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.

Friday, February 29, 2008

A look ahead to the month of March for the Magic

The Magic enter the month at 37-23, which is the tenth best winning percentage in the NBA. Their 21 road wins is tied with the Lakers for the most road wins in the NBA; the Magic still lead the NBA in most road games played.

The Magic play 14 games this month... ten at home and only four on the road. Eight of those games are against teams under .500. Six home games are against losing teams (NY, ATL, LAC, IND, WAS, PHI). Four home games are against winning teams (TOR, GS, CLE, SA). All four away games are against losing teams (WAS, MIA, ATL, MIL). The Magic's busiest stretch will be between MAR 10-22, as they will play 8 games in this 13 day stretch, but 6 of those games are at home. The Magic have three sets of back-to-back games, but only one of those games involves a winning team.

Optimistic view of how the Magic finish the month: 11-3
Pessimistic view: 7-7

The Magic have a great chance of solidifying the third spot in the East in March. If they finish third, their first-round playoff opponent would be the sixth seed, currently WAS. Even if the Wizards get Gilbert Arenas back, the Magic should be a solid favorite to beat them in a playoff series. A second round matchup against DET looms as a strong possibility, though.

7 Comments:

  • At 1:22 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    I was curious whether or not the division leaders end up as the first 3 seeds regardless of their record?

     
  • At 4:16 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    If a second place team in a division has a better record than a division champion, that second place team will get the third seed, while the division champ gets the fourth seed.

    For example, say that CLE, who won't win their division, winds up with a better record than the Magic; then CLE would get the third seed and the Magic the fourth seed.

    The reason this was done was to prevent a second round matchup between two top teams recordwise, so that such a matchup would not occur until the conference finals.

    That's why it's imperative the Magic take advantage of a very favorable schedule this month to solidify the third seed and keep ahead of CLE and TOR.

     
  • At 5:04 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I was about the question your answer Mike. I honestly wasn't sure where this rule stood. I had to think about it a little.

    Then I remembered... I know they changed it at one point, but then they changed it back after the the 05-06 playoffs when the Spurs and Mavs (seeded 1 and 2) were forced to meet in the 2nd round.

    In other words; Orlando need to have a better record than Cleveland if they want to stay 3rd in the playoff seeding.

    Interesting to think about though... If we stay in the 3 spot, it looks like we'd play the Wizards. While I still think we match up better with them than the Raptors, who knows what adding Gilbert Arenas to the equation could do to the series. However, I'm questioning if he is going to comeback this season at all.

    The second round is where I think it gets more interesting. Who would we rather play in the 2nd round? Would you rather play the Pistons, or the Celtics? They are both good teams, but we seem to have bigger match up problems with the Pistons.

    Either way I think we're out in the 2nd round. And because of that, I’d like to see us win as much as we can, end up in the 3 spot, because I could see a team like the Raptors upsetting us in the 1st round the way the Nets did to them last season.

     
  • At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Everyone thinks that we are playing better with the combination of Dooling and Nelson. I disagree, Arroyo and Dooling combination were more effective. I said again when Arroyo played more than 28 min per game, he has better stats than both. I like Dooling, he is a great defender but is not a point guard and neither Nelson. Lucky him for the 35M PRESENT! About Otis, he needs to get fire next season, hE didn't get the Power foward to help Howard in he paint, we have two great SF, THEY BOTH scorer both played weak defence and the team in general play SOFT. The big man doesn't have any help. The reason why you pay so much money to those GM is for them to make the rigth moves. Webber, Artest, Thomas, Teo,The Cavs was needed of a pg we and SG but we did not make a move for Gooden, Artest will bring the toughness to a most need it team. We might rank 3rd in the East but we are rank about 15 for the entire league. Tell me What does make sense to you?

     
  • At 5:16 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Howard has his spot no matter what. Lewis isn't going to be traded or come off the bench. Turk could be traded, but who in their right mind would want to see Hedo traded? Hedo is key for this team. The only player more valuable than Hedo is Dwight. Our frontline is set; it's not going to change. So while I'll agree that we could use another big body (Tony Battie) coming off of the bench; I just don't see our frontcourt changing anytime soon.

    This season, how often have we seen the opposing team’s backcourt completely outplay ours? And how often do we say that about the frontcourt? I feel confident in saying that our frontcourt consistently outplays their opponents. The backcourt is what has to and will change. Due to Nelson’s contract, and Smith’s faith in him, the shooting guard position is where this change will happen.

    If the Magic are smart they will go after a player with the mentality of Darrell Armstrong. They need a guy on the floor regularly busting his ass. That type of play is contagious. We need someone out there to be that guy, and light a fire under this team. Van Gundy does that job from the sidelines; we need to find a guy who will set that example on the court. The question is who can be that player?

    As for the present point guard situation, I think it’s a toss up. Nelson, Arroyo; they’re both inconsistent. Dooling, although not a true point guard has to be the backup. He’s too small, and it just doesn’t benefit him or the team to play him as a shooting guard. As the backup point guard he provides us better defense than either Nelson or Arroyo. He’s also proved to be the most consistent of the three. So right now I completely agree with Van Gundy. He had settle on a rotation. Dooling is the best option for a backup. And while it might not be fair that Arroyo becomes the odd man out, what other option is there? Bench the younger Nelson? Bench the guy that just got a new contract? One thing to remember with Nelson, he’s proven to play well when he’s not banged up. The problem is it’s been difficult to keep him healthy.

     
  • At 8:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I love San Anonio due to everyone understand their roles, the only superstar in the team is Duncan and maybe my observation could be wrong due to they have Manu and Parker. Who you think is better? Lewis OR Manu. Ja,JA. Manu by far. However Manu for most part of his career had been # 6 man. Who played next to Duncan as a PF. Other than Robinson. After RB RETIRED everyone had been an avg player. San Antonio philosophy is defence. So who can tell me that Lewis can't come out from the bench. The Suns got O'neal, they understand that in order to compete in the playoff you have to be physical. The Spurs got Thomas and Laker got Gasol as a PF and the young center should be back in couple weeks. Where is Webber? GS, and Cleveland got stroger in the pain, I don't get it, May someone explain that to me. Otis, you better pass the first round of the playoff,anything less we will find you at the unemployment line in Orlando.

     
  • At 4:34 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    If we lose the 3rd seed to either CLE or TOR, we would play with the home-court advantage against the other, considering that we won't be seeded less than 4th. I can envision beating either of the two although I would worry more about TOR which may be the highest probability. In the second round, I personally prefer BOS to DET, which could be the scenario if we are seeded 4th. Bearing all that in mind, in my view, the importance of hanging on to the 3rd seed is not that high.

    As for the lack of trades, I agree with OVERWADED that the deficiencies at the frontcourt is not as glaring as the one at the backcourt. But no matter how you cut it, Otis Smith failed to deliver. We would have a tough time at the front and back court both against tough teams like DET. That was demonstrated at some games where the opposing teams decided to exploit our defensive weaknesses by going to all out offense rather than trying to stop our offensive-minded frontcourt.

     

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