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.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Magic crumble in second half defensively in surprising loss to CLE

With CLE coming off an embarrassing loss SUN to DEN, and missing three key players (Daniel Gibson, Anderson Varajao, Sasha Pavlovic) for the game against the Magic, this was an opportunity for the Magic, at home, to make a statement and put away the Cavs. Unfortunately for the Magic, CLE (29-22), down by 3 at the half, scored 66 second-half pts on 16 of 30 FG shooting, including 6 of 9 3 pt FGs, and 28 of 34 FTs, to stun the Magic (32-21, 13-11 home) 118-111.

CLE superstar LeBron James had his usual outstanding game with 29 pts, 10 asts, 7 rebs, and 3 steals; but it was G Larry Hughes who really burned the Magic as he scored 40 pts (12 of 19 FGs, 4 of 5 3 pt FGs, 12 of 13 FTs). Hughes scored an amazing 23 3rd qtr pts on 6 of 7 FGs (2 of 2 3 pt FGs) and 9 of 10 FTs. Devin Brown (11 pts) and Ira Newble (10 pts) each scored well above their season averages. Drew Gooden added 10 pts.

Five Magic players scored in double figures, led by HTurkoglu with 25 pts, (10 of 17 FGs), 6 rebs, 5 asts; JNelson 22 pts (7 of 14 FGs), 4 asts but 5 TOs; DHoward 16 pts (6 of 11 FGs), 9 rebs; RLewis 15 pts (6 of 13 FGs); MEvans 10 pts (4 of 12 FGs), 8 rebs. KBogans and CArroyo each scored 7 pts off the bench. Usual sparkplug KDooling was inactive for the game.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... ORL 41 of 85 (48.2%) CLE 38 of 71 (53.5%) ORL 92 CLE 85
3 PT FGs... ORL 10 of 26 (38.5%) CLE 9 of 14 (64.3%)
FTs... CLE 33 of 43 (76.7%) ORL 19 of 29 (65.5%)
REBs... ORL 41 CLE 41
AST/TO... CLE 21/13 ORL 16/10
BENCH... CLE 24 ORL 23

Magic are now a disappointing 1-3 on the homestand and close the homestand out WED night against another tough opponent, DEN, which will also be the last game for the Magic prior to the All-Star Game on SUN.


  • At 12:48 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Quote from Magic Coach Van Gundy after the game, talking about Dwight Howard:

    "To me, it's a matter of focus. His focus is on the offensive end - he gets discouraged when he doesn't get the ball. I know the numbers prove that what we need him to focus on to win is defense and rebounding. But that's not what he wants to do right now, and so we've got a little bit of a conflict."

    What Howard had to say after the game:

    I get frustrated a little bit. But I've got to do what's right for the team. They need me to be focused on what I need to do to help our team win, which is rebound, play great defense and be active."

  • At 1:30 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I really underestimated the Cavs and overestimated the Magic. Even though CLE was missing three key players, their other players and reserves stepped up and really made a difference.

    Sure, the Magic missed Dooling, who was unable to play because of a sprained mid-foot, but that's no excuse to lose to a team who was so undermanned, coming off a miserable loss SUN and who didn't even get into Orlando until the early afternoon.

    Three reserve players for the Cavs... Ira Newble, Devin Brown, and Donyell Marshall came into the game averaging a combined 13.4 ppg; against the Magic, they combined for 30 pts and 16 rebs.

    Dooling would have probably been a big help defensively in guarding Larry Hughes, as neither Nelson nor Arroyo could do much of anything defensively.

    CLE was much more efficient than the Magic, as they outshot the Magic from the field (53.5% to 48.2%), the 3 pt line (64.3% to 38.5%), and the FT line (76.7% to 65.5%).

    The Cavs attempted 43 FTs to the Magic's 29, and made 33 FTs to the Magic's 19, so for the Cavs, that made up for the fact the Magic outscored CLE by 7 pts from the floor.

    SVG is right about Howard. He does need to focus more on defense when things aren't going well offensively for him; Van Gundy even mentioned that the Magic are something like 22-2 when Howard blocks 3 or more shots in a game.

    Some +/- numbers for the game... Howard +11, Nelson +10, Evans +5... Arroyo -17, Foyle -15, Bogans -12.

    The high-scoring Nuggets are next... obviously, the Magic need to work on their defense in practice, or else we may be talking about a 1-4 homestand.

  • At 2:36 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I guess I was right and wrong. The Cavs came out ready, and pissed off after yesterday's loss. What I didn't expect was Larry f'n Hughes to blow up for 40. I also didn't expect Dooling to be out, or Howard to be benched for lack of focus...especially after his solid first quarter.

    Van Gundy benched Howard in the 4th quarter for a few minutes to make his point. Not only was it because of his play, it was because of something he said.

    In the end, it sounds like they're okay. Hopefully it'll light a fire under Howard.

    Larry Hughes usually has a few games like this a season. I think he just does it to try and trick people into thinking he doesn't suck.

    Jameer Nelson has been solid since his return, although the turnovers came back tonight.

    I'm get frustrated with Rashard Lewis. While it's nice and all that he's buying into the "team concept" and trying to blend, we didn't pay him 118 million to blend. We need him to step up.

    I can't imagine where we'd be if it weren't for Hedo.

  • At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I don’t blame Howard to be upset with the coach; he should be at least the second option in the team in fact maybe the first option, then Hedo and Lewis. . When you give the ball to the big man it will open up for the long range shooters. I seen Howard games and he always gives 100% in every game. Evans and Bogans primary jobs are to guard SG. Do not blame the Magic points Guards for the lost. Carlos and Jammer played decent games last night and neither of them will defend efectibly against 6’5 184 SG with lot athelic ability like Hughes. Between Carlos, Jammer and Nelson their combine productivity is 26pts, 10.9 ast per games and Nelson has almost more TO than the other PG combine. I don’t think any team in the league except maybe the Suns have more productivity by our PG guards. I honestly said one of the PG guards needs to go and I think is Carlos regardless he has better stats than Nelson this year when he played more than 28 min per game but He doesn’t make $35M. J.J. wants to go, put a decent package together and get a BIG Power Forward to give Howard some help.

  • At 1:17 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Lets not make this to complicated,our best perimeter defender was out and an opposing player goes off for a season high at that same position,coincidence? I think not. Last night we just got caught in some bad match-ups and SVG never really made any adjustments,he went with the guys he usually plays minus keyon (which hurts). Lebron a 6ft8 SG and hughes a 6ft5 PG arent good match-ups for jameer and mo evans,jameer's giving up six inches amd mo being a little closer in height to lebron is still giving up about 3 inches. The cavs took advantage of our lack of size in the back-court and abused us in transition because we werent making three's which lead to long rebounds and running opportunities for the cavs. Combine that with the fact that dwight wasnt really guarding the hoop that well last night (cavs got WAY to many lay-ups at the rim from within their offensive set)and you get a cavs victory. Better match-ups against denver,but without keyon we may be in trouble trying to slow A.I.,not having him last night to guard hughes cost us.

  • At 3:08 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Still, it was Larry Hughes…

    I think Stan and Dwight are both right in their own ways.

    Stan is right because Dwight needs to understand that we need his rebounds and defense more than anything since he's the only guy that can give us that.

    Dwight is right for the fact that he has shown he can score with ease. For example, take a look at last night's 1st quarter. I don't know how many times I've seen Dwight score at will, only to have him not even touch the ball for an entire quarter.

    There should be no confusion; this is Dwight Howard’s team. Yet, Dwight is the third option. I, like him get just as frustrated when I see players’ jacking up shots before the ball goes inside.

    Like Shaq used to always say, "feed the big dog and good things will happen". He also said it this way before, "if you don't feed the big dog, he won't guard the house". While that kind of thinking is wrong, just like Shaq, Dwight shots a very high percentage (.60%). Our offense needs to run though him first. If teams play him one on one, then he needs to be getting shots up. If team double, then he kicks it out. It's simple, and I often think that our guards don't understand this.

  • At 3:52 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    The loss to the Cavs can truly be described as a team loss; every player should take part in the blame.

    In his post, "Anonymous" had incorrect stats regarding the combined production of our PGs. For the record, Arroyo and Nelson are averaging a combined 18.0 ppg, along with 9.2 asts and 3.7 TOs (a 2.5/1 AST/TO ratio). I admit that's respectable, but we need the consistency from game to game more than anything at the PG spot (on offense and defense).

    OVERWADED mentioned the lack of production lately from Lewis, which is a valid statement. Lewis hasn't scored more than 20 pts in a game since JAN 15th, when he scored 26 pts against CHI. In the 13 games since then, Lewis is averaging just 16.1 ppg on 40.9% FG shooting (but a respectable 38.1% from 3 pt range).

  • At 10:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Otis Smith needs to be moving fast to try to make a trade. The team needs a PG and Power Forward to help Howard. At the beginning of the campaign he trade Ariza probably our best defender besides Howard in the team, he brought Evans but we already have Bogans, they both 6’5 and they have similar games. Who needs to play? I think Bogans is he man, Evans maybe needs to go. Get a package to try to get a PG or PF. he also brought Brian Cook a 6’10, 3 pts shooter that doesn’t guard anyone. He also needs to go. Then he signed Lewis good move but he had Turk both 6’10 small forwards and they both play the same position. They both need to stay and they are great players. However if he make a move and acquire a decent PF either Turk or Lewis need to come out of the bench as a 6 man. Another issue 2PGs ( Arroyo and Dooling) and 2SG (NELSON and J.J) J.J. doesn’t play, the 3 Point Guard Rotation apparently doesn’t work, who needs to go? Well J.J. already stated that he wants to be trade then Otis needs to decide between ARROYO OR NELSON. Whose IS THE BETTER PG.? Whose is in the market? Miami forward Udonis Harlem, yes, Mike Bibby, yes Ron Artest, yes, Sam Cassel is too old, Jason Kidd yes, and Jarmine O’neal will be a monster with Howard in the pain, Mike Miller no. Otis figures something out.

  • At 3:54 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    You kinda seem all over the place "Anonymous". Otis has said he wants to make a deal, but it has to make sense. Haslem and maybe Miller are pretty much the only names you threw out there that make any sense. A lot of things come into play, besides wanting a player or a change.

    Cassell has an expiring 6 million dollar contract, but he is old.

    Kidd is under contract for another season after this one at 21 million. What or who could we possibly send to NJ to make that deal? Not to mention he is old also.

    Bibby is making right around 14 million. I'm sure if we sent Turk back to SAC with an expiring contract to two we could make a deal...but who would want to?

    Artest...really? He will be a free agent this summer.

    Jermaine O'Neal...I think he's done. Oh, and he's making over 20 million for the next 3 seasons. No way, no chance, no how...

    Since you said we need a new PG, the only thing I was left asking is WHO? But I can already tell you that answer; we WILL NOT get another point guard this season. They will ride out Nelson, Arroyo, and Dooling.

    The only possibility I see is adding an additional power forward. Haslem makes sense, but I'd be surprised to see Pat Riley do us any favors.

    As for Bogans and Evans, I think Evans has shown he's a better starter than Bogans. He gives us everything Bogans does, and more. But due to contracts, Evans could be the odd man out come this summer. Who knows at this point?


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