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, December 20, 2007

Magic able to hold off HOU for win

Ahead by as much as 12 pts early in the 4th qtr, the Magic (18-9, 13-4 road) saw HOU (12-13) gradually chip away and cut the Magic lead to 1 pt in the final 30 seconds, but the Magic scored the final 4 pts of the game to hang on for a 97-92 win.

Six players scored in double figures for the Magic, led by DHoward with 21 pts (7 of 13 FGs), 11 rebs; KDooling off the bench with 15 pts (9 of 10 FTs); KBogans 14 pts (6 of 9 FGs), 10 rebs; HTurkoglu 13 pts (4 of 15 FGs), 9 rebs; RLewis 13 pts (5 of 15 FGs); and JNelson 11 pts (5 of 14 FGs), 6 asts.

Houston was led by Yao with 19 pts, 17 rebs, but made just 7 of 18 FGs. Former Magic star Tracy McGrady, playing with a sore knee, had an awful game with just 3 pts on 1 of 10 FGs, and did not play the second half.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... ORL 34 of 83 (41.0%) HOU 31 of 91 (34.1%) ORL 75 HOU 71
3 PT FGs... HOU 9 of 24 (37.5%) ORL 7 of 17 (41.2%)
FTs... ORL 22 of 26 (84.6%) HOU 21 of 31 (67.7%)
REBS... ORL 49 HOU 49
AST/TO... HOU 22/11 ORL 16/15
BENCH... HOU 38 ORL 25

This was only the second win for the Magic in their last 11 games against the Rockets. Magic will host UT FRI night.


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

    Not the best game that the Magic could play, but it was nice to see them hold the opposition to just 34% shooting and 92 pts, after letting the other team score an average of 107 ppg the last 7 games.

    If McGrady was 100% for this game, the Magic could very well have lost; it's not very often he'll shoot 1 for 10 from the field.

    Great job by the Magic shooting FTs (22 of 26) to make up for their 41% FG shooting night.

    HOU did have a much better AST/TO ratio (22/11) compared to the Magic (16/15), but the Magic were able to overcome that.

    PGarrity saw his first action in weeks, scoring 2 pts with 3 rebs in 13 mins; while Cook and Redick sat. Don't quite know what to make of that or why SVG decided to play Garrity.

  • At 8:46 AM, Anonymous MagicPaul said…

    Great road win!!! A win which we desperetly needed and when out and got. Rashard Lewis could not get anything going early but seemed to want the ball in the fourth quarter scoring 8 points and playing solid defense, but overall his 13 points and 5 for 15 shooting from the field is just not going to cut it further down the road. I know i am the resident lewis basher but can someone agree with me here!!! He has to step up!!! Going on......Yet another big game from Dwight scoring 21 and gobbling up 11 rebounds against yao and the rockets. Early on, the offense was not working through dwight due to a great weakside double team and yao's height but it seemed like towards the end of the second half dwight used his athletesism and just outplayed him the whole second half, getting up and down the floor quickly and getting in front of of yao on defense not allowing him to get the ball. SVG played with a 9 man rotation which included Pat Garrity, like mike said scoring 2 and snatching 3 rebounds but his job last night was not on the offensive side of the ball it was on the defensive side of the ball with stronside help to dwight for yao and also to pick up fouls if in case dwight got beat to the basket. A very fundamental move by SVG, garrity picked up 3 good fouls and did his very unappreciated job down low in his 13 minutes of play. Bogans and Dooling seem to just want to play great basketball when on road trips to the west coast. Dooling came off the bench and scored a very hard earned 15 pts which included 2 clutch free throws with 24 or so seconds left in the game. Bogans played probably one of the better games he has had all season, scoring 14 pts and grabbing 10 rebounds, that is what we need from what happens to be our best defender, I honestly believe that if you dont get that or something like it from bogans every game there are tough horizons ahead. An Overall GREAT win which we hope can motivate the guys to come home and play tough against an underrated utah team that looks very similar like the utah of the late 90's with williams and boozer and the most deadly pick and roll offense in the association. Great Win but lets capitalize on it at home on friday night!!!!

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

    Jameer still needs to play better. They better be glad that they ran into a team that cant score and was without their best player for the second half because with that effort to start the game this wouldve been another loss. If houston hits their free-throws early they put the magic away. We still have a ways to go to get out of this slump,we beat the bobcats then came right back and lost the next game so no time to relax defensively.

  • At 10:41 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Paul, I can understand what you're saying about RLewis about his numbers not being what they should be, but don't forget the intangibles he brings to the Magic. Just his presence on the offensive end helps guys like Dwight and Turk, because other teams have to respect Lewis's outside shooting ability; in turn that helps open things up for the other guys on offense.

    Like you said, he played well in the 4th qtr even though his overall stats were not particularly impressive.

  • At 9:08 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    The Magic is struggling to defend anybody and, it seems to me, that the answer is starting Keyon in place of Jameer. There is no place for the faint of heart in this league, and as much as I feel for Jameer's personal tragedy, he has a job to do, and if he he is not totally focused then he should be replaced by somebody who is. I don't worry about Rashard's shooting woes for the time being. As Mike has pointed out, he has opened up the lanes for everybody which is priceless. I don't have the time to follow every Magic news closely. I hope that Otis Smith is not inserting himself in the coach's decision making process.

    I don't hear much from OVERWADED. Where are you hiding these days buddy?

  • At 10:02 AM, Anonymous MagicPaul said…

    Mike..you are very correct when it comes to the intagibles that mr. lewis brings to the team, but let's just step back and think abouth this; if SVG really wants to open up driving lanes and spread the floor jj would be receiving lots more playing time, after all isn't that why we drafted jj so that he could spread the floor! Yes he is the weakest link defensively but give him an open shot like the ones that lewis had against houston, atlanta and indiana and jj would bury them and we all know that! Yes Turk's production has gone up this year but if you look at his game this season it has been revised from last year and that is due to the new offense which is an up and down run and gun type offense, come on that is why when it came time to find a coach SVG was a no brainer, or do we not remember what he did with the heat dwyane wade's rookie season!!!! Turk is a better player because the offense fits his style of play, not because the floor is spread!!! Another example of that is Dooling, never in a thousand years would dooling come off the bench and run the point and score 15 in an oldschool halfcourt setup offense, i hope you guys now understand why im "the resident lewis basher"......does he have room to get better....yes and i pray that he does but so far he has shown nothing ad i hope that changes. Lets see it for what it is an overpaid NBA Vet that should be able to bounce back from a shooting slump alot quicker than this, if im not correct call me out on it but he hasnt scored 20+ in like 7 or 8 games!!! LOL!! i hope you guys completely understand my discontent!!!

  • At 11:48 AM, Anonymous MagicPaul said…

    Yes you are right mike about all th intagables which lewis brings to the starting lineup but if SVG really wanted to spread the floor and open up driving lanes he would give jj a whole lot more time that what he gets, after all he is probably the best shooter the magic have, yes jj is the weakness on defense but when it comes to spreading the defense he would do it like no other, after all isn't that why Osmith drafted him. Let's face it guys....... rashard lewis has to step it up, he is an overpaid nba vet that should know how to jump back from these shooting slumps quicker after all he hasnt scored 20 in what like 7 or 8 games. THis is the NBA and if he dont get it together teams are not gonna scout off of him and all the inside defense is once again goingto collapse on dwight which is exactly the opposite of what we want, that is why we brought mr. lewis to orlando in the first place!

  • At 1:45 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I'm not worried about RLewis regaining his shooting touch; he is a proven scorer, having averaged 22 ppg just last season. Also, he has been having problems with his sore neck; once that improves, I expect him to average a lot closer to 20 ppg and shoot better.

    I do agree with Paul in that Coach Van Gundy should be using Redick more.

    I also agree with Big Figure and Matt that if Jameer does not improve defensively, SVG should consider starting KDooling at the point. However, once CArroyo returns from his injury, I'm sure he'll return to the regular bench rotation with Dooling being used primarily as shooting guard.

    Matt, I'm wondering just like you... how come we haven't been hearing much from OVERWADED?

    By the way, hope things are going well for you overseas in your work, Matt.

  • At 1:47 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Mike and paul,both of you are correct. Rashard's game and what it offers isnt worth 118 million dollars,but on the flip side it was still the right move for the magic to overpay for a player that would give us a specific attribute,high percentage three point shooting from the power forward spot. With that said i completely agree with MP rashard needs to do more and i wrote a piece that said pretty much everything MP is saying right now,about a week ago. For a max player he doesnt get to the free-throw line nearly enough and he doesnt really put the ball on the floor that well either,defensively i'll give him the benefit of the doubt because he's guarding guys much bigger than him on most nights. If we're not gonna get any grit from hedo or rashard then we need to put defenders around them that are capable scorers,keyon at the point starting would be a good start. Turk and keyon are surely benefiting from the style of play change,but the reason JJ isnt playing is because keith bogans has played so well defensively and has shown the ability to hit timely three's,i agree with mike in the sense that SVG's goal is to space the floor for dwight which we do at every position. SVG has stated many times that defense is the key and if JJ wants to get more minutes he'll get tougher on the ball and show some grit within the game. MP i can understand your discontent,but the truth is in just about every game rashard has been matched up with "true" Power forwards and has held his own,you can tell that the banging is getting to him physically with the neck soreness and is still one of our top three scorers. He's won a few games for us and been there every night to suit up,rashard isnt the reason we've been slumping. Logic and statistics say that there are other players on this team that should be the recipients of your discontent.

  • At 6:07 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I don’t know what my problem has been. I haven’t felt like writing much as of late, and I haven’t felt that great either. Plus I picked up the NBA League Pass, so I’ve found myself watching A LOT of basketball. And the Magic’s recent “up and downs” have left me a little puzzled too.

    I honestly think the Magic were just tired after coming back from the west coast road trip. Playing uninspired ball, walking the ball up the court more, missing shots, turning the ball over, poor free throw shooting all can be related to fatigue.

    The losses at home have really frustrated me. I finally felt a little relief when the Magic got a win at Charlotte (on the road).

    Then we went back home the following night to face the Grizzles. My sister bought a pair of tickets and treated me by taking me to that game. While it was awesome watching Dwight dominate, it wasn’t so awesome watching the team fall to .500 at home with another loss to a mediocre team.

    The main thing that has bothered me in some of the recent losses was how when the rest of the team was struggling to make anything, they continue jacking up shots without giving the ball into Dwight first.

    In the game against the Grizzles, Dwight was 10-11 from the field; awesome right? Maurice Evans on the other hand was 3-11. I know he started in place of Rashard, but why is he shooting 11 times? Or a better question, why is Dwight only shooting 11 times? Actually, everyone in the starting lineup shot more than Dwight! This is happening a little too often for my taste. And while I love seeing the 3-ball go up regularly, the ball needs to touch Dwight’s hands first!

    As for Rashard, everyone makes valid points. He is overpaid, but he is the right player for the job. There are not many players in the league that could fill that position, with the shooting ability he has. At the same time, Hedo has outplayed him this season. Hedo has displayed a complete offensive game, and he’s really made Rashard look like he’s only a shooter. I know his neck has been bothering him as of late, but I’d like to see Rashard be a little less one-dimensional. In one particular game, he shot 18 times, 14 of those shots were 3-pointers. Whether it’s off of screens, iso-plays, or post-ups; Rashard needs to broaden out his game a little more; and I know he can, because I’ve seen him play that way before. Actually, he did a pretty good job on this in the 4th quarter against Houston.

    Then the point guard position. We always come back to this, and I’m sick of it. I hope this season determines who stays and who goes. It really should, especially because Dooling and Arroyo are both free agents this summer. The problem here is there is never a clear answer. None of these players are clearly better than the other. They all have their positives and negatives. Obviously though, Nelson is going to be around for a while after signing his new contract. And because Dooling is the only one of the three who is a good defender, so I think he’ll win the backup minutes. Arroyo is just the odd man out.

    The other positive of having Dooling play backup point guard, is that opens a spot for Redick to play, and he needs to be playing. I know he’s not a great defender, but he’s proven more than once this season, that he can make big shots. Putting him in the backcourt next to Dooling also makes sense, because Dooling is a good defender. I hope to start seeing Dooling-1, Redick-2, and Evans-3 as a bench. I know Evans isn’t a small forward, but I think he can manage.

    What it comes down to is who we need to get out on the court. Dooling has to play because he’s one of our best defenders, but he not nearly as effective at the 2-spot. He is definitely the only player we have that can play effective defense on opposing point guards. Redick is another guy who we need getting regular minutes off the bench. He probably has the best shot on the team, and we need the points he can give us off of the bench. And as it stands today, we still need a backup power forward, as Brian Cook has been useless.

    Hopefully tonight we’ll take a stand at home against a good, yet struggles Jazz team.

    P.S. - I’ll try not to be a stranger anymore. I’ve just been in one of those dry spells.

  • At 6:58 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Sounds good, OVERWADED. You're one of the reasons this blog is one of the best, if not the best, Magic blogs on the net.

  • At 2:52 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Thanks Mike. I appreciate the kind words.


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