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.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Hornets edge Magic by a point

The Magic (47-28, 23-15 home) started off strong in the first half on their way to a 9 pt halftime advantage over the Hornets, but NO (51-22) proved why they have a legitimate chance to win the West as they came back in the second half and held on for a 98-97 win, despite Chris Paul's two missed FTs with 6 seconds remaining, as KDooling's last-second jumper for the Magic would not go. NO outrebounded the Magic 51-30, including an astounding 21-2 on the offensive boards.

The Magic had 5 players in double figures, led by HTurkoglu with 26 pts (10 of 19 FGs), 7 asts, 5 rebs, but 5 TOs; RLewis 24 pts (9 of 12 FGs); DHoward 17 pts (7 of 9 FGs), 15 rebs; MEvans 11 pts (3 of 7 FGs); and KBogans off the bench with 11 pts (4 of 10 FGs). JNelson and BCook did not play due to their injuries. CArroyo, starting on place of Nelson, was scoreless (0 for 5 FGs) in 23 mins of action, with 4 asts and 2 TOs.

NO also had 5 players in double figures. All-Star G Paul had 19 pts, 12 asts; SG Mo Peterson also scored 19 pts; All-Star F David West scored 18 pts along with 11 rebs; and sharpshooter Peja Stojakovic scored 10 pts on just 2 of 11 FGs, but his 3 pt FG with under a minute left put the Hornets ahead to stay. Paul, Stojakovic, and West combined to shoot just 14 of 46 (30.4%) from the field, including 1 of 10 3 pt FGs.

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... ORL 37 of 74 (50%) NO 35 of 86 (40.7%) ORL 87 NO 77
3 PT FGs... ORL 13 of 29 (44.8%) NO 7 of 18 (38.9%)
FTs... NO 21 of 27 (77.8%) ORL 10 of 15 (66.7%)
REBs... NO 51 (21 Offensive) ORL 30 (2 Offensive)
AST/TO... ORL 20/11 NO 18/11
BENCH... NO 20 ORL 19

The Magic continue a worrisome trend of not being able to pull out close games. The Magic have lost their last 5 games decided by 8 pts or less, and have not won a game decided by less than 8 pts since way back on FEB 2nd when they beat the 76ers by 6 pts. Magic have three days off before beginning the closing stretch of the season SAT at CLE.

7 Comments:

  • At 2:13 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    One would think that with the Magic outshooting the Hornets by over 9 percentage pts and having a slightly better AST/TO ratio, that it would result in a Magic victory, but it didn't.

    The rebounding and offensive rebounding edge the Hornets had was huge. It's not too often you see a team get outrebounded offensively 21-2. Evans and Garrity were the only Magic players to get an offensive rebound.

    Two plays from the game were in the SportsCenter top 10... number 9 was the half-court shot Bob VanderWeide made that was good for $50,000 for charity, and number 2 was Dooling's shot block from behind as a Hornets' player (I forget who) was attempting a layup.

    Probably a good call to hold Nelson out. It's important that he's 100% when he comes back so we know he's healthy and ready to go when the playoffs come. Unfortunately, Arroyo did not have a good game starting in place of Nelson, one of the few times this season that Arroyo hasn't contributed when called on.

    With Cook out, we will be seeing more of Garrity, and that's probably not a good thing, as his line against the Hornets was 2 pts on 1 of 4 FGs and 3 rebs in a little over 14 mins. He did grab an offensive rebound, though.

    I really like the Hornets and let me say now they are my pick to come out of the West and make it to the NBA Finals. With a core group of Paul, West, Stojakovic, and Chandler, that rivals any team's top 4 players. They did not shoot well against the Magic at all, but still found a way to win the game.

    The Magic's starting frontcourt outscored the Hornets' starting frontcourt 67-40, but the Hornets' starting backcourt outscored the Magic starting backcourt 38-11

    Credit goes to the Magic for playing NO so tough, but it would be nice to see them pull out a close game or two as the season winds down, as it's been so long since the Magic have won a close game, as noted in my main post.

     
  • At 10:05 AM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    I sat court-side last night Row D. Nice seats. The team played brilliantly with Lewis on the court. It is the best I have seen them live this year.

    Unfortunately, foul trouble put him on the bench frequently. No depth either puts Garrity on the court (awful, awful, etc.) or Bogans and Evans together. It is too big a drop when Lewis or Turk leave for either Garrity or Bogans. Too much to overcome.

    New Orleans is very good. With Garrity on the court it's playing four against five. Several times he passed up open shots and awkwardly turned the ball over instead. It's ugly to watch. Makes you miss Cook or Battie who are merely mediocre.

    I liked the way Arroyo played last night. He worked really hard on defense against Paul, and effectively overplayed Paul's want to dribble to the right. Really stuffed him up and got two fouls called against Paul in the 1st quarter. Dooling had a lot of energy off the bench, but Arroyo was very steady while the Magic built a 13 point lead.

    The way the Magic played last night they would be a real threat this year had the front office come through with a trade to add a legite big man off the bench. As it is they are too thin.

     
  • At 3:29 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Welcome back WeRDevos!!

    Interesting comment about Arroyo's defensive play against Chris Paul. Usually Arroyo is effective running the team offensively and struggles defensively, but last night was the opposite with him playing better than usual defense and struggling offensively.

     
  • At 12:36 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Exactly the point i was about to make(except for the fact that arroyo only played good defense for 2 quarters),if we couldve gotten anything from our starting point-guard in the point production area as the game wore on we couldve blown out the hornets. Yes rashard getting into foul trouble took one of our scorers off the floor (and boy was he hot),but when that happens other players have to step up their offensive games,arroyo couldnt hit nothing i believe he missed all of his three point attempts. I'll give mo evans a break because at least he hit a huge three and came up with a huge offensive rebound late in the game,where was arroyo? He was on the bench with keyon playing most of the meaningful minutes in the second half because SVG was tired of watching carlos stink it up,to carlos's credit he did do a great job in the first half of not letting paul go right. Garrity i'll also give a break,there were times during the game where pat was the only one getting back in transition,even getting a charging call against NO. He also had an offensive rebound like mike pointed out,pat was more active than most of our players last night,is he athletic? NO. Is his game pretty? No. Did he have a few turns? Sure. But pat is a vet and when he knocks off the rust he'll help us more than he hurts us because he can stretch the floor (just like cook),if he couldve connected on his three point attempts to go along with his hustle,he wouldve been big. Lets also not forget that NO by record is the best team in the west and if not for rashard getting in foul trouble we probably blow them out,plus we were down basically three regulars/starters for alot/all of the game (nelson,cook,lewis).

     
  • At 2:18 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    The Hornets have a nice little squad. Paul gets my vote for MVP, but they have no chance come playoff time. Funny, Mike and I are often on the same page, but far from it here. The Hornets better pray they don't land Dallas in the first round...hell, most top teams should pray not to land Dallas in the first round. Besides Dallas, I think the Nuggets are good enough to upset the Hornets. The Hornets have no experience, plus they really lack size, especially after Chandler.

    As for this game... I was left asking why Arroyo wasn't in at the end of the game. We looked better with him out there; but I think you guys already hit on that.

    Either way, the loss didn't bother me. We had some foul trouble to deal with and some tough calls. So in the end, we lost to the “#1 team” in the west by 1 point.

    All I want out of the Magic right now is to win at least 3 more games to hit the 50 mark (so my preseason prediction will be reached) and for them to go into the playoffs on a solid note.

    Beyond that, I'm hoping that we somehow land Philly. I'm still worried about the Wiz because of the return of both Arenas and Butler. As for the Raptors, we seem to struggle against them also. Bosh scores big, their points have their way, and they blast 3's on us the way we do to everyone else.

    My personal belief is that for this season to be considered a "success" the Magic MUST win a playoff series and at least make it to the second round. It would also be nice if the Magic could make a series of it against the Pistons, but Howard and company will have to do some serious "hulking up".

    I'm glad the playoffs are coming. The regular season is starting to bore me, especially in the eastern conference; as for the west, that's another story.

     
  • At 6:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Carlos went 0-5 in 23 min during the Magic lost against the Hornets but (HE HAD 4 ASSIST). The primary objective was to slow down Paul so he understood is role. He played great defense against the super star PG (PAUL) and we had a 12 point lead when he was playing. SVG was looking for more production at the PG position replaced him in the second quarter. Carlos is the best play maker in the team and he has been the most productive PG when he had played more than 24 Minutes, Better than Dooling and Nelson. Just check the stats. I will say about Dooling: he had been great coming out from the bench and he is better defender than Carlos and Nelson but neither of them is better Play maker than CARLOS. Just take a look assist per game and TO ratio when Arroyo gets more than 24 min. I love Dooling intensity! The combination of Arroyo and Dooling is better than Nelson’s. I don’t know what Otis saw in Nelson to give him a 35mmm contract extension.

     
  • At 4:06 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I think I understand what Otis saw in Jameer. At "his best", he is the best PG we have at both ends. The problem is, he is very up and down.

    I've tried to watch him closely this season, and his performance seems vary depending on how "banged up" he is. Now I know that sounds like an excuse, and maybe it is, but it's not a good one. Jameer looks like a tough guy, but he seems to always have some kind of nagging injury. At this point, I doesn't seem like that is going to change.

    The point guard position is still a question mark in my mind. What makes it even more difficult is that both Arroyo and Dooling are free agents this summer. As much as Nelson is out, we almost need a third point guard. But are we even happy with what we have now?

    Personally, I can live with our point guards. The two positions I'd like to see someone different is at the starting two spot, and having another big body to come off the bench. Tony Battie could be one of those guys.

     

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