting front row, court side, right next to the coaching staff in game 4? I didn't notice if he was there in game 3, but I wasn't looking. I just happened to see him in game 4, even though the announcers didn’t point him out.

     
  • At 12:38 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

     

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