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.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Magic make it 3 in a row on road trip with win over TOR

Just like TUE night against MIN, the Magic found themselves with a double digit lead in the fourth qtr against TOR, only to see the Raptors come back with a big run, like the TWolves the previous night. In fact, TOR eventually took a 92-91 lead, only to see the Magic come alive and outscore TOR 14-4 the rest of the way for a 105-96 victory, their third win in a row. The Magic are in first in the SE with a 4-1 record, while TOR falls to 2-3.

All 5 Magic starters scored in double figures: HTurkoglu 24 pts (8 of 18 FGs), a career-high 15 rebs, and 6 asts; RLewis 24 pts (10 of 16 FGs); DHoward 17 pts (7 of 12 FGs), 9 rebs; KBogans 17 pts (5 of 11 FGs) 11 rebs; and JNelson 10 pts, 7 asts, 6 rebs. CArroyo and KDooling each scored 4 pts off the bench. Chris Bosh led TOR with 26 pts (14 of 14 FTs), 10 rebs, and Andrea Bargnani 16 pts 8 rebs.

A statistical breakdown of the game:

FG... ORL 38 of 76 (50%) TOR 34 of 89 (38.2%) ORL 88 TOR 74
3 PT FG... ORL 12 of 31 (38.7%) TOR 6 of 20 (30%)
FT... TOR 22 of 26 (84.6%) ORL 17 of 22 (77.3%)
REB... ORL 51 TOR 41
AST/TO... ORL 25/17 TOR 17/8
BENCH... TOR 31 ORL 13

Magic get a well-deserved day off before going to NY FRI for a tough matchup against the improved Knicks.


  • At 10:33 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    A win is a win and i'll take it,but our bench is still a concern with injuries and lack of being able to put together a consistent line-up/rotation. Rashard is showing he was worth every penny,hedo and jameer are showing that bsh was stunting their growth,keith's proving he deserved to be in the starting line-up and dwight's just being dwight. Feels good to be 4-1,we ended the losing streak in toronto and started off winning our first three road games in a season for the first time in our history.

  • At 10:45 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    For the second game in a row, the Magic came through in the final minutes of a close game by hitting big shots. Great job by all the starters, who each did something meaningful to contribute to the win. Last season, these were the types of games the Magic would lose.

    The 17 TOs were not good, but the Magic did a nice job passing with 25 asts.

    Dwight played only 33 minutes due to foul trouble, but Foyle did a decent job defensively in his place with 3 rebs and a block in 15 mins.

    Hedo could be in the running for most improved player in the NBA if he keeps this up... in addition to the 24 pts, he grabbed 15 rebs... talk about a rebounding machine! Last year, his wild inconsistency from game-to-game was so frustrating. This season, it's been "Good Hedo" every game.

    What a difference a new coach, a new offensive system, and a premier free agent makes! I wonder what all the "experts" who picked MIA and WAS to finish ahead of the Magic in the SE think now?

    I know it's early, but the Magic should continue to improve as the year goes on, as the chemistry continues to develop and SVG can utilize the bench more.

    I was off in my pre-game prediction... I only predicted a 3 pt Magic win; however, I'll happily accept the 9 pt win :-)

  • At 9:33 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    If we look back to the summer, there was a consensus on this blog that Rashard is the free agent that we have to go after, and we were right on target. Without Rashard, and his ability to hit timely shots under pressure, Magic could have easily been at 3-2 or even 2-3 instead of their impressive 4-1, and 3 straight road wins at the start of the season. One other point that now comes to the surface, which I emphasized last season, is the difference between a coach that is communicating and connecting with his players compared to one in Brian Hill who was a poor communicator. It is not surprising to me that Keith Bogans is saying that he was not coached. Look at where he is this time around. Didn't we say all along that he is a good defender and a high percentage shooter?

    Magic is doing great and it is still too early, and the team has no way but up. The Trevor and J.J.'s situations are unfortunate and disappointing but we don't have the inside track on them, and I am willing to give a trusted coach the benefit of the doubt. We don't want neither of them to lose confidence, but that is where the coach's communication skills come into play and coach Van Gundy has his way of connecting with his players. The good news is that winning keeps everybody spirits up, and makes them work harder to increase their playing time. We still need a serviceable BIG but that is no longer a pressing need the way Hedo and Rashard have stepped up their games.


  • At 11:37 AM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    Wrote a long comment earlier and it didn't post. Oh well.

    This was the first road win over a good team. That is great news.

    Way too early to get excited, but trends are good. 3 point shots are 25/gm vs 11 last year. Made shots 10.4 vs 4.2 from a year before. It's like last year the offense was fighting with clubs and this year with rifles. I hate to keep kicking B.Hills corpse, except it feels so damn good.

    Bogans was scared to shoot a few games ago and has been coached back to confidence. How cool is that!

    Unlike last year, no one is holding onto the ball on offense waiting to create their next turnover. The ball is moving crisply in, out and around to the open man. It's lovely to watch even as you realize they should get better at it as the season progresses.

    Big concern is front court depth. Garrity was back to normal last night and played 3 minutes. The only front line sub is Foyle. The team needs to add Ariza to the front court substitution or hurry up and find another body.

    What is going on with Ariza? Injury or SVG won't use guys who can't shoot? Last year he was the 2nd best player on the team behind Howard.

    Team still loses its identity when Howard hits the bench. SVG needs to develop a second unit that has an identity and purpose when Howard is out. That looks like it will be tough to do with the current lack of depth on the frontline.

  • At 11:50 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I have to say that i think SVG isnt playing trevor because he's an offensive liability with the way we want to play. Injuries or games getting out of hand seem like the only way he's getting on the floor,sad for trev,but for me understandable. Hedo played 45 minutes last night,at some point trev's gonna have to be used even if its just to give hedo a break here and there.

  • At 2:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To echo big figure's comments: Ariza isn't playing because stuck in an overloaded position. Lewis and Turk are both playing great, and when one of them is out the other can fill in as SF. So, that position doesn't leave a lot of room for Ariza. SG is overloaded, too, with Bogans, Dooling, and potentially Redick playing there. We desperately need backup help at the PF position, but Ariza can't really play there.

    So what to do with good talent sitting on the bench? One option is to wait. I've been thrilled by Turk's play so far, but one of his weaknesses is inconsistency. If his play falters (and it might not because Lewis is spreading the floor for him), then Ariza will have more opportunities. Another option, unfortunately, is to consider trading Ariza for a serviceable backup PF. We don't want to explore that option now but at some point it *might* be best for the team.

  • At 4:30 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Foyle only got credit for a single block? I swore, in one sequence alone he had 3, maybe 4. It reminded me of the famous Charles Smith play against the Bulls.

    I'm in love with the starting 5. The group looks great together.

    On the flip side, the Magic need to improve its play off the bench. Hopefully when Ariza and Redick get healthy the bench production will improve.

    Not that Stan has much of a choice with our front line with Battie out, but the big three is a lot of fun to watch. We're causing a lot of problems with our two big small forwards. Teams know they might have some size advantage against Hedo or Rashard, but at the time, those guys with size are having trouble matching up on the other end. And when they put someone with the speed to keep up with them, the guy is usually smaller and Hedo and Shard can just shoot over them. What makes me so happy about this (besides that it’s the lineup I wanted to see) is that the Magic are dictating how the game is going to be played. So to kick the dead horse one more time, this is something Brian Hill would NEVER do. This is one of the reasons Darko never cracked the starting rotation when he should have.

    Matt, you brought out some interesting points. Isn't it just awesome to watch all these guys who were here last season struggling, now playing great basketball. Dare I say that almost every guy that was here last season that is actually playing is improved? Even Pat Garrity, one of the worst players in the league, is improved.

    The only guys that haven't improved have been Ariza and Redick. But both of them have been slowed by injuries.

    Last night was a hell of a win. We’ve yet to play out best ball, but we’re still playing like one of the top teams in the East.

    Was it just me, or does it look like the Magic have been working on team rebounding? Nelson had 6, Bogans had 11, Hedo had 15, surprisingly Lewis only had 2, and Dwight only 9.

    It was good to see everyone else helping out. Dwight can't control the boards all by himself, even though sometimes it looks like he can.

  • At 4:42 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    I'm not sure I buy the overloaded at forward argument. By necessity this team doesn't have a PF. Just C's and F's. Center is easy it's Howard/Foyle. F is Lewis & Turk, take your pick whichever is PF and SF. They are both playing a lot of minutes because they are both good and have no clear backup.

    Player, Total Minutes
    C Howard 179 74.6%
    C Foyle 61 25.4%
    Total 240 of 240 minutes available

    F Lewis 187 77.9%
    F Turk 185 77.1%

    F Garrity 73 30.4%
    F Ariza 28 11.7%
    F Augustine 6 2.5%
    F Outlaw 1 0.4%
    Total 480/480 minutes available

    Garrity has nearly 2.6x the minutes but only 2x points (14 vs. 7) 2x rebounds (8 v 4) and Ariza has 2 blocks. If I had to pick just one guy out of the group to get the bulk of the minutes to back up both Lewis & Turk it would be Ariza.

    Ariza is either hurt, or is not understanding (or not the right fit for) the new system. He has only played 5 minutes total in the last two games.

  • At 4:48 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    The blocked shot has to be the most subjective statistic in basketball. Howard must change at least as many shots as he gets credit for blocks. Sometimes I think they only credit a block when it winds up 4 rows in the stands.

    Foyle changed the shot and kept them from scoring at least 3 times in that sequence.

  • At 8:41 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I'm just as concerned as anyone about the lack of production from the bench so far; however, it's only 5 games into the season, and not everyone on the bench is healthy, specifically Ariza and Redick. Ariza missed significant time in the preseason, and now J.J. has the bad back after the sore hand and may not be 100% for at least a couple more weeks.

    I like the stats that WeRDevos posted regarding Garrity and Ariza. Let me expand on those a bit by showing their averages per 48 minutes regarding scoring and rebounding:

    Ariza 12.4 ppg 7.1 rebs
    Garrity 9.3 ppg 5.3 rebs

    Certainly makes a case for Ariza getting more time than Garrity. However, like WeR said, maybe Stan is hesitant to use Ariza right now because of his lack of an outside shot, while Garrity is a better long-range shooter. Also, is Ariza 100% yet from his preseason injury, and is he getting a good grasp of the new system? It seems to me he would be a natural in this system because of his athleticism; he just doesn't have the outside shot right now.

    Garrity did have a good game against MIN, and had a 3 pt FG in 3 mins against TOR, but was not effective in the other three games.

    Matt brought out a good point... we need to give SVG the benefit of the doubt at this early juncture, because we trust SVG a heck of a lot more than we ever trusted Brian Hill and that he will ultimately make the right decisions because of his past success, and that he is a much better communicator than BHill ever was.

    I'm willing to wait a while to see how this whole thing plays out with the bench rotation. In the meantime, it's great seeing the starting five playing so well together and shooting lights-out from long range.

  • At 8:23 AM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    I'm not trying to question SVG at all, the team looks good. I simply don't believe we can make it through the season with the frontline rotation as it is right now. Both Lewis and Turk are prone to missing games during the season.

    If Ariza is grasping the system there should be plenty of room for him in SVG's system off the bench. In Miami Wade is an awful 3 pt shooter and was the centerpiece of the offense SVG put together. Not remotely saying the two compare, but there is room for an athletic Ariza cutting to the hoop.

    So I'm wondering what is wrong with Ariza. He is either hurt, can't grasp the system, or clashing with the coach somehow. I hope for hurt, because I'd love to see him develop in this system and the team needs another good F in the rotation.

  • At 10:10 AM, Blogger Ken said…

    WHOOO HOOOOO Called Direct TV yesterday and will be here this afternoon. I feel like I have been so out of touch with whats been happening. Not anymore. Adios Brighthouse.

  • At 1:14 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    The question that has to be asked is "What does trevor really offer"? After thinking about trev's game or what svg could be seeing in practice,i've started to realize that trev is an above average rebounder at the small forward position but thats really it. Most of the things that come to mind in his favor about his game are things that really describe him and not his game,he's young,he's athletic,he can run the floor/attack the basket and defend,but those things are a dime a dozen.True attributes like shooting,passing and being able to handle the ball full-court trevor doesnt excell at,so there lies the problem for svg,trev's got a small-forwards body but the game of a defensive minded power-forward or center. SVG has basically said (from schmitz's basketblog)trevor is a situational defender.


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