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 02, 2008

Down by 11 entering 4th qtr, NJ comes back to edge Magic

NJ (15-16, 8-5 road), trailing by as many as 15 pts, came alive to score 58 second half pts on 24 of 41 FGs as the Magic (22-12, 7-7 home), who had an 11 pt lead entering the final qtr, still had a chance to win in their last possession but HTurkoglu, who hit the winning shot against CHI, could not come through and NJ came out with a 96-95 victory.

Former Magic G Darrell Armstrong came up huge in the 4th, hitting all four of his shots for 9 pts, and finished with 13 pts (6 of 7 FGs). Armstrong had only been averaging 1.7 ppg prior to this game. Seven players scored in double figures for NJ, including the Big Three of Vince Carter (18 pts), Richard Jefferson (14 pts) and Jason Kidd (10 pts, 10 rebs, 8 asts). However, the trio shot just 12 of 37 FGs.

Six players scored in double figures for the Magic, led by HTurkoglu with 23 pts (7 of 17 FGs); CArroyo, who once again started at PG, 16 pts (5 of 9 FGs), 7 asts, 0 TOs; RLewis 14 pts (6 of 12 FGs); DHoward 13 pts (5 of 11 FGs), 13 rebs; and KBogans 10 pts (3 of 7 FGs). AFoyle led the bench with 10 pts (5 of 6 FGs), 5 rebs.

A statistical breakdown:

FGs... NJ 36 of 77 (46.8%) ORL 35 of 80 (43.8%) NJ 76 ORL 75
3 PT FGs... ORL 5 of 17 (29.4%) NJ 4 of 11 (36.4%)
FTs... NJ 20 of 28 (71.4%) ORL 20 of 29 (69.0%)
REB... NJ 42 ORL 37
AST/TO... NJ 24/13 ORL 14/11
BENCH... NJ 48 ORL 19

This loss stops the Magic winning streak at 4. All the SE division teams lost WED night, so ORL still has a 4 game division lead over ATL. Magic next host Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming and HOU FRI night.


  • At 1:55 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Another very frustrating home loss. Our guys have got to learn to finish these games when they have double digit leads... no excuse for losing this one.

    Magic did a decent job against Kidd, Jefferson, and Carter, as they combined to score just 42 pts on 12 of 37 FG, but whoever thought the NJ bench would perform like All-Stars... 22 of 32 FGs and 48 pts.

    Other than Foyle, the Magic bench didn't produce much... JNelson and MEvans combined to shoot just 3 of 16 FGs for 6 pts. Nelson just didn't have it against NJ like he did against the Bulls, so there still is the consistency problem there. Arroyo had another decent game as the starter and ran the offense well and took care of the ball.

    Anyone know why KDooling didn't play? We sure could have used his high energy for a spark off the bench.

    When you look at DHoward's FTs, 3 out of 10, that really hurts if you consider that if he makes just two more, we win the game. I know Howard does so much out on the court, but oh those FTs...

    Like Coach Van Gundy said after the game, the more aggressive team (especially off the bench) wound up winning.

  • At 4:38 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    The last two games I've watched live, they've lost. Of course that doesn't really say much considering it's a 50/50 shot at this point. Still, I came home and watched the game again on my DVR, and sadly, I prefer watching the games more so on TV. Once the playoffs hit, that might change.

    Arroyo in the game, the team looked good. Nelson in the game, the team looked bad.

    While Nelson was in the game and the team was losing its leads (happened in both half’s with Nelson on the floor), there were chants for Arroyo in more than one section of the arena.

    Arroyo held his own throughout against one of the best point guards in the league tonight. I can't see Nelson winning his starting spot back anytime soon.

    This brings me to the guy that is often mentioned in relation. Where was Dooling? How come I had to watch Evans chucking up bricks for 20 minutes tonight? I know they have a little size with Carter and Jefferson, but it's all false numbers. Carter is a chump and nothing close to the player he used to be, and I've never considered Jefferson a player to get excited about. The point is we could have used Dooling tonight.

    We need Lewis to be more aggressive. To date, Turk is "the man" when we need a play. Yet, we had Turk last year. We paid Lewis to be a go-to-guy, and even though he's proven he can hit big shots (he hit two tonight), we still need him to be more aggressive.

    Foyle looked good tonight, and it was needed considering that Dwight got into some early bogus foul trouble.

    Speaking of, the officiating was very poor tonight, pretty much from the start to the finish. But it got even worse at the end of the 3rd quarter until the end of the game.

    Regardless, the Magic should have still won this game.

    The loss was depressing, but I couldn't help but crack a smile and clap from time to time watching Armstrong back in Orlando. He gave me so many great memories. Damn Doc Rivers and Gab for letting him go to bring in Tyrone Lue. UGH.

    I know the Nets won tonight, but why does a team like the Nets keep what they have together? They were mediocre last year, they're mediocre this year, they’re old, and that's not going to change. The only thing that is going to happen with that team is they’re going to continue to get worse. They’re not going to win a championship, or even their division. There is nowhere to go but down. Make deals while you have something to deal. Because if you’re not playing for a championship, what are you playing for?

    Maybe I should have asked Rod Thorn. I saw him walking around the concourse tonight.

  • At 5:38 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    A few thoughts on OVERWADED's post...

    The stats bear out what OVERWADED said about Arroyo and Nelson. If you look at the box score at NBA.com or Yahoo! Sports, there is a new stat, +/-. It's similar to the +/- in hockey; it measures when a player is in a game, how many pts his team scores compared to the number of pts the other team scores. When Arroyo was in the game against NJ, his +/- was +11. When Nelson was in the game, his +/- was -12. Interestingly enough, the only Magic player with a higher +/- rating than Arroyo was James Augustine with +13. AFoyle and KBogans were the only other Magic players with a positive +/- for the game.

    I, too, was happy for Darrell Armstrong performing so well, even though it was against our beloved Magic. At 39 yrs old, he proved he could still get the job done.

    I'm sure a lot more people along with myself and OVERWADED are wondering why Dooling didn't play.

    In his post-game press conference, SVG made reference to the Magic "whining" about some calls, but acknowledged that the more aggressive team usually gets the calls.

    Regardless of the calls, like you said, OVERWADED, the Magic should have still won this game. These are the types of teams the Magic must beat, especially at home.

    Also, you're right about the state of the Nets team. They'll probably be just good enough to sneak into the playoffs as a 7 or 8 seed and get eliminated in the first round. I wonder how long they're going to keep their Big Three together; there have been some rumors about a trade involving Kidd.

  • At 11:30 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I blame this loss on SVG. Just like mike said,if you look at the box score the magic scored 30+ points in the first and 30+ points in the third. But the 2nd and 4th quaters we scored 15 and 18 points respectively. The rotation was horrible which lead to low scoring outputs from our bench,the starters were playing well to start the game then SVG decides to go with jameer and evans in the back-court,WHAT???? Keyon's been our back-up two all year and he gets a DNPCD,WHATS UP WITH THAT???? I'm sure SVG will say,well they played carter and jefferson at the two at times and i didnt like the match-ups for keyon (this is what he said the last time he didnt play keyon,although it was against a different team),SVG has to realize that last night with new jersey struggling for most of the game,keyon may have drawn some charges or at least given us some needed scoring help as the second unit struggled,sometimes you have to make the other team adjust to what YOU are doing instead of always trying to match-up. SVG failed us last night and i cant see justifying not playing keyon (or JJ for that matter,but it doesnt seem like SVG has ANY confidence in him). Sure dwight missed free-throws but we only lost by 1 point,better rotation and we blow new jersey out,i truely beleive that. To me the shortened rotation hurt us more than anything,how does SVG expect us to get anything out of our bench if he plays two guys (adonyl,augustine)that are really energy guys while playing jameer and evans in the back-court together as the only scoring options of the bench,THAT WAS COMPLETELY STUPID!!!! The two games that SVG has decided not to play keyon it has backfired on him and we've now lost both times.

  • At 11:39 AM, Anonymous D-Boy Magic said…

    Horrible loss!
    Wat SVG said after the game was true we just look at the scoreboard and think were not gonna lose! We had a DOUBLE DIGIT lead.Dwight had great numbers and is had a 15th straight double double but we stiil lose. The point Gaurd position is killing us. Carlos can run the Offense really well but is just way to slow on DEFENSE! Darrel Armstrong was Out Husling Carlos, and Darell is going to be 40 years old!
    Jameer is fast and quick and is decent on offense he just likes to shoot and takes it to the hole and doesnt even get the foul and sits there and complain.He was like 3 for 7 yesterday night.Keyon didnt come out once. hes a big scorer probably an extra 10 points.
    Horrible Lost.
    Lets look forward to the Rockets Friday Night

  • At 11:54 AM, Anonymous magicpaul said…

    Like Mike said a very frustrating home loss against a team that just simply outplayed us in the last 12 minutes. Overwaded you got it right about the nelson and arroyo move, the magic look good when arroyo is running the point and they look mediocre at best when nelson is running the point.

    Once again we got out to a demanding lead early and held it into the fourth quarter but then crumbled. I honestly dont know why keyon dooling didnt get any time at the 2 and frankly there towards the end of the game when darmstrong basically took over keyon would of helped a little bit containing him. Afoyle came in and played huge when howard got in foul trouble, i think he has taking his assignment on the team and flourished with it, he is dwight's backup and his role is to give us between 10-12 minutes a game and block shots, rebound, and cause havoc in the paint opening up lanes for turk and lewis.

    Now my only one argument is with the decision of going to turk at the end of the game. First of all i would like to say that Turk is to me having his best year as a pro and he has earned the right of having the ball at the end of the game but last night when the magic came out their last timeout everyone who was either watching or at the game or whatever knew that turk was gonna get the ball including lawrence frank which is why jason kidd(their best defender) matched up with him, and we all know what happened turk took a great choice and attacked the basket but kidd's defense was overpowering. Well in a situation like this i think SVG should of used Turk as a decoy and should of gone to Lewis who was supposed to have been guarded by vince carter but instead we went right into the trap defense that they wanted us to enter and we ended up coming out losers.

    Take the scoring load off of Turk in this type of situation and use the 118 million dollar man which as funny as it sounds was left open!!!! I love turk but you have to go with what the defense gives you and last night it was obvious that jersey wanted the ball in turks hands with kidd guiding him to the trap, its just fundamental basketball. If you dont believe me ask steve kerr who made a living off of this. when mj was getting doubled kerr was always open!!!! Fundamental Basketball!!! well we now have houston at home and we head off west so lets see some toughness from our magic!

  • At 12:06 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Carlos looked great while he was fresh,but not so good down the stretch. Its obvious that DArmstrong's full court pressure took carlos out of his game and spear-headed a nets comeback. That was an exact indication of how having a defensive player at the point can neutralize a high scoring offense,and having an offensive player at the point can lose you games down the stretch when things get tight and there's no more running and gunning (like in the first half),that offensive playmakers output gets trumped by better defense due to the slow down pace of a close game. We should be doing that to other teams on a regular basis. Also on another topic,if SVG isnt going to play JJ for any real minutes and jameer is going to make 35 mil sitting on the bench,how about trading them to philly (i'd hate to see jj go)for andre miller,a point guard with triple double capabilities,he can defend,he can rebound,and most of all he's a playmaker even better than arroyo (i admitt carlos has been good for the most part in his starts). Good idea? Bad idea? what do you guys think?

  • At 2:23 PM, Anonymous josh407 said…

    nobody knows what really happened last night...very bad loss to a team that should be beating us in comebacks like these. As d-boy magic said, SVG is right, they look at the scoreboard and think they are gonna win. I'm also concerned that we are having players trying to contribute, like Dwight's double double, but not have a steady starting pointguard who can move the offense good, and still work hard in defense. This is a huge thing that killed us. I also agree with magicpaul on how they need to use Lewis and take some of the work off of Hedo.

    I really think the turning point in the game was most probably the elbow from Dwight. That just gave the Away bench yesterday to have a reason to come back so furiously like they did. My regards to Armstrong and his comeback, even though he plowed and scored and assisted right through my team, he is a person who can tell you age doesn't matter. Props to him.

    But on the other hand, w could have stop that... WE NEED TO BE MORE AGGRESIVE! we shouldn't be whining everytime we dont get a call (Nelson) and we have to take those things and put it in our game. The Magic have to recooporate from this loss, and work harder the next few games. Which i believe we could win, if we played better than we did last night in the 4th quarter.

    Another concern about last night is how Dooling didn't play. I';m very concerned because SVG could have easily put Dooling as the guard, like what B. Hill did last season.

    Maurice could have put on a better show. As well as Dwight on his free throws...if he would have made some those seven FT's that he missed, we maybe could have won the game...and congrats for Foyle taking up Dwight's spot with Dwight on foul trouble.

    Let's just hope that SVG can play Dooling a bit more when things are not working...

    Anyways, i hope we can pull it together tomorrow night versus HOU. Important home game that we need to get a Win on.

  • At 3:21 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    BIG, I'd make that trade in a minute. Miller is a great point guard with size, scoring ability, playmaking, and a triple double waiting to happen; especially if you put guys like Lewis, Turk, and Howard surrounding him.

    I'm coming to realize that signing Nelson to an extension at the beginning of this season was a big mistake. Otis should have let him earn his worth. Strange for Otis, considering he let Darko and Ariza play for their contracts, but he didn't do the same for Nelson. At this point, Nelson is shaping up to be what he is, very inconsistent and is looking more and more like a bench player. The day will come when Otis has to make a call on him. Either he's our bench guy, or we need to deal him, unless a miracle happens and he comes around. Who knows, maybe it really is the injuries. But as of now, all I know is we've seen the same thing from Jameer before, and that’s not a good thing.

    As for point guards pressuring like Armstrong does, I'm pretty sure he's one of a kind. If you look around the entire league, there is not a single other player that will do that; especially throughout the entire game. Of course at this point in his career, he can't do that every night. He doesn't even play every night. But I'm sure he was well rested, pumped up on coffee and chocolate for this game.

    Armstrong made Nelson look foolish in the 2nd and 4th quarters. By the time Arroyo had checked in, Armstrong's confidence was flying high.

    Nelson's play, or lack there of hurt us in multiply ways last night.

    I just watched the 3rd and 4th quarters again. They really let the Nets play physical against us. I get the idea that the aggressive team usually gets the benefit, but a foul is a foul, and they were riding our guys constantly and hacking down on them. It just goes to show you that even though Hedo is playing at an all-star level, better than both Carter and Jefferson, he doesn’t treated deservingly.

    A perfect example was how the refs sent Carter to the line, basically to win the game, when he definitely didn’t deserve it. Even worse, the Magic followed with an aggressive drive to the basket of their own, where Hedo was hit more than once, only to have the refs swallow their whistle. Not cool.

    Even though I think the officiating was unjust, and very poor, the Magic should have been blowing this team out and should have never found themselves in this situation to begin with regardless how assisted the Nets were. Or maybe not, the Nets turnaround started with bad calls in the 3rd quarter and went from there.

  • At 8:00 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Interesting trade proposal offered by Big Figure (JNelson and JRedick for Andre Miller of the 76ers). Let's take a closer look at Miller's season stats, with career stats in parentheses:

    PPG... 16.4 (14.2)
    FG%... 49.9% (45.6%)
    FT%... 72.9% (80%)
    3 PT FG%... 15.4% (20.9%)
    AST... 6.4 (7.5)
    TO... 2.65 (2.83)
    AST/TO... 2.41/1 (2.65/1)
    REB... 4.1 (4.2)
    STL... 0.9 (1.4)

    More facts about Miller... he has played with four different NBA teams (CLE, LAC, DEN, PHI), and will turn 32 yrs old in March. He has appeared in 15 playoff games with DEN over the course of three seasons, averaging 16 ppg in those games. This is his 9th NBA season.

    No doubt about it, solid stats from Miller, and he would improve the Magic. Somehow though, I can't imagine Otis Smith trading two former number one draft picks in Nelson and Redick; by doing so, he would be admitting he goofed with those draft picks.

    I am realizing now that it was a mistake by Otis to sign Nelson to the contract extension before the season; at the time I liked the move, because I thought Nelson would flourish under a new coach and new system, but he is still having the same consistency issues he's had throughout his career.

    I'm still holding out hope that Nelson will become more consistent when his injuries get a full chance to heal, and that somehow SVG will find a place for Redick in the rotation.

  • At 11:58 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    I was the only voice that went against Jameer's contract extension at 7 mil a year. Even if he comes back and plays a lot better, due to his defensive and size flaws, he is not a starter quality PG. And guess what we are stuck with him. Nobody in his right mind would take his contract without dumping some garbage on us. And there is no fat chance in hell that PHI will trade Miller for Jameer.

    As for Otis Smith looking foolish, are you kidding me; he is foolish. Here are the facts (not opinions):

    1 - Trevor Ariza'a trade. We basically traded Trevor for Maurice Evans (no disrespect to Maurice) and as it was not enough, inherited Brian Cook's 3 mil salary for the next 3 years to warm the bench. I was the only one who stated the flaws of that trade.
    2 - Jameer Nelson's contract extension. Enough said on that matter.
    3 - Overpaying Rashard Lewis since Otis was fearful he might miss the boat. For Pete's sake, the guy was openly saying his first choice is Orlando, and rightly so; who doesn't want to play next to Dwight?
    4 - The fiasco of Billy Donovan's hiring. In such a rush to win votes for arena construction, they pressured Billy into making a rushed decision that he was not happy with. Granted that we are better off having Stan Van Gundy on-board, but that does not wash the foolishness of the move.
    5 - Darko's handling which could have been handled in a very simple and straight forward manner telling Darko's agent what the priorities were and asking him to pause for a short while. Darko could have signed on the same basis that he did with Memphis, and that would have been a good deal for the Magic.

    Now some of you may still believe in Otis Smith being a good GM, in which case, you might as well believe that Elvis is still alive and Santa Clause exists.

  • At 4:13 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Also, Matt, you didn't mention Otis Smith's highly questionable first round draft pick of Fran Vasquez in 2005... will this guy ever play for the Magic?

    Of course, there's the 2006 number one draft pick, J.J. Redick, who's currently stuck at the end of the bench.

    You also mentioned the Trevor Ariza trade. It is not looking as good as it may have when it was first announced. I thought it was a good move getting two players for one, but SVG hasn't played Brian Cook in a couple of weeks and Maurice Evans, while helping off the bench, is having consistency issues, while the Lakers are giving Ariza more and more playing time, and he is producing.

    What I meant to say in an earlier post is that I highly doubt Smith will trade Nelson, having just signed him to the contract extension. Also, like Matt said, what other team might be willing to take on Jameer's contract?

    When we get closer to the trading deadline, we'll find out if Otis has any moves up his sleeve that might turn out better than many of his recent moves.


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