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.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Cold-shooting Magic fall to ATL for second loss in row

The Magic (16-6, 5-4 home), except for a brief time at the beginning of the game, trailed throughout to ATL (10-10, 4-5 road) and could not mount a fourth qtr comeback, losing consecutive games for the first time this season 98-87, and continue to struggle at home.

Five players scored in double figures for the improving Hawks, led by Josh Smith with 25 pts, 16 rebs, and Joe Johnson with 24 pts. Anthony Johnson and Shelden Williams, who had combined to average less than 7 pts a game this season, combined to score 27 pts on 12 of 15 FGs against the Magic.

Four Magic starters scored in double figures, led by HTurkoglu with 22 pts (7 of 15 FGs), 7 rebs; RLewis 15 pts (5 of 13 FGs), 7 rebs; DHoward 14 pts (4 of 7 FGs), 18 rebs; and KBogans 12 pts (4 of 11 FGs). KDooling, who did not play against IND, played 21 mins against ATL and led the bench with 7 pts (2 of 7 FGs). Dooling, who had been leading the NBA in FT%, missing only 1 of 40 FTs before tonight, missed 2 of 4 FTs against ATL.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... ATL 35 of 82 (42.7%) ORL 29 of 73 (39.7%) ATL 75 ORL 69
3 PT FGs... ORL 11 of 31 (35.5%) ATL 5 of 11 (45.5%)
FTs... ATL 23 of 30 (76.7%) ORL 18 of 30 (60%)
REBS... ORL 45 ATL 43
AST/TO... ATL 19/8 ORL 18/19
BENCH... ORL 18 ATL 15

ATL has now won 4 of their last 5 games against the Magic. Fortunately, the Magic head back out on the road, where they have been so successful, to play MIL WED night to try and get back on the winning track.


  • At 11:01 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    This was an ugly loss for the Magic, to be sure. Not too many positives to talk about for the Magic this game.

    Some of the negatives that are not good to see: 1) ATL forced 19 Magic TOs and stole the ball 11 times, compared to the Magic forcing just 8 Hawk TOs and 2 steals. This is the second game in a row the opponent has had a much better AST/TO ratio. 2) Magic shoot under 40% FGs and 60% FTs, which will not win many games. 3) The Magic allow two ATL players, Anthony Johnson and Shelden Williams, to combine to score 20 pts above their season average. 4) Another poor game for JNelson (6 pts, 4 asts, 3 TOs); he has to perform better than that. 5) Not getting the ball enough to DHoward (only 1 FG attempt the first half for Howard and 7 FG attempts for the game).

    I don't want to panic yet, because we're 16-6, but one of our main criticisms of the Magic last season was that they lost far too many games to teams that they should have beaten. This was the second loss in a row to a team they should have beaten, at home no less.

    At least the Magic are going back out on the road, where they have been so successful. Four of their next five games are on the road, and hopefully they can work out the problems that have suddenly appeared these last two games.

  • At 2:56 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    After watching highlights of the game on SportsCenter, I see that it's a lot easier said than done to get the ball into Howard. The Hawks immediately doubled Howard when he got the ball, forcing him to pass or else they fouled him.

    That proved to be an excellent strategy for ATL, as Howard made only 6 of 14 FTs, and whenever he passed the ball out, his teammates were unable to consistently hit the outside shot.

    Other teams could try copying that strategy, to swarm Dwight once he gets the ball and either foul him or force him to pass. If the Magic are unable to make their outside shots, and Howard is unable to make a majority of the FTs, that will lead to a Magic loss, as we saw against ATL.

    The Magic will have to figure out a way to get baskets when their outside shots aren't falling and the opposition swarming Howard whenever he has the ball.

  • At 11:37 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Mike you said all the statistical things very well and i agree none is winning basketball,i'll just add a few things that i saw X and O's wise that im finding hard to accept from SVG. (1)Game after game there's no set offensive game-plan or designated person to run the offense. The main reason jameer is struggling is because nothing is ran for him and when something gets called his way its usually pick-and-roll which is usually successful. I blame dwight's high number of turnovers solely on coaching (there should be different ways to attack different opponents)because if a team decides to double as soon as you touch the ball then the double is easy to see,as a coach when you see a team doing that if outside shots are falling then your in good position. But what if the shots arent falling like last night? Then you have to take a player like dwight who has so much athletic ability and get him on the move,dwight should be setting screens for everyone on the perimeter and rolling hard to the basket for easy lay-ups and lobs that way the defense cant double and your getting point blank high percentage shots at the basket. If the defense goes under the screens your wing players will now get open looks for jumpers instead of the well contested sort. Right now SVG is failing jameer,the offense should always revolve around your point guard and center. When you run offensive sets sure you should drop it down to dwight to see how the defense is playing,but when the ball is rebounded cleanly it should be jameer in the middle of the court directing traffic and taking the ball straight to the rack and not worrying about getting others involved because we need him to shoot more and score more,we have perimeter players who can make up for his assist totals if they are low (hedo and rashard have had 7 assist games),but we cant survive with the low scoring outputs. Jameer needs to be involved more offensively,hedo and rashard can create their own offense if the ball is passed to them because they can put it on the floor. (2) The rotations still didnt work. Nobody really played great,but nobody looked worse than carlos arroyo. Their was a sequence in the third quarter where anthony johnson stole the ball from carlos i mean just picked his pocket,then atlanta clears out for aj on the other end 1 on 1 with carlos and he got right by him and shot a little jumper for a basket,the after the inbounds pass to carlos aj forced carlos into a turnover on a bad pass(which passing is supposed to be carlos's strength),three straight negative plays for carlos who looked slow and reminded me of a point guard version of pat garrity. The lead balloned with him on the floor so SVG pulled him quickly,at the same time there's a guy by the name of JJ redick who i know will help the team far more than carlos just sitting on the bench. I called it before the game,like clockwork SVG put keyon as the back-up two and JJ didnt play,HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!! Its as if no matter the coach these people are clueless and cant see that keyon would make a great back-up point,then there would be minutes for JJ and carlos until traded could sit his slow behind on the bench for a change and see how we do then,i mean its like they dont even entertain the idea which seriously bothers me. Two games,two bad bench performances,the one constant,carlos! Keyon deserves to be out there because of his play.

  • At 12:58 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Even a little deeper. Point guards are like quarterbacks in football,they should be the one's directing the offense not be completely uninvolved. The problem with the magic is within SVG's offensive philosophy too many times we are seeing hedo and rashard trying to make plays for the offense when thats a point guards job/role. How many times have we watched the suns play and nash has the ball almost 100% of the time making plays for marion and the rest of the crew,and that has nothing to do with nash being nash (quick and smart with the ball),that has everything to do with the way they are coached. Against the warriors jameer scored 21 points i beleive and that night we finished the game with 123 points,THATS MORE LIKE IT! Top everything off with the fact that we arent running as much because the guys feel like they can show up and win with jumpers (three's within the offensive set),and we arent really getting any hustle plays or grit (hedo and rashard played super soft) from the starters other than keith and dwight and you have a team thats going to struggle.

  • At 1:27 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    The way things should look is simple in my opinion,jameer should always have the ball looking to score and hedo and rashard should look to pass just as much as they shoot three's. When a ball is rebounded cleanly,instead of always passing the ball up-court and forcing your wing guys to put pressure on the defense by attacking early within the offense,we should be getting the ball to the point guard so that at least he can get an assist if a shot attempt isnt there,if its there jameer should be scoring or at least taking the shot. Hedo and rashard or keith for that matter under our new offensive philosophy dont need to have the ball because they are technically floor spacers that can create their own offense if the ball gets rotated to them,which means that jameer and dwight should be scoring and if you do something defensively to stop one of them than we will have open shooters on the perimeter. Jameer on the other hand needs help because point guard is a position that is easily defended because you can pressure PG's for 90 feet picking up the pressure right when the ball is inbounded. The one common thing about all the PG's weve lost to this year (nash,billups,parker,johnson) they all looked to score. SVG needs to give more direction within his run-n-gun system and jameer needs to understand he has to score for us to be successful. What we've BEEN seeing is everybody else except jameer be focal parts of the offense at times and jameer remains in the background. Also my rotations would be the normal starters,with keyon,JJ,mo evans and foyle off the bench. Keyon-PG,JJ-SG,evans-SF and foyle-C. Hedo and rashard would rotate at the power forward position and one of them would always be on the floor. Cook and augustine would be for depth in case of injury,carlos pat and marcin wouldnt play for me.

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

    You bring out some really good points in your post-game analysis, Big Figure. You're right in that you say JNelson should be more involved in the offense. He should look for his shot more, and if it's not there, to pass the ball. His game against GS is a perfect example of what he's capable of doing.

    I also agree that J.J. Redick should have seen action against ATL. Redick's our best long-range shooter, and with him in there able to hit open outside shots, that may have loosened ATL's defense on Howard. Look how well Redick did on the recent west coast trip, consistently hitting threes in about 15-18 mins of playing time a game.

    Now is not the time for gloom and doom predictions for the Magic though (like so many people on the Sentinel Blog), because all the mistakes the Magic have made these last two games are fixable, and there are things they can start doing better to get back on the winning track. Same thing regarding SVG... he has made coaching mistakes these last few games but I'm confident he will learn from them and not be so inflexible and stubborn like Brian Hill.

    Look at PHO... they have just lost games to pitiful MIN and they got run off their own floor last night by the struggling Heat. These things will happen to just about every team during the course of a season, because it's a long season. The key thing is how do teams adjust to get back on the winning track. I have full confidence the Magic will be able to do that.

  • At 10:32 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Hi guys. I still am not able to see the games but I am working on it. I trust Big Figure's knowledge of the game, and in general I am for Keyon playing the back-up PG. Heck I was for Keyon playing the starting PG. I suspect this is the remainder of Otis Smith's influence on dictating some issues. Otherwise coach SVG is smarter than not seeing some of the obvious pros of playing both Keyon and J.J. a lot more, which in return means reducing Carlos' minutes.

    Keep up the good work, guys. You are the reason that this blog has become one of the best Magic blogs out there.

  • At 3:11 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Thanks for checking in, Matt... hope all is going well overseas with you and that you're not working too hard. Good hearing from you whenever you get the chance.

  • At 5:41 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Thanks matt,glad to hear your getting a chance to check in on us from time to time. I also agree that maybe it is time to give keyon a look with the starters.


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