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, October 29, 2008

Magic lay egg on opening night in 14 point loss to Atlanta

The Magic could not carry the momentum of a very promising 6-1 preseason record into opening night at Amway Arena, as the Hawks led 74-55 at the end of three quarters and went on to defeat the Magic 99-85, as the closest the Magic could get in the last quarter was 81-75.

The Magic also saw their amazing three point shooting string come to an end; last season, they were the only team in NBA history to make at least five three point field goals in all 82 regular season games; against the Hawks, the Magic shot a horrid 4 of 25 from long range.

Magic leading scorers:

Dwight Howard: 22 points (8 of 15 field goals), 15 rebounds, 5 steals, 5 blocks
Mickael Pietrus: 20 points (7 of 16 field goals), 3 rebounds
Hedo Turkoglu: 13 points (5 of 17 field goals), 8 rebounds
Rashard Lewis: 11 points (5 of 12 field goals), 6 fouls


Anthony Johnson: 6 points, 3 assists

Hawks leading scorers:

Joe Johnson: 25 points (11 of 20 field goals), 7 rebounds
Josh Smith: 17 points (6 of 11 field goals), 10 rebounds, 5 blocks, 4 steals
Ronald Murray: 14 points (5 of 10 field goals)

Game Stats

FG%: ATL 44.2% (38 of 86) ORL 36.8% (32 of 87)
3 PT FG%: ATL 25% (5 of 20) ORL 16% (4 of 25)
FT%: ORL 63.0% (17 of 27) ATL 58.1% (18 of 31)
REB: ATL 53 ORL 45
AST/TO: ATL 17/15 ORL 10/15

Other Game Notes

-Magic were outscored by the Hawks by a combined 53-28 in the first and third quarters
-Magic outscored the Hawks by a combined 57-46 in the second and fourth quarters
-Anthony Johnson led the Magic with 3 assists in less than 16 minutes; Jameer Nelson, in 32 minutes, finished with 2 assists
-J.J. Redick was the first shooting guard off the bench, but scored just 2 points in 19 minutes and was 0 of 4 from the field
-Rashard Lewis went scoreless in the second half and fouled out; he played just 29 minutes
-The two starting forwards for the Magic, Lewis and Turkoglu, combined for just 24 points on 10 of 29 field goals, including 2 of 10 from three point range
-Marcin Gortat blocked 3 shots in just less than six minutes
-Brian Cook and Courtney Lee did not play for the Magic
-Former Magic guard Maurice Evans started for the Hawks and played 42 minutes, scoring 8 points along with 8 rebounds
-Former Magic center Zaza Pachulia added 8 points and 8 rebounds off the bench for the Hawks
-The Magic's only lead of the game was 4-2
-The Hawks went on a 22-5 run bridging the first and second quarters to lead 31-13 early in the second

For the complete box score, click here


  • At 4:52 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    First of all, I was totally off with this game.

    Secondly, it's only one game...

    Orlando looked its worse tonight, yet still found itself in a position to win in the end.

    Howard was "off", but he was still legit.

    Pietrus...like I said, underrated signing...

    Lewis, Turk, Nelson; where you at?

  • At 5:10 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    A few quotes from Magic coach Stan Van Gundy after the game:

    "Atlanta played a lot harder. They played like they really, really wanted to win it. We just showed up, I guess just thinking it would happen if we walked out there."

    "I'll take most of the blame for our offensive problems. I couldn't find one offensive thing we could run that would give us any good ball movement, any good shots. I thought we were forcing plays."

  • At 5:23 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    OVERWADED, you and me both were totally off with our predictions for the game!

    In just about every major statistical category, the Hawks were better than the Magic. The Hawks dominated in FG% (44.2% to 36.8%), rebounds (53-45) assists (17-10), and bench scoring (27-11).

    What an ugly offensive game for the Magic... the 37% FG shooting, 16% three point shooting, 63% FT shooting, and just 10 assists for the whole game. That shows how stagnant the movement was on offense when the whole team gets credited with just 10 assists.

    Let's not panic just yet, though... at least we know the Magic won't go 82-0. This game was most likely just an aberration to what should be a 50+ win season and a solid playoff run.

    We all know that Nelson, Lewis, and Turkoglu can all play much better than what they showed against Atlanta. Same goes for the bench.

    I'm hopeful we'll see a totally different Magic team on the road at Memphis Friday night.

  • At 9:30 AM, Anonymous josh g. said…

    I think this is all a screwed up game. We should have hit our threes, we should have had Pietrus drive more and at sometimes shoot more, and the other three players of the team, like overwaded said. Where they at? Cuz they weren't there last night.

    This game was horrible, I just hope that the team could bounce back from the loss...

  • At 11:44 AM, Anonymous magicpaul said…

    WOW!!! anyone who is a true magic fan should be at least a little worried about the way we performed as a team last night.

    Here is the reality of the Magic as I see it.

    1. Nelson is not going to cut it as a starting point guard!!!!!

    2. Gortat is no where good enough to be a legit backup center in this league!!! (LAST NIGHT : PRIME EXAMPLE).

    3. Johnson is going to continue to do the same thing he has done his entire career.........commit turnovers and get waived mid-season.

    4. If we don't fix these issues we will win 50 games and lose in the second round of the playoffs, NOW, if we make the necessary changes properly we will be a legitmate conference contender.

    Last night was not first game jitters, it was a legit loss to a very good team that outplayed us on both ends of the court.

    Pietrus continues to surprise me with his play on the offensive end but his play on the defensive end is nowhere near where i thought it would be, hopefully he turns it around and shows his true colors defensively. Turk struggled heavily last night and even looked winded at times, nothing has changed for him defensively, meaning he stills play absolutely the worst defense on the team but he will come around offensively and i'll forget how bad he really sucks defensively. Lewis still hasnt shown me that he can take over the game offensively, still showing his streakiness and at times horrible shot selection.
    Redick had the "deer in the headlights" look all game, playing nervous and getting man-handled defensively.

    Anywayz, looking forward, memphis away on friday night!! need to get this so called "easy wins" under our belt and get last nights taste out of our mouth!!!

    JOSH G....good to see you on here man!!!!!!!

  • At 1:31 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I didnt get a chance to post a pre-game "3 keys to a magic victory" as usual now that the games have arrived. I think over the years i've developed enough respect from you guys to be able to tell you after the fact that i was gonna predict a hawks victory. Basically because the hawks play small and i didnt think SVG would make many adjustments in game one,he didnt and we got beat soundly. Sure i was hopeful the magic would win,but the hawks give us fits even when win beat them. Three keys to the magic loss. (1) Last season the magic didnt start playing well until SVG took the ball out of jameer and dwight's hands to start games,when we played that way we scored alot less points and often started the game slow standing around watching dwight go one-on-one,i thought SVG took a step back last night with his offensive approach. Jameer basically walking the ball up and tossing it to dwight on the block is exactly what the hawks wanted,double and triple teaming dwight with hands swarming and causing turnovers making our perimeter players spectators and not getting them into any kind of offensive flow. When we were at our best he would let jameer bring it up on made shots by the opposing team,and hedo run the ball up fast break style when we cleared a defensive rebound. He would call as many post ups for rashard as he did for dwight,he needs to get back to that as rashard didnt get many attempts on the block early. Thats all coaching and SVG sold his team short last night with that offensive approach. (2)Energy and effort. The hawks scrapped/fought and the magic didnt bottom line. Part of the problem was the offensive approach. Basketball is the one sport where you can be playing offense or defense at any given second without a change of sides or time out. So offense and defense work together in creating the way you want a game to go,if you start the game with your players running screeen rolls and everybody is involved they'll play hard. But if they start off standing around watching dwight they'll try hard but wont scrap. Players in any sport usually scrap when they start fast and everybody is involved. SVG is as much to blame for the players not playing hard,give them an offensive strategy thats better suited to score points and they'll play harder i guarantee. (3) Pre-game hoopla. Usually after all that pre-game stuff it's hard to put on the game face,it really showed last night as the hawks meant business. I'm actually glad that the magic got this out of their system now,they will bring focus and energy friday to memphis on the road. Expect a victory. Also IMO,the bench was a product of everything above.

  • At 1:57 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    No need to get carried away. This was only one game.

    If we're still struggling like this after 10 games, then it's time to start worrying.

    One game, one lose, doesn't say much of anything to me about this team.... We'll be okay...

    Like BIG said, expect a "bounce back" on the road Friday.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but Johnson has never been known for turning the ball over. He's always been known for playing under control. Granted, he's not a starting point guard in this league, but he's a serviceable backup.

    At the same time, no matter how he plays, he will not be waived this season. It's not even possible with our roster. We'll need his size and defense at times. So, might as well get used to seeing him out there.

  • At 2:09 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I guess my point was, you just can't start drawling conclusions on these guys after one game.

    Gortat has shown he can play before. If you think about it, this if the first time in his career he's going into the season with somewhat of a spot in the rotation. He's basically an experienced rookie. Give him a break.

    And if he can't handle the minutes, we have Battie who we didn't have last season.

    Foyle is back there too.

    Howard is going to get around 40 minutes a night at the 5 spot. I think we can divide up the 8 remaining minutes between 3 players.

    Also keep in mind, Lewis is going to typically play more than 29 minutes.

    We don't need that much time off the bench at the 4 and 5 spots. Battie, Gortat, Cook, and Foyle should be able to handle the scraps just fine.

    As for Nelson, did he play like a starting point guard in the playoffs? If he starts playing like that, will he be considered a "starting point guard"?

    It's only ONE GAME...

  • At 4:12 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    Horrible game throughout. Maybe there is a silver lining and this will make the team mad, and better prepared to win at home.

    Last season 25 home wins, 27 road wins. That is not acceptable this year.

    I don't believe this team will prosper with Battie and Redick first off the bench. Both just sucked.

    All that, and last year the team shot .386 from 3's. If they were merely average last night they make 5 or 6 more 3's and Magic win by 3.

  • At 9:44 PM, Anonymous magicpaul said…

    overwaded i completely understand your outlook on the fact that it is only 1 game but if you look at my earlier post i said that we would still be a 50 game winning basketball team but just not a championship contending basketball team.

    And yes nelson played well in the playoffs last year........offensively!!!! He did nothing on the defensive end. Or have we forgotten the fact that rodney stuckey made his name scoring 20, 23 and 19 on three seperate nights on our golden boy nelson, you add that plus his streaky shooting and you have a great BACKUP point guard not a starter on a contending team.

    And the Gortat issue......, take my words he will be suffering of a severe case of bench splinters by game 15.

    Yes.......one game but if you cant get fired up and play your game in your home opener ......When can you????

  • At 6:32 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Rodney Stuckey made "his name"?


    As far as I remember, Stuckey had his best game (19 points), in game 3 when the Magic blew out the Pistons... I'm not going to say he didn't have a solid series, but Billups was out, so Stuckey stepped in. He was not our problem. RIP torched us, over and over.

    Nelson is not our "golden boy". He is the 4th or 5th option on the floor. Is Rondo or Fisher a "golden boy"? Because if I had to choose, I'd have Nelson taking the big shot any day over either of those guys.

    Again... Home opener... It sucked... It was depressing... It was one game... If the Magic go into Memphis and take care of business, all will be forgotten.

    Let me say this right now, and this is not being directed at anyone... But I'm sick of people getting carried away within the first few games of the regular season. It happens every single year. Game one means nothing... We've seen teams bounce back from crappy starts, and we've seen teams crumble from great starts. What happened on Wednesday, truly means nothing at this point...

  • At 10:16 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Well said intro. After watching the game for a second time,i actually dont really think the hawks are that good. We made them look good with poor play but i was able to find a few positive's. (1) MP for the first three quarters was very good keeping Joe Johnson from going wild,his defense was good and his foot work was even better keeping johnson in front of him. Joe didnt start having success untill SVG decided to go with bogans for the fourth quarter which turned out to be a horrible coaching move as joe torched keith (who is giving up three or four inches). Mp also showed athletic slashes to the basket even though his shot wasnt there for most of the night,his jumper should come around with more time in our offense. (2) Our depth looks good. Once we get everyone playing well we're gonna be tough to handle with so many bodies and combinations of rotations.

  • At 3:46 PM, Anonymous magicpaul said…

    Gents, the reality we struggle at the point!!

    In the detroit series, no one, not nelson, not dooling....no one made it their sole purpose in life to exploit the fact that billups was out after game three until the end of the series. The 1 is the heart and soul of any basketball team and bottom line we can only go as far as the 2nd round with nelson in my opinion.

    Yes once again I say it was only 1 game, but we did nothing to fix our problem at the point which was, is and looks like it is going to continue being our achilles tendon.

    Moving on, looking forward to mem tonight and taking a look at this mayo kid everyone is raving about.

  • At 5:26 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Good point on MP and the defensive end BIG.

    Lewis fouled out, so Van Gundy brought Bogans in. But for whatever reason, Van Gundy put Bogans on Johnson in the 4th, a move even the Magic commentators commented on, as he was giving up about 3 inches. It didn't make sense to me.

    Van Gundy admitted he did a poor job of coaching, specifically on the offensive end; but I hope he took notice to that mistake on the defensive end.

    Although, if Lewis doesn't foul out, Bogans never sees the floor, and it would have never been an issue.

  • At 1:38 PM, Anonymous chino said…

    Wonder what happened to Gortat, thought he blended in for good...


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