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, January 10, 2008

Magic start fast against LAC, hang on for win

In contrast to their game against SAC, the Magic (23-14, 16-6 road) started like a house on fire against LAC (10-22). The Magic, thanks to hot shooting, jumped out to a 35-17 lead late in the first qtr, and held on to a 5 pt halftime lead. The Magic turned up their play again in the third qtr, extending to another 18 pt lead, but could not put away the Clippers, as they charged to within one pt late in the fourth, but could never take the lead, as the Magic won 113-106 to snap their 3 game losing streak.

Six players scored in double figures for the Magic, led by HTurkoglu with 28 pts (9 of 18 FGs), 7 rebs, 7 asts; RLewis 20 pts (7 of 15 FGs); DHoward 17 pts (6 of 13 FGs), 17 rebs, 4 stls; JNelson 14 pts (5 of 10 FGs), 9 asts, 2 TOs; MEvans, who started at SG, 13 pts (5 of 11 FGs); and KDooling off the bench with 12 pts (4 of 7 FGs).

Five players scored in double figures for LAC, led by former Magic Corey Maggette with 27 pts; Tim Thomas added 20 pts off the bench. Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy was ejected in the third qtr, which seemed to fire them up.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... ORL 40 of 82 (48.8%) LAC 36 of 77 (46.8%) ORL 89 LAC 75
3 PT FGs... ORL 9 of 23 (39.1%) LAC 3 of 13 (23.1%)
FTs... LAC 31 of 36 (86.1%) ORL 24 of 31 (77.4%)
REBs... ORL 42 LAC 39
AST/TO... ORL 25/14 LAC 25/13
BENCH... LAC 42 ORL 21

The Magic now have 16 road wins, which continues to lead the NBA, and is one more than the Magic had all last season. Magic have THU off, then conclude the road trip with two difficult back-to-back games at DEN FRI followed by UT.


  • At 4:04 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    It would have been an unmitigated disaster if the Magic happened to blow an 18 pt third qtr lead and lose this one to another struggling team missing some key players. Thank goodness they kept their composure and managed to pull away some in the final few mins, thanks to two big 3s from JNelson and RLewis. Obviously, the Magic need to learn to put teams away once they have these double digit leads.

    The new starting backcourt of Nelson and Evans did a pretty decent job, combining for 27 pts, 10 asts, 9 rebs, and 4 TOs. CArroyo only played 7 mins in reserve. I wouldn't be surprised to see SVG stick with this rotation for a while.

    Some +/- numbers for the game... DHoward +25; Nelson +21; Lewis +18, Evans +16... AFoyle -18; KDooling -15; JRedick -13.

    Redick didn't have much success in his brief first half stint, going scoreless in 5 mins.

    Not the best defensive game for the Magic, as they let one of the worst-scoring teams in the NBA score 106 pts; fortunately, the Magic had one of their better offensive games as of late and took decent care of the ball with 14 TOs.

    Very good all-around game by Turk after his very bad game against SAC.

    Dwight has now made 12/14 FTs these last two games. For some strange reason, he shoots FTs better on the road than at home.

    I'll be happy if the Magic can win one of their remaining two games on this trip, as it will be very difficult to win in either DEN or UT.

  • At 1:33 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    The guys played well but the biggest impact on the game was the rotation. Give it up for SVG for finally finding a starting back-court. Jameer is obviously our best lead guard,and evans brings something to the table that our starting line-up desperately needs,energy and hustle(creating steals,offensive rebound put-backs,dunks in transition). Hopefully carlos will never start again. Keyon looked good manning the back-up point with JJ beside him,to bad JJ couldnt stay on the floor longer but i like that combo backing up.

  • At 7:29 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I agree and disagree with you BIG.

    How I agree: Our starting backcourt looked good. Of course it helps that Nelson had one of his better games. But everything you mentioned in regards to what Evans brought is true.

    Yesterday, I said: "We need at least one guy out on the floor, busting ass every night the way Daryl Armstrong used to. That kind of play is contagious". Personally, I think Evans brought that last night. It was nice to see a guy in our starting five not scared to dive on the floor, and get a little physical. I think SVG might have found his best option for our starting backcourt.

    How I disagree: First let me say, that Dooling didn’t have a bad game. He did what he does for the most part. He was found sleeping on the defensive end more than once, but that can be said of all of our players. But, the team looked awful with Dooling at the point. He got nobody involved. The offense was at a stand-still. The best we can hope for when Dooling is at the point is him finding a shot for himself, or someone else like Hedo ending up in an iso-play with the shot clock running down.

    Is it any surprise that Redick didn't get a single shot up in the 5 minutes? And yes, all 5 of his minutes were played while Dooling was running the point. Can someone explain to me how that happens?

    I shouldn't have to point this out. If you watched the game, you had to have seen it. It happened twice, in a big way.

    To start the 2nd quarter, the Magic were up 35-20. Just five minutes into the quarter, and the Magic's 15 point lead was down to 2(41-39).

    At the 7 minute mark, Arroyo checked in and started running point. Arroyo played out the rest of the 2nd quarter, and the Magic lead by 5 at halftime.

    Then, jump into the 3rd quarter, and the Magic built another big lead. They led by 17 when Dooling checked into the game. He was out of the game at the start of the 4th quarter, and the lead was 9.

    Again, I have nothing against Dooling. I like him for what he is, a spark off the bench. But our offense looks awful with him at the point; because he doesn't run the offense.

    Just to make something clear, this doesn't mean I'm endorsing anything about Arroyo. He's had a few poor games. He also hasn't played much, but that hasn't really bothered me. At the same time though, maybe it does, because it bothers me having to watch Dooling try-and-fail to run the team.

    19 minutes, 1 assist, +/- of -15. He is no point guard, and he continues to prove that every time he sees time at the position.

  • At 7:48 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Some quick points:

    Great game from Hedo. Kind of cool seeing all his Turkish fans out there supporting him.

    Good to see Nelson play a solid game. Hopefully his bumps and bruises are healing up and he can build from this.

    I like what I've been seeing out of Lewis lately. He's playing aggressive, and doing more than settling for the 3-ball.

    I really hope to see Nelson/Evans starting together again Friday.

    But that leaves lots of questions off the bench. While on paper I like the idea of Dooling/Redick, I just don't think it'll work.

    Redick needs a point guard next to him that is going to find him. Arroyo could be that guy, but that'd leave us with no defense in the backcourt.

    Then you still have Bogans to add to the mix.

    This is where we could see some problems. Stan needs to find a solid rotation, and as of right now, that is totally up in the air.

    At least it looks like Stan found something with Nelson and Evans as our starting backcourt.

  • At 1:26 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    It seems that last season, especially in the final months, most of us on the blog were saying that Dooling was better as a PG instead of SG, and under Brian Hill's system, he did put up pretty decent numbers as PG, and we would criticize Hill whenever he switched Dooling to SG.

    Now, with SVG as coach, Dooling isn't as effective at the point as he was last season, in terms of assists and running the offense. Can anyone explain why?

    It seems that Keyon is better suited for SG in the new offensive system of SVG; but if Keyon is the backup SG (assuming Evans remains the starter), what about Bogans and Redick? Maybe you could put Bogans at SF coming off the bench, but once again, it's going to be hard to get J.J. consistent minutes off the bench; and if Dooling plays backup PG, that deeply cuts into Arroyo's minutes; I would still like to see Carlos play 18-20 minutes a game.

    The +/- numbers give credibility to the fact that the Clippers made their runs when Dooling was in the game (he also had a poor +/- in the SAC game). Of course, it wasn't all Dooling's fault that happened, and he did score 12 pts in 19 mins against LAC, so he did contribute that way.

    I just don't like Dooling playing the point for all the reasons OVERWADED mentioned.

    At least SVG has found a permanent starting backcourt, hopefully, with Nelson and Evans. Let's hope Jameer can be consistent now like he was the first 15 or so games.

    The backup rotation at guard might change from game-to-game... who knows? I'd like to see Redick maybe at least splitting time at the backup SG with Dooling.

  • At 3:08 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Mike brought up something interesting. Last year most of us were wanting to see Dooling playing the point guard position. I agree and I understand why that was the case.

    Last year under Brian Hill, we really didn't have a point guard. Sure, we had a guy who brought the ball up the court, but rarely did we have a guy who was running the offense, or finding teammates. We had the same 3 guys, none of which really playing point due to Brian Hill's horrid offensive system.

    In turn, Dooling was a good option because of his advantage at the defensive end, mainly because nobody was running an offense.

    However, I feel confident in saying that has changed this season. I've seen more playmaking and point guard qualities in the start of this season out of Nelson and Arroyo than I saw out of both of them the entire last season.

    To date, Nelson's assists are up 2, and Arroyo's are up 1.

    The fact of the matter is, at least now we have an offensive identity, and that’s something we never had under Brian Hill.

  • At 11:08 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    I see some valid, and yet one dimensional comments. This process of thinking is as flawed as when a researcher has a preconceived notion and then goes out trying to find the material to support his views.

    What I am glad to see is that finally some or most of you are coming around to agree with the views that I put in the middle way before the start of the season. The following is an outline:

    1 - The necessity of a solid PF. How nice would have it been to see Darko next to Dwight that we had envisioned all season, last year? The insertion of smaller players in that position worked up to a certain point, but then the wear and tear of banging with bigger players, night after night, is taking its toll on them.
    2 - The back-court, particularly PG position, is another glaring deficiency. We have a glut there that would make the proper choice difficult. I don't believe that Maurice Evans is the answer at SG. I still prefer Keith while I agree that Maurice being the energy/hustle guy could be a good insertion as the first back-up. As for the PG, we would not know how good Keyon could be until he a) starts in PG; and b) gets acclamated to the position. In any event the PG position needs an upgrade that has to be done through trade using the glut in the back-court.

  • At 2:14 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I like how Dooling always get the "free pass" like he hasn't been given the chance to play point guard. I don't care if he hasn't started. He's had more than one opportunity to play point. He's had the same chance as Arroyo, as they've both been bench players. The difference is Arroyo has made more of a case for himself in regards to being a point guard. Dooling has still never made a case for why he should be starting, or even playing at the point guard position. That is unless we want a stand-still offense, and to watch Dooling take shot after for himself. The only valid case anyone has ever made for Dooling is based on his defense, and that has been very suspect as of late. But enough about that, the point is, we do have issues in the backcourt that need to be addressed.

    I did recently mention that the Magic could use a true power forward, or enforcer. But he'd have to be one hell of a player to replace Hedo in the starting rotation. I think we just need a guy who is going to go out, and play physical when needed, and give a solid 20minutes.

    Whether or not that could have been Darko, I'm not sure... Here are some recent comments from Darko:

    "My confidence level right now is really low. It's horrible," Milicic said. "It's weird. I'm with a team now that needs me, and has given me every opportunity to play. I've got a nice contract, but for some reason I can't even do the things I used to do."

  • At 3:59 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Dooling doesnt get a free pass,but logic says we have nothing to go on because keyon hasnt had the chance to prepare as a starter and play extended minutes as a starter with just the other four starters on the floor. How can you say he's had the same chance as carlos? Carlos has started,keyon hasnt. Thats not the same any way you try a slice it. The fact that its implied that because keyon comes in games as our sixth man (who's job is to score)and takes shots,that somehow thats a guarantee that he would take the same amount of shots if he was playing with the starters. Thats flawed logic. Where's the proof of that? Stand still offense? Who know's,thats just an opinion so lets keep the debate fair. Also,anyone that says they dont care if he's started or not obviously doesnt care about making the comparison's statistically fair. To keyon's credit he only plays 20 minutes a night so he rarely plays extended minutes with hedo,dwight and rashard all on the floor at the same time,if he did he wouldnt take as many shots,period. His guys are foyle,augustine,bogans,evans and arroyo (none of which create their own offense),so as anyone can see he's the first option as a back-up off the bench,and his shot attempts have more to do with the way SVG is using him and not becuase he wants to try and have more shot attempts than everybody else. My thing is this,carlos can score 20 points one night and 2 the next,not good,i've said it time and time again if he's not making his jumper he's useless,plus he's horrible defensively EVERY NIGHT. Jameer was playing bad,but has all the capabilities. Keyon isnt perfect but he's better than carlos defensively and thats what i prefer,offense comes and goes but defense is contagious,i'd rather him play the back-up point over carlos because at least he can make it tough on opposing point guards,keyon can defend 90 feet. As for darko,those comments dont surprise me at all and that type of attitude is one i dont want around our team. True Power forward? Sure we could use one,but who's realistically out there thats worth giving up hedo?

  • At 7:42 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Even though Dooling is a better defender than Arroyo, I just don't agree with Matt and Big Figure that Dooling is that great a defender. The +/- numbers on Dooling the last few games bear that out. I prefer Arroyo's playmaking ability to be the backup PG, while Dooling is better suited as the backup SG.

  • At 7:57 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Please dont get my comments confused. Who said keyon was a great defender? Not me. I stick to what i said in the last post,keyon's better than carlos defensively so he'd get the back-up minutes for me,JJ would back-up at the shooting guard in my rotation.

  • At 8:28 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    OK then, let me clarify what I said... I don't think that Dooling is all that great a defender to warrant playing time over Arroyo, who's a much better playmaker, at the backup PG. Leave Dooling as the backup SG... unfortunately, that doesn't leave much playing time for Redick.

  • At 10:11 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Yeah mike well SVG obviously agree's with me,last time out keyon played the back-up point first off the bench.

  • At 10:27 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Its funny,i could say the same thing about carlos and would be truely giving my honest opinion. I dont think carlos is that great a playmaker to warrant playing time over keyon. Last time out 2 pts 2 assists and can barely stay on the floor,not so great.


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