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, January 23, 2008

Darko Milicic continues to battle inconsistency with MEM

There was a great deal of debate over the summer over the Magic's decision to not re-sign Darko Milicic, especially after the outstanding effort he put forth in the playoffs against DET, averaging 12.2 ppg on 58.8% FG shooting in almost 29 mins per game in the four games. However, this season, he seems to have regressed with MEM in his development.

Here are Milicic's stats for the Magic last season in 80 games:

MIN... 23.9
PPG... 8.0
FG%... 45.4%
FT%... 61.3%
REB... 5.5
BLK... 1.8
TO... 1.6

Now compare those stats with this season's stats for MEM for 33 games:

MIN... 23.3
PPG... 6.2
FG%... 42.3%
FT%... 46.3%
REB... 5.4
BLK... 1.9
TO... 1.7

In virtually the same number of minutes, Darko's pts, FG%, FT%, are all down significantly compared to last year. The only area where Milicic has improved at all is blocked shots. At just 22 years old, no one can deny that Darko has talent and is still developing, but the puzzling dropoff in his stats is hard to explain.

In his last 6 games, his stats are even worse... MIN 14.5... PPG... 3.5... REB... 2.7


  • At 4:23 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I thought that Darko was going to flourish this season under a new coach and new system and being a starter, but it sure hasn't turned out that way, at least so far.

    Hard to say how Darko would have performed had he re-signed with the Magic, but the Magic don't look quite so bad now for letting him go, especially with all the acrimony Darko's agent brought on.

  • At 5:21 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Those numbers are not so different to warrant paying any attention to. It is foolish to think that a player with Darko's talents could not have made a difference right now with the Magic, especially playing right next to a dominant player like Dwight. Playing on a losing team may have its effects, as well on a player who needs nourishment until developed. That is the kind of foolishness that a fool like Otis Smith may be advocating.

    The more Darko's name comes up, the more I get disgusted by the extreme stupidity demonstrated in his case. The fact is that he is gone now and not in Magic uniform any more. Instead of beating up on the dead horse let's come together and wish him well.

  • At 2:34 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    It wasn't my intent to "beat up on the dead horse" as Matt put it. I thought that since the Magic are playing MEM tonight (for the final time this season), it would be interesting to get a closer look at Milicic's stats and compare them with how he performed with the Magic.

    Obviously, 33 games do not make a season, and who's to say that Darko won't improve the second half; but for a player of Darko's talent and potential, for him to be averaging 3.5 ppg and 2.7 rebs in his last 6 games kind of raises the question as to why.

    However, that no longer is the Magic's worry, and I won't "beat up on the dead horse" any more. I don't hold any ill will towards Darko, and hope that he will eventually get it all together.

  • At 3:20 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    As for the game tonight...

    MEM (12-29, 8-13 home), winners of 2 of their last 3 games, take on the Magic (26-17, 16-9 road). MEM is coming off a 104-90 win over CHI on MON, with Mike Miller scoring 24 pts.

    The probable starting lineup for MEM:

    G... Mike Conley (8.7 ppg, 5.0 asts)
    G... Mike Miller (16.7 ppg, 6.9 rebs)
    F... Rudy Gay (19.4 ppg, 5.9 rebs)
    F... Pau Gasol (19.1 ppg, 8.8 rebs)
    C... Darko Milicic (6.2 ppg, 5.4 rebs)

    Top reserves: Juan Carlos Navarro (10.9 ppg); Kyle Lowry (8.0 ppg); Damon Stoudamire (7.3 ppg); Hakim Warrick (7.2 ppg); Stromile Swift (6.9 ppg)

    MEM is averaging 101.5 ppg, while allowing 105.1 ppg. ORL is averaging 103.4 ppg, while allowing 100.5 ppg.

    The Magic will try to avenge an embarrassing home loss to MEM back in DEC. Despite their record, MEM has some good young talent, solid veterans, and decent role players.

    Magic are a 3 pt favorite (www.pinnaclesports.com).

  • At 6:14 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I was wondering how ole darko was doing,boy those numbers dont show any personal improvement at all,dwight came into the league on horrible magic teams and he worked hard individually to improve his numbers every year,what is this like year 5 for darko? There are plenty of guys around this league that put up great numbers on bad teams so im not sure whats wrong with darko,the 20% drop at the free throw line itself says that he's lost all confidence. Also to think darko would be having a big impact on this team isnt smart thinking. He wouldnt have been a starter,he wouldnt have been first off the bench,we probably wouldnt have foyle if he were here so he wouldve been dwights back-up getting foyle's minutes because the big three would still be playing their respective roles as starters playing most of the minutes at the forwards spots. I dont think darko wouldve been playing beside dwight at all with the way SVG likes to coach inside out basketball,notice we always play someone who can shoot the three at the powerforward position. But any opinion is speculation,darko is gone,and our record proves we dont need him. On to the game. Obviously the last time we played the grizz they scored 123 points,so defense is all im asking for tonight,supreme defensive efforts and good rotations should lead to a magic victory.

  • At 12:45 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    This argument is absurd. If Darko was here in a sound frame of mind - quite possible with creating a proper support environment - of course he would have started. Do you think that Coach Van Gundy is as blind and stupid as Brian Hill not to see the advantages of playing Dwight and Darko next to each other? That combination was awesome on defense last year, and would have been the same this year. Now if the coach wanted to play inside out game he could have done it with setting up at SF and SG. He could have moved Hedo to SG while positioning Rashard at SF. How soon have we forgot how in awe we were at the prospect of the twin towers? End of story.

  • At 1:42 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    We can agree to diagree then because there's no way hedo could play the two,both him and rashard at 6ft10 a piece couldnt guard any shooting guards consistently,we'd be getting killed with that logic,keyon and keith were having problems and they are much smaller,what makes you think hedo being so big would have any success defending shooting guards on a regular basis? That logic is completely flawed. Hedo and rashard would be starting at the 3 and 4 no matter if darko were here or not,because thats the only place SVG can play them. The twin towers thing was a big dream,it sounded cool but wasnt very realistic at the end of the day because dwight doesnt need to share the paint with a seven foot center with no three point shot,that would take away from dwight being able to dominate the paint,as we saw last night darko plays in the paint and has no ability to play the perimeter,truth is darko isnt the player you think he is. To truely play inside out SVG stated that you need four players around one big who can all stretch the floor from three point range,darko couldnt fit into the starting line-up because of the way SVG wants to play,Has nothing to do with whether he's smarter than BSH or not.

  • At 3:38 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I don't always agree with you BIG, but I do here.

    Matt, you said it yourself. You said if Darko was in "sound frame of mind"...then you continued... The fact of the matter is the kid has shown over and over again that he IS NOT in sound frame of mind. Currently, he's under a new-yet solid coach, and he's regressing even though he’s been starting most of the season. It sucks, because Darko has talent. I saw the talent before we traded for him. I wanted the Magic to trade for him. But what it comes down to is what a player does with that talent, and Darko has done nothing with his, mainly because I don't think he is strong enough mentally or emotionally. Until he shows me otherwise, I'll be just as happy with Adonal Foyle or Tony Battie.

    So far, Otis Smith was not a "fool" in letting him go. He’s a 5/5 guy...awesome.

    And not to slap myself in the face, but since when has the "twin towers" concept every worked out?


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