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.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Balanced scoring helps Raptors top Magic despite Howard's 39

The Toronto Raptors came into the game as arguably the most disappointing team in the NBA with a poor 13-20 record after making the playoffs last season and predicted to be a top contender in the East this season. To make matters worse for the Raptors, they came into the game without two key starters... PG Jose Calderon and PF Jermaine O'Neal.

The Raptors responded by playing their best game of the year as they outshot the Magic from the field, the free throw line, outrebounded the Magic, and committed fewer turnovers, while having five players in double figures.

Toronto went on a 20-2 run in the first quarter and led 34-22 after one. The Raptors had their largest lead of the game at 44-28 in the second quarter before the Magic cut into their deficit and made it 56-49 Toronto at the half. The Magic came alive in the third and led 78-77 going into the fourth, and had their largest lead at 83-79 early in the fourth. The Magic had their last lead at 101-99 with about 3:15 remaining before folding badly down the end. The Magic missed their final five shots and committed two turnovers as Toronto came away with the 108-102 victory.

Magic leading scorers

Dwight Howard: 39 points (ties career-high) (14 of 19 field goals), 8 rebounds
Rashard Lewis: 20 points (6 of 13 three point field goals), 9 assists, 6 rebounds
Jameer Nelson: 15 points (4 of 11 field goals), 5 rebounds

Toronto leading scorers

Anthony Parker: 26 points (13 of 16 field goals)
Chris Bosh: 23 points, 11 rebounds
Andrea Bargnani: 18 points

Overall Game Statistics:

FG%: TOR 53.9% (41 of 76) ORL 46.1% (35 of 76)
3 PT FG%: ORL 44.1% (15 of 34) TOR 25% (3 of 12)
FT%: TOR 95.8% (23 of 24) ORL 70.8% (17 of 24)
REB: TOR 39 (5 offensive) ORL 31 (8 offensive)
AST/TO: ORL 27/12 TOR 20/10

Other game notes and stats:

-The Magic's 27 assists were a season high
-Lewis and Turkoglu combined for 14 assists, with Lewis's 9 assists a career high
-Turkoglu scored just 9 points on 4 of 12 shooting and has now scored a combined 16 points on 5 of 26 shooting his last two games
-The Magic starting frontline outscored the Raptors' starting frontline 68-46, but the Raptors' starting frontline outrebounded the Magic frontline 25-16
-The Raptors' starting guards, Parker and Solomon, outscored the Magic starting guards 37-18 on 18 of 24 shooting, while the Magic starting guards shot just 5 of 13
-The Magic used a ten-man rotation, with J.J. Redick leading the reserves with 8 points

The Magic, now 26-8, missed a brilliant opportunity to gain ground on Cleveland, as the Cavs were upset by Washington 80-77. The Magic go back home to take on the Wizards Tuesday.

For the complete box score, click here



  • At 7:21 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Magic coach Stan Van Gundy after the game on the NBA.com recap:

    "We made very poor plays down the stretch, very poor turnovers and bad shots down the stretch, and they made good plays and got to the free throw line. The team that won is the team that deserved to win. I thought they played harder and better."

    I wholeheartedly agree with Coach Van Gundy's assessment. The Raptors played a brilliant game, shooting 54% from the field with just one missed free throw, and only ten turnovers. Toronto had five players in double figures to more than make up for Calderon and O'Neal being out.

    The Magic still had a two-point lead with over three minutes remaining, but failed badly with all the missed shots and turnovers the final three minutes.

    The Raptors will be a team to watch in the second half of the season, as we all know they've badly underachieved so far, but they showed how well they're capable of playing Sunday against the Magic. They should be even better with a healthy Calderon and O'Neal.

    Hopefully the Magic bounce back from this loss, with the very tough schedule they have this month. It's not that the Magic played terrible against Toronto, as very few teams would have beaten Toronto as well as they played Sunday.

  • At 9:03 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    The magic deserved to lose with the way they played to open the game. With four minutes left to go in the second quarter is when the magic finally started to play hard. It didnt seem like the magic was very interested in the game in my opinion. Also,hedo is killing us. Every year it seems as if hedo has a stretch of games where he shoots the ball bad,extremely bad. Then it comes out later that he had the flu or some bug as an excuse. Maybe he does get sick every year around this time,but why does that mean he can launch up jumper after jumper when he's shooting so poorly? SVG's face said it all when he launched a three pointer late in the game,you see a disgusted look on his face and he's yelling at hedo "why,why,we had time??". To be honest and its just my opinion,i dont think the magic become an elite team until they part with hedo. I like hedo and wish some kinda way that this wasnt the conclusion that i've come to,but the facts are facts and hedo is super streaky and doesnt play any defense. His idea of defense is putting a hand up,rarely do you see hedo "get in to his opponent". When we signed hedo we needed all the things he brings to the table offensively,but not anymore we can win without hedo and the miami game proved that. Since i stated that i thought the magic may need to trade hedo and that he was our weakest defensive link,he has gone a cold 5-26 from the field,not exactly making a case for himself seeing as how scoring is SUPPOSED to be his stronger suit.

  • At 9:20 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    The more and more i watch our team the more and more hedo sticks out. He's the one player that doesnt garner respect from our oopponents as a physical presence. Against bottom feeders and average NBA teams he does fine,it's against the elite teams where hedo seems like he gets intimidated and goes to more of a flop game rather than trying to match whatever your opponent does to you. A couple of times against the raptors hedo would take the ball to the basket and whale his arms up in the air as if he got fouled well the refs must not have been buying it because hedo rarely got to the free throw line,stop flopping hedo i'm actually starting to get tired of it and to me it's a trait of someone soft. I've also been watching something else i wanted to bring to the table about hedo. Hedo cant/doesnt jump off of two feet which would allow him to get to the free-throw line alot more. Being able to jump off of two feet and take contact in the air is what the great scorers are able to do,it gets them to the free-throw line and some of the attempts become three point plays. Rarely do you see hedo get a three point play at the rim because hedo is a one foot jumper. He likes to take those long strides and jump off of one foot,those shots are alot easier to block as tayshaun showed us in the play-offs stuffing hedo right at the rim trying to jump off of one foot. Had hedo stopped and gathered himself then jumped off of two feet and double pumped the ball he wouldve gotten himself to the foul line. I like hedo but we can get better at his position defensively,offensively we may lose some team assists but not much else. A guy like MP shows us that there are guys who do all the things we need other than hedo,i dont think we'd miss a beat without him because anybody otis brings in will fit right into our system. Defenders that shoot the three is what he likes.

  • At 9:30 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    San Antonio let hedo walk after one year and won the championship if im correct as soon as he left,trading him at/before the deadline and getting something for him wont hurt us one bit,it'll improve us in the long run. As long as the player is an athletic defender who shoots the three (just like MP)i'm all for trading hedo. Sometimes you have to do things you dont want to do.

  • At 4:25 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I'm not disagreeing about anything you're saying, Big Figure, but still... if the Magic can't get a difference-maker in exchange for Turk, I don't think they should trade him.

    Like you said... yeah, he's a streak shooter and his defense is suspect, but he's hit a handful of game-winning shots the last couple seasons, and what about that great feed to Lewis on a Lewis game-winner in the final seconds a few weeks back.

    Also, Turk is probably the best passer on the team, and he is a good insurance policy to have in case Nelson gets hurt because I don't know if I would trust Anthony Johnson as the main point guard playing extended minutes if Nelson gets hurt again. Turk could always play "point forward".

    Of course, his 5 for 26 shooting the last two games and his 5 turnovers against Toronto were absolutely abysmal, but I would just write them off as flukes and I have confidence Turk will get back on track quickly.

    He's obviously not having as good a season as he did last year when he won the Most Improved Player Award. He set the bar pretty high with his performance last year, so I don't expect him to duplicate it, but he can still be a big factor for the Magic if he can play the way he's capable of.

  • At 10:11 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Mike with all do respect,how much do regular season games mean to you? To me not much. Tons of guys hit game winning shots during the regular season because the pressure is so low and teams havent started to game-plan just/strickly for you. At the same time other guys can make those shots for us,when hedo starts hitting game winning shots in the play-offs then maybe my opinion will change when it comes to the "game winning angle". Paragraph 2 and 3 basically talk about hedo as a passer,i have no problems with hedo's all-around offensive game i'll say again. My thing is this,i would give up some of the things he does offensively to get better defensively at his position. Two things would happen,we'd be better defensively and the individual shooting percentage at his position i bet would go up.

  • At 10:19 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    "if the Magic can't get a difference-maker in exchange for Turk, I don't think they should trade him". OK well this we agree on,so that mean your not opposed to trading hedo just the player in return is the key. Well like i stated before i would only be happy with a defender who's athletic and shoots the three. Doesnt have to be a point forward but has to be able to handle the ball.

  • At 6:43 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Yeah, Big Figure, that's a fair statement to make, that if the Magic could somehow get a difference-maker in exchange for Turk, I would agree with a trade (but at the same time, I would be sad to see Turk go).

  • At 9:00 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    I agree with all the points that Big Figure has raised except that I would like to move Rashard to SF and bring is a stsrting quality PF, which is almost an impossible task for a GM like Otis Smith. The reason is Hedo's stock is not as high as it was last season for reasons known to all of us, and for that reason alone I think we are stuck with what we have got.


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