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.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Magic unable to stave off elimination... Game 5: Detroit 91, Magic 86

Despite a barrage of turnovers and missed free throws, the Magic found themselves up 70-65 early in the fourth quarter on the Pistons, just a little more than 11 minutes away from sending the series back to Orlando for Game 6. The Magic then proceeded to go 6:48 without scoring and didn't make their first field goal of the fourth quarter until 3:42 remained, as the Pistons went on a 17-2 run to go ahead 82-72. To the Magic's credit, they went on a final run outscoring the Pistons 12-3 to come within a point at 85-84, but that was as close as they could get, as the Pistons came up with a big block by Tayshaun Prince on a Hedo Turkoglu layup attempt that would have put the Magic back to within one, and went on to win 91-86.

The score was tied at 20 after one quarter with Detroit taking a 47-41 lead at intermission before the Magic outscored the Pistons 27-18 in the third quarter to take a 68-65 lead after three before the ill-fated fourth quarter.

Magic leading scorers:

Hedo Turkoglu... 18 points (8 of 15 FGs), 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 turnovers
Dwight Howard... 14 points (6 of 15 FTs), 17 rebounds, 3 blocks, 4 turnovers
Jameer Nelson... 14 points (6 of 7 FGs), 4 assists, 2 turnovers
Rashard Lewis... 14 points (4 of 13 FGs), 7 rebounds, 6 turnovers
Maurice Evans... 11 points (4 of 7 FGs)
Bench: Keith Bogans... 10 points (4 of 9 FGs), 7 rebounds

Detroit leading scorers:

Rip Hamilton... 31 points (16 of 16 FTs), 4 steals
Antonio McDyess... 17 points, 11 rebounds
Rodney Stuckey... 15 points, 6 assists
Rasheed Wallace... 14 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals
Tayshaun Prince... 10 points, 8 rebounds

The statistical breakdown:

FGs... ORL 31 of 64 (48.4%) DET 30 of 83 (36.1%) ORL 70 DET 63
3 PT FGs... ORL 8 of 22 (36.4%) DET 3 of 14 (21.4%)
FTs... DET 28 of 32 (87.5%) ORL 16 of 28 (57.1%)
REBs... ORL 46 (12 offensive) DET 38 (15 offensive)
AST/TO... DET 16/3 ORL 14/21

It should be noted that the Pistons set an all-time NBA playoff record with just the three turnovers.

Other game stats and notes:

-Magic outscored the Pistons from the field, had the better shooting percentage, and outrebounded the Pistons, but Detroit had 18 fewer turnovers and made 12 more free throws than the Magic.
-Detroit attempted 19 more field goals than the Magic due to the 21 Magic turnovers and 15 Pistons' offensive rebounds.
-Lewis scored just 2 first-half points.
-Magic were also outscored 20-8 to end the second quarter in addition to the 17-2 Pistons' run in the fourth.
-Pistons shot 13 of 16 from the free throw line in the fourth.
-Magic frontcourt starters outscored the Pistons' frontcourt starters by just 46-41.
-The Pistons' starting backcourt outscored the Magic starting backcourt 46-25.
-Hamilton and Stuckey combined for 21 of 22 free throws compared to 1 of 2 combined for Nelson and Evans.
-Turkoglu and Lewis combined for 32 points, 16 rebounds, 8 assists, but 11 turnovers.

So ends the most successful Magic season since 1996, with the Magic winning 52 games, advancing to the second round of the playoffs, and being competitive in three of the four second round losses before bowing out.


  • At 5:06 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    A few quick thoughts before I hit the sack...

    I'm proud of the guys for not giving up and keeping the game in doubt until the final seconds; it just wasn't meant to be, and the better team did win.

    I've never been a fan of the Pistons, but I do admire them for doing the fundamentals of the game so well... like the brilliant assist/turnover ratio along with the great free throw shooting and clutch defense.

    If they continue to excel in those categories, I think they have a real shot to advance to the NBA Finals.

    It will be really interesting to follow the Magic this off-season and see what moves Otis Smith makes to hopefully make them a legit NBA power next season.

  • At 5:18 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    I agree with Mike in applauding the Magic's efforts as a team. The reality finally hits where we had the deficiencies in the team. If I had to rate the coach and the GM here it goes:

    Stan Van Gundy: A-. Excellent leadership and the passion for the game. Minor misjudgements caused a grade deduction.
    Otis Smith: C-. His rating could have been worse if the tarde with the Lakers wouldn't have worked out under the leadership of the coach.

    To be continued.....

  • At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Your synopsis was good as to stats and the ebb and flow of this last game. But, let us discuss what was really happening. Make no mistake about it, the Pistons were resiliant, but they had a lot of help along the way. They scratched, hacked, and clawed the whole series, and Rip shamelessly flopped at least twice within a minute of play last night. At least the refs only called one of the two flops. I was embarrassing for the refs, and they should feel humiliated by those players deceive them. Jeff Van Gundy was correct when he said that floppers should be required to wear a scarlet F on their jersey. But, someone had to do the flopping since Chauncy was out. Normally Chauncy could not rake his man back and forth across the high screen and then fall down and shake in misery from some ticky-tac. Dwight was being hacked last night and all series in order to stip him of the ball. Very few calls were made, unless Dwight was actually mamed, and certainly no flagrants. I cannot believe Howard kept his cool all series. He is a better man than me. I would have got my moneys worth earning a T. I am convinced that the refs were instructed from the league office not to make calls in favor of the Magic because, after all, the team in not in a big enough $ market. The script of Pistons-Celtics and, ultimately, Celtics-Lakers, is a dream of David Stern to bring back some past NBA glory years (and $ for the NBA). Screw that! Let the players play and get a rythm. And, the season-long fans are not stupid. We will stop watching and paying for this nonsense. Go Hornets (foil the master plan). I have little doubt that the refs have an unholy alliance with the commissioner. The word came down to keep the scores close as much as possible (especially in favor of the chosen teams), and the commissioner makes certain that he protects the refs with big fines for those coaches and players who complain. It is censorship in its lowest form! And, a small market team is permitted to win at least one home game, just to placate the local fan interest. The Magic were playing their 5 guys against 9 others guys all series (the 9 being comprised of 5 Pistons, and a conspiracy of 3 refs plus the commissioner). At least in WWF or WWE (whatever) wrestling, everybody admit its fixed and fake. I feel like ringside Rosey yelling about a foreign object in the villians trunks! And, never mind that Chauncy was out for the last two games. The Pistons were already down when Chaucy used his left forearm to push-off Jammeer and then slip into his split. They actually called that play against Jameer! The Pistons did not need Chauncy since the refs were already in the pocket of David. Stuckey had NO turnovers this last game. He played great, and probably as well if not better than Chauncy would have played. The long and lanky talented Tayshaun (Gradey) played great, as usual, and was big on both ends of the floor. Two nice blocks at the rim, one on Evans (the real surprise player and secret weapon this year) and one on Hedo (an all star in my book). Rasheed made several great tough baseline low block fade away jumpers over Dwight extended arm. He also fouled Dwight flagrantly all series because he cant guard him. Antonio McD hooks his entire arm behind the small of his defenders back almost every play. He had some good Judo takedowns this series, but there is no place in basketball for that kind of behavior. On his takedown of Howard, where was the flagrant two, plus an ejection? Do you remember any call? All series it was either no call or a double call on both players. I watched the NBA regular season on satellite all year. Paid good money. Admittedly, I rarely missed a Magic game. The national announcers never watched this exciting team as they progressed. They had little clue about the strength of the Hornets. The nationals need to get a new story line about the Magic, instead of just repeating the same lame comments of other misinformed anal-cysts. And by the way, Charles was actually getting paid to be bored on camera at the TNT set, and he wanted to look past the Pistons-Magic series. He didnt even want to come to work to earn his wasted salary. Just do your job Barkley, or get out and let someone much better do it. That lazy piece of manure should be riding the back of a garbage truck for $5 a day and all he can eat. One final note. I was happy to see in game 4 that the refs called Rip for steps one time. It was actually a make-up call for the ref that called Howard for walking because he did not realize Dwight had put the ball on the floor when making his move from the low post. Anyway, Rip walks every time he catches the ball off the high curl. He takes 2 or 3 stepst to turn to face the basket off the curl. Then lifts and moves each foot several times as he surveys the floor and non chalantly changes his pivot foot. Richard reminds me of a timid teenager standing in front of junior high school speach class giving a speach, rocking left and right, fidjetting, and taking more than the permitted half and one step permitted in basketball. Refs, for heavens sake, just make the call. He is walking. You act like he is the third coming of Jordon and no one is allowed to make a call against him. And another thing, call the game consistently from beginning to end. You are not bailing anybody out if they are actually hammered going to the hoop within the last 10 seconds of any game. Refs, please do your job better than Barkley does his. By: Disappointed in Tampa Bay area.

  • At 2:14 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I was going to come on and give my opinions of the game,the usual things we did well and the things we didnt do so well,but after thinking about it i figured what good would it do at this point. The season is over and this was a great season for a brand new coach,brand new max player,two young leaders in dwight and jameer,and the nba's most improved player. No matter how bad we played we were still in position to win three games against argueably the best team in the eastern conference,being so young the future's so bright were all gonna have to wear shades. Turnovers and missed free-throws will be in this teams head all off-season so this was a priceless learning experience for the guys.

  • At 2:17 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    We were desperately missing B. Cook in the play-offs and SVG still did a pretty good job with what we had to work with,bout 8 guys. So now its otis's turn,the off-season is his season and he has a chance with some smart moves to really improve this team,he needs to give SVG more options that he can use.

  • At 2:09 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Matt, looking forward to the rest of your season assessments on the Magic.

    "Anonymous", I can understand your disappointment and frustration and the need to come on the blog to vent about the officiating in the series. I won't disagree with what you said about how the officials called the series; but if you were to ask the Detroit Pistons' fans, they would probably complain about some of the calls or non-calls that went against their team also.

    I'm not going to point the finger at the officiating as the reason the Magic lost this series. It wasn't the officials' fault that the Magic turned the ball over so many times; it wasn't the officials' fault the Magic missed so many free throws; and it wasn't the officials' fault the Magic couldn't execute their offense when they needed to.

    The team that does the fundamental things of the game the best will usually win a playoff series, and this series was no exception, as the Pistons were exceptional at taking care of the ball, making their free throws, and making clutch defensive plays. Again, I believe the better team won the series, but I'm proud of the effort the Magic gave.

    Hopefully, this loss will stick in the minds of the organization all off-season, and provide motivation for next season for the Magic to get to the next level we all want them to be at.


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