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.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Strong FT shooting leads UT past Magic

As was the case against DEN FRI night, the Magic hung in there against a team in UT that is very tough at home. The Magic trailed by just 5 pts entering the 4th qtr, tied the game with under 6 mins left, but could never take the lead as UT made 18 of 21 FTs in the final qtr, compared to just 10 of 20 FTs for the Magic (23-16, 16-8 road), as the Jazz (21-17) held on for a 119-115 victory.

Six players scored in double figures for the Magic, led by DHoward with 29 pts (17 of 24 FTs), 15 rebs; RLewis 27 pts (9 of 20 FGs), 6 rebs; MEvans 11 pts (4 of 10 FGs); and JNelson (4 of 6 FGs), HTurkoglu (4 of 10 FGs), and KDooling (5 of 11 FGs) who each scored 10 pts. Brian Cook (4 pts), seeing his first action in weeks, and J.J. Redick (7 pts) combined for 11 pts off the bench.

UT also had 6 players in double figures, led by Mehmet Okur with 29 pts, 8 rebs. Deron Williams added 17 pts, 11 asts.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... UT 39 of 73 (53.4%) ORL 39 of 84 (46.4%) ORL 85 UT 83
3 PT FGs... ORL 7 of 23 (30.4%) UT 5 of 11 (45.5%)
FTs... UT 36 of 42 (85.7%) ORL 30 of 41 (73.2%)
REBs... ORL 39 UT 39
AST/TO... UT 32/14 ORL 16/11
BENCH... UT 31 ORL 28

The Magic finish 1-3 on the road trip, and have lost 5 of their last 6 games, with their SE division lead down to 2 games over WAS, who upset BOS SAT night. The Magic play 26 of their final 43 games at home, starting TUE night against CHI.


  • At 4:55 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    The Magic's poor defense has really reared its ugly head these last 3 games, giving up 106, 113, and 119 pts.

    After three qtrs, the Magic made 20 of 21 FTs, including a fantastic 14 of 15 from Howard, before the meltdown in the 4th when they made just 10 of 20, including 3 of 9 from Dwight.

    Two straight ineffective games from Turkoglu now, with just 10 pts against UT after 8 pts against DEN.

    Something must have been wrong with Arroyo, as he didn't see any game action. However, without him in there, the defense was no better.

    Some +/- numbers for the game... Dooling +8, Bogans +6, Lewis +1... Nelson and Evans both -10, Turkoglu -7.

    Two games in a row now that Dooling has had the best +/- on the team.

    Also two games in a row that the opposition has had a whopping 32 asts (and a superior AST/TO ratio) against the Magic. Magic took decent care of the ball with just 11 TOs, but UT's superior assist total more than made up for their 14 TOs.

    Not a good game from Nelson with the +/- of -10, and an AST/TO ratio of just 4/3.

    Brian Cook finally saw action off the bench and scored 4 pts, but I don't think SVG was too thrilled with Cook's 3 TOs in just 14 mins.

    This brutal stretch of 24 road games out of 37 is finally over. The Magic finished with a 21-16 record in that stretch, despite going 7-12 the last 19 games. With a heavy slate of home games the rest of the season of the season (26 home games compared to 17 road games), the Magic must turn things around at home and start winning there on a consistent basis; WAS is creeping closer and closer to the Magic in the SE.

  • At 9:46 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Mike Carlos got a DNPCD,there's nothing wrong with carlos i saw him in warm-ups looking completely healthy. As for the reason he isnt playing,look at the trend from SVG. The last four outings,16 mins,9 mins,7 mins and finally no mins last night,carlos scored a combined 10 points in the last three games he played in. Teams adjusted to carlos's style very quickly as he only had about two good games as a starter (and that was against sub 500% teams,anybody could excell against that competition),they attack him now and SVG cant play him anymore because he's a defensive liability (the worst defender out of the guards we have). As for the game,jameer,hedo and rashard are the biggest culprits of not playing "tough enough" defense. Williams,kirilenko and okur combined to score 62pts,but even worse their back-ups(hart,harpring,milsap) in minimal minutes score a combined 24 pts,thats a whopping 86 pts from just those three positions. Dwight and mo evans did a decent job last night for the most part with brewer getting 11 pts,and boozer getting 15. Like i've been saying all year,DEFENSE,DEFENSE,DEFENSE. Not turnovers like someone tried to debate,not rotations anymore(that have me madd sometimes becuase jj doesnt play)now that jameer is back starting and keyon is backing up doing double duty at point and shooting guard (and playing very well might i add at both spots),turnovers were low and rotations were good and we still lost because we dont guard. The effort was there so its a matter of just not being tough enough,outside of keyon,mo evans,keith bogans and dwight,were a finesse team. So basically 1 back-up combo guard (keyon),2 back-up shooting guards (keith and mo evans arent real starters,they're the best we have at those spots)) and 1 starting center make-up our toughness. 3 back-ups and one starter represent our toughness,HORRIBLE!

  • At 10:08 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I'd love to add adonyl and james to that equation but they dont play enough. Right now the magic have to be able to turn our home court into a place people dont want to play,the way its been going,going home doesnt look so good. keeping people in front of them on offensive trips down the floor and not getting pushed around under the basket are erea's the magic need to improve on. Seems like were just not tough enough under the hoop,for example on one play against denver hedo had a chance at a defensive rebound and all he had to do was box out (which tough guys love to do),but instead hedo didnt really get his but on the player at all he didnt even try,basically standing straight up and letting the other player go right up over him and get an offensive rebound and put-back. All hedo had to do is box out,this is an illustration of what SVG has to deal with (rashard's been soft too),coming from miami where he had resident tough guys (walker,haslem and shaq)he never had these type of problems,so for him i know its frustrating watching how soft we are.

  • At 10:58 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    SVG being the coach,its his job to exaust all options defensively. Im not a zone guy,i favor man-to-man defense if it suits the players,but right now a zone might be the best way to try and get some stops against the dribble penetration from other teams. making teams shoot jumpers (which is what we were doing early in the season)is critical. Playing a zone would help us in alot of ways,(1)more guys on the glass,(2)carlos could play without having to guard his man one-on-one (i like carlos's playmaking if he doesnt have to guard),(3)we wouldnt give up half as many lay-ups with dwight being able to play the paint without having to worry about post defense,(4)Teams with post players wouldnt be able to post against a zone,(5)because of our length we would have alot more steals being able to play spots on the floor rather than players,hands would always be in the passing lanes with us playing spots. The only draw-back with playing a zone is if you rotate the ball effectively,you'll find guys in the corners for three's,but with us being a three point shooting team i beleive we would out shoot most team anyway.

  • At 1:43 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    This Magic team is a couple of pieces from becoming an elite team, and by that I don't mean first rate pieces. Please pay attention to the following:

    1 - Magic is coming back home with a lot more games to be played at home. Being more at home means more rest and more practice time.
    2 - This team has played a lot of games, and is tired which may explain why they are soft and disinterested.
    3 - Coach Van Gundy is too smart of a coach to let the team fall apart.
    4 - May be Otis Smith will be able to use the glut in guards' spots to trade for a decent PF. That should alleviate the deficiency in PG until something is done in that spot, as well.

  • At 10:52 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I agree with most of your post-game analysis, Big Figure. You brought up some interesting points that I can't disagree with, especially about the lack of toughness on defense the Magic have showed on this road trip, and who the main culprits are. That's also a good idea about how maybe the Magic should try switching to a zone defense. because of all the reasons you mentioned.

    Matt brought out some valid points in his post, too.

    I just don't agree with SVG not playing Arroyo at all... it's like SVG is punishing Arroyo because of his defensive shortcomings. We all know defense is not his strong suit, but even though he didn't play aginst the Jazz, the Magic still gave up 119 pts, so that makes the rest of the team look pretty bad defensively (specifically Nelson, Lewis, and Turkoglu, as Big Figure noted).

    Let's hope the Magic can get their act together at home, starting TUE night against the Bulls. As Matt pointed out, with more home games and practice time, and more days off, this should refresh the Magic and give them a chance to work out all their problems.

  • At 11:26 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    I was counting the number of games each team had played in NBA, and found out that the Magic had played the most at 39 games. The next team is DET at 38 games but most of the teams are somewhere in the range of 35-37 games. It would not surprise me that playing majority of those games on the road, the Magic is tired/soft. That should be remedied with some home-made food and more rest at home.

  • At 11:27 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Yeah i agree with both of you guys. There are positives,the magic can build on these last two solid performances (even though they were losses),efforts like those will get you wins at home. We just havent been coming with a whole bunch of energy at home most of the year,i'm of the impression that mo evans in the starting line-up could really help us with that. We need to be the one's turning up the intensity and making teams crumble down the stretch in our building,if the magic are playing close games and cant put teams away in our own building (now that most of the games will be played there),were in big trouble and could be staring alot more losses in the face.


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