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.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Celtics end cold-shooting Magic's winning streak

This definitely wasn't the same Magic team that was so dominant out West. The Magic's largest lead was 6-2 and their last lead was at 17-16. The Celtics held a 24-19 edge after one, and 44-36 at the half. The Celtics had their largest lead of 56-40 in the third quarter, and led 65-54 going into the fourth. The Celtics had a 79-65 lead with 5:21 remaining before the Magic went on a 10-3 run to make the score 82-75. It was 84-77 Celtics when the Magic had a chance to cut the deficit down to five with about 1:30 remaining, but couldn't do it as Boston went on to win 90-80 to break the Magic's 11 game home winning streak and 7 game overall winning streak in a resounding manner.

Magic leading scorers

Hedo Turkoglu: 22 points (6 of 15 field goals)
Rashard Lewis: 20 points (8 of 14 field goals), 10 rebounds, 2 steals
Jameer Nelson: 17 points (6 of 16 field goals)
Dwight Howard: 11 points (4 of 10 field goals), 11 rebounds, 3 blocks

Boston leading scorers

Paul Pierce: 27 points, 10 rebounds
Kevin Garnett: 16 points, 5 rebounds
Glen Davis (bench): 16 points
Ray Allen: 12 points

Overall Game Statistics:

FG%: BOS 46.7% (35 of 75) ORL 38.2% (26 of 68)
3 PT FG%: ORL 31.8% (7 of 22) BOS 0% (0 for 6)
FT%: BOS 80% (20 of 25) ORL 72.4% (21 of 29)
REB: BOS 40 (14 offensive) ORL 36 (12 offensive)
AST/TO: ORL 11/14 BOS 9/11

Other game notes and stats:

-The Celtics had the better field goal percentage, free throw percentage, more rebounds, and fewer turnovers than the Magic
-Magic shot just 12 of 38 (31.8%) from the field in the first half, including just 3 of 14 on threes
-Lewis grabbed 9 of the 12 Magic offensive rebounds, 7 of those in the first quarter
-The "Big Three" of Boston (Garnett, Pierce, Allen) scored 55 points on 22 of 43 shooting with 17 rebounds
-The "Big Three" of the Magic (Howard, Lewis, and Turkoglu) combined for 53 points on 18 of 39 shooting with 24 rebounds
-Nelson and Courtney Lee combined for 17 points on 6 of 21 field goals, including 1 for 7 from long range, with Lee getting shut out
-The Magic reserves shot a combined 2 of 8 from the field
-J.J. Redick had as many assists (2) as shot attempts (2) in 26 minutes and led the reserves with 6 points
-Davis scored 16 of the 19 bench points for the Celtics; other than Davis, the Celtics bench shot a combined 0 for 9
-The five Magic guards combined to shoot just 8 of 24 from the field
-Other than Turkoglu, the Magic shot just 3 of 15 from long range

The Celtics (36-9) now lead the Magic (33-9) by a game and a half in the East, as the Magic travel to Miami to take on the Heat Saturday night.

For the complete box score, click here


  • At 1:08 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    No question, the Magic definitely lost their sharpness over the 4 day break. Nelson got off to such a slow start and couldn't get it going until it was too late.

    Even though Turk led the Magic with the 22 points, he did not have a good game defensively, as I'm sure Big Figure will point out all the mistakes he made on the defensive end. Turk also did not contribute much with assists (2) and rebounds (3) like he usually does.

    Lewis probably had the best game out of any of the Magic players, but he made only 1 of 4 three point field goals, which is well off the average number of threes he makes in a game.

    Whoever though that "Big Baby" Glen Davis would have such an impact on the game.

    Redick needs to take more than two shots in 26 minutes... that's ridiculous! The Magic supporting cast definitely did not come through against Boston.

    I'm looking forward to Mickael Pietrus's return... he will help the Magic's depth.

    Boston was the better team Thursday night and deserved the win, but if the Magic shoot better than 38% from the field, they're right there at the end. Howard being held to well under his average didn't help any either. Credit goes to Boston, and the Magic will have to play much better than this next time they face the Celts.

  • At 11:49 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Let me say this,whether the magic were rusty or not SVG himself stated during his sideline interview between the third and fourth quarter that we couldnt get a good shot,his words "they are locking us down". I think our shooting percentage was bad for two reasons (1) the celtics did not allow us to get off clean looks at three pointers and (2) Because we felt the pressure of their guys rotating at break neck speed we started to rush our attempts,both cases you have to credit the defense. Rushed shots and missed shots. This is exactly what i told you guys after we beat the hawks by 40 points,how will this team respond when three's arent part of the offense??? Thats why i'm never sold on anything that happens in the regular season. Mike i'm not gonna single out hedo as jameer struggled with rondo while hedo struggled with pierce. Jameer i'm not gonna be as hard on though because it was clear that SVG's startegy was to help off of rondo and make him shoot jumpers to beat you. Well obviously rondo has been hitting his jumper against us since last year and that strategy isnt working. I'm gonna be nice to hedo,he stinks defensively. Yeah the words i was using last night arent as nice! To me what makes me so mad about hedo isnt the fact that the celtics first two shot attempts in the game were jumper by peirce in hedo's face and a drive by peirce right by hedo with no level of physicality from hedo,it's the fact this his effort level and his approach to defense freggin suck horribly. When peirce got the ball on the wing hedo automatically backed up about 5 feet creating a ton of space between himself and paul THAT SUCKS TO START OFF WITH,then he sticks his hand out as if these guys cant make a jumper with a hand in their face,paul takes a dribble rises up and shoots basically an uncontested jumper because hedo was playing so far off. He was matched up with paul 75% of the time and was getting killed,so i dont wanna hear any keith bogans getting beat in the first quarter trying to help with paul or rashard getting beat in the fourth quarter,hedo was the reason the celtics were able to comfortably build a lead early because he wouldnt even get physical with paul. I'm watching the replay of the game right now(i tape all the games),first shot attempt for the magic by our shooting forward who's our go-to-guy,yeah badly missed three-pointer that was challenged very well. Then paul comes down to the other end the celtics first shot attempt,again jumper in hedo's face. Now lets look at those possesion's a little more closely because these are what i've been talking about for weeks now about hedo. When things get tough hedo folds and routinely bails out the defense by shooting jumpers and we have to live with it make or miss,rarely does he get to the free-throw line which to me makes those 22 point nights not look so good. He take a tons of shots and we either get a basket or the other team gets a rebound,thats not solid basketball by your suppose to be go-to-guy. Peirce on the other hand went to the line enough that he easily won the match-up with hedo,and if anybody tries to say that hedo was having his way with paul,bullshit. SVG did something that further exposed hedo in my opinion,he took hedo out of the game way earlier than he normally does,he got keith bogans in their super quick to try and slow down paul because hedo was clearly not going to be physical enough and keith came in and gave a tough effort,did he stop paul? Not really,but i give him credit for the effort level because later in the game paul started to show some fatigue that had alot to do with the intensity that keith brought to the game. When hedo came back in the game he was basically matched up with sorry behind scalabrine and was able to do some damage once peirce wasnt guarding him,peirce was locking him down and SVG stated that during his third quarter sideline interview,he didnt name any names but anybody watching the game could see what was going on. SVG basically tried to hide hedo on anybody that wasnt a scoring threat,when they went to the guy hedo was guarding they got buckets so easily all night. SVG tried to use hedo as a back-up PF when he brought him back into the game in the first quarter thats how he got match-ed up with scalabrine and SVG hasnt done that all year (he was using marcin and battie together),but i would be willing to bet that the reason he did that was because at SF peirce was killing hedo and SVG had to find somewhere to put his most versatile offensive player,but at the same time didnt like that match-up so he played hedo at a position that the offensive player isnt a threat because scalabrine is a spot-up shooter. Funny doesnt that sound like what happened out west,hedo didnt have anybody to guard and we won those games,but once their's someone for hedo to guard,as a team our points were all season lows per quarter,coincidence? I think not! MP being out and jameer and dwight having off games makes me think we can compete with them if we play better,but hedo has no excuse for his effort defensively. look at rashard's numbers and you see that playing out of position and being undersized doesnt mean anything if you have toughness and the ability to get physical with folks something hedo doesnt have and i dont think its a he cant do it thing,i think its a he doesnt want to do it thing which makes me more mad than anything about him on this team. Guys defense wins championship,you can continue to give hedo passes but this team wont beat det or bos unless hedo gets tougher bottom line. Most of the first quarter sums up his game,bad passes,bad shots,no defense. If he wouldnt have been scoring the ball i'd be calling for his head. we'll get back on track and win alot of games,but these games will be the measure of a smart man,det and bos play championship basketball and if you wanna see how its played come by my house and i'll show you both games,funny how they look exactly the same.

  • At 4:06 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    To me the measure will be how much he attacks his opponent and gets to the free-throw line,thats where play-off basketball is won because you cant turn into a streaky jumpshooter when the games are most critical. The thing about the magic that scares me is how are they going to respond when a team stands right in front of them and says were not going to let your starting cast hurt us and were going to play dwight one-on-one(points add up really slow that way). Slowing down the tempo and trying to get us into a possession game while not letting us get off three point shots which is a MAJOR part of our offense. Last year when this happened,only jameer,dwight and rashard came back with a high level of fight. Mo evans,hedo and carlos were all worthless while keyon,marcin and keith were tough but didnt offer many points as games were played in the 80-90's (which we only won one). This is a different team i'll agree,but at the same time what we have as evidence about some of our guys that still play here doesnt play into our favor come play-off time. BOY WAS I RIGHT!!!!!!!

  • At 5:07 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    TITLE: Will the Real Magic Fans Please Show Up!

    The Game:
    That was a long rant, and once the Hedo bashing started, and continued, and continued, I stopped...

    No offense meant BIG, I'm just done talking about Hedo Turkoglu; especially because there was far more that pissed me off last night.

    Mike, I too was worried about this game coming, not only because it was the first game back from a tough road trip, but because of the extended break.

    The Magic were definitely out of sync and rhythm. The Celtics defense didn't help us obviously, but neither did the supposedly four-day vacation that Van Gundy gave his players. At least that's what was reported. I thought Van Gundy was more of a stickler than that; a day or two off maybe, but not four.

    I personally think what happened in this game had more to do with what the Magic were not doing, rather than what the Celtics were.

    The officiating was crappy, but so was our play. We didn’t deserve to win this game.

    Honestly, the only player that looked ready and willing to play was Rashard Lewis. Nelson and Howard were "no shows". Neither of them looked aggressive. In Howard's defense, he was called for some real shady fouls. Our shooting guards by committee were none existent.

    Mike, you mentioned Redick’s lack of shooting. Can someone tell him, that when you pump fake, get your defender jumping at you, and draw the foul; that it’s okay to chuck the ball up towards the rim. He did that four times last night. Three of them the defender picked up a foul, the last one Redick fell out of bounds and was called for traveling, and not once did Redick make an attempt to shoot the ball. Redick, you’re a shooter. That’s what you do. Why did this concept look so foreign to you?

    The only positive in this game was that despite how bad we played, the game was never out of reach. The game was very winnable actually. But the straw that broke the camels back was Howard fouling out; which should have never happened.

    Complaints from the Live Experience:
    Me and my sister get to the arena, of course get our tickets checked, and take our seats. Five or so minutes later we're asked for our tickets again. Either someone in the section said something, or the lower attendant didn't recognize us. Out of the hundreds of Magic games I've been too, that's the first time something like that has happened. It felt strange. I actually felt out of place, at a place that used to feel like home.

    The so called fans in our section were not friendly, and to put it bluntly, not interested in the game. My sister and I were the only two wearing anything Magic, and often the only ones making any kind of noise. Honestly, there were more Celtics fans around us than Magic; or at least they were the ones cheering for their team.

    Since I’m on the topic of cheering; my sister and I got a little more vocal come the third and forth quarter. I tend to scream, yell, and vent a lot during the games regardless if I'm at the game, or in front of my TV. I did the same here, only to get continuous looks by the surrounding so called "fans". I made sure not to curse, or say anything vulgar. I just didn’t know that I was suppose to sit there with my mouth zipped, and “golf clap” whenever deemed appropriate. I guess I just felt out of place.

    I've never thought much of local sports fans. I honestly think most of them are idiots, especially as it relates to the Magic. Orlando is full of bandwagoners’, and to be fair, people from all over the country. So if you're from Boston, you want to show up, and act like a douche bag at the game, go for it. I just expect more from Magic fans.

    Actually, that’s why I always end up back here. While we might not always agree, you guys are great fans, and very knowledgeable as it relates to the game of basketball; which is something that I haven’t came across to often.

    Breaking Point at the Game:
    Here is what nearly set me off. "Magic fans, it's the forth quarter, stand and cheeeeer"! Yeah, Paul Porter is still doing his thing strong; but as I already mentioned, the fans weren't. Much of the forth quarter felt quiet, with half ass cheering. The Magic audio guys didn't help at all either.

    But this was my nail in the coffin. In the fourth quarter, Howard was shooting free throws. I know he wasn't having a great game, so it's not likely for anyone to be chanting M-V-P. Instead the chant was "let’s go Celtics". The chant continued for the rest of the game. It was especially noticeable on the offensive end because they never really played any tunes for the Magic fans to go with. I mean really, how hard would it have been to slap a "lets go Magic" on the jumbo-tron, and put the beat over the sound system. Hell, at least just blast some music so I don't have to hear what sounded like thousands of Celtics fans chanting for Boston.

    Naturally, I got louder, and screamed more. Of course then I only got more looks from the uninterested people around me.

    Yes, section 113, the lower portion at least, YOU SUCK. WAKE THE HELL UP, AND CHEER FOR YOUR TEAM! If not, why are you there? Oh, appearances... A social thing... The game to be seen at...


    I know it wasn't everyone. I know there were some passionate Magic fans in there; they just weren't around me.

    Actually, where they were was in the upper bowl. Any of the cheers and/or chants poured down from the upper bowl.

    Big props for the REAL FANS that showed up to the game last night! I just wish a few of them could have been around me…

    Last thought:
    The Magic slept for most of the game. Do you know what point the team actually looked like they woke up? It might have been coincidence, but I’m not sure. When those Celtics chants started, the Magic woke up. I know the Magic players heard them loud and clear. I was about 20 feet behind the Celtics bench, and I did over and over. I was pissed off, so I can't imagine how it would have felt to be a Magic player.

    No wonder we're such a good road team. Which would you enjoy doing more? Silencing a rowdy crowd on the road, or having to wakeup and win your own crowd over?

    Magic fans, a game like last nights game is when you have to step up! The team was obviously sluggish. This is the type of game you need to be loud, pick up your team, and help lift them to a victory.

    Not only did the Magic fail to show up last night, but so did a lot of Magic fans...

  • At 5:43 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Well intro wanting to talk hedo or not,he couldnt guard a bottle of water. You were there,his defense was non-existent. Hedo sucks on both ends of the floor,his jumpers are hit-or-miss jumpers,his lay-ups were hit-or-miss lay-ups. And this is supposed to be our go-to-guy,what a joke. he puts absolutely no pressure on the defense. What go-to-guy do you know that barely gets to the free-throw line??? I hope either hedo leaves or comes off the bench next season. Manu ginobli who we would all agree is a better player than hedo comes off the bench for the spurs because pop understand's that defense wins championship's,we need to put hedo's behind on the bench too and up-grade our starting unit defensively over the summer. Hey intro no biggee if you didnt read what i posted,it makes me feel better that i'm the only one saying what i am. last year the same thing was going on with carlos,i would call him out after every game basically and you would defend him or get tired of listening to me,well carlos is no longer here otis obviously saw what i saw. Hedo on the other hand probably needs to come off the bench in the long run,he can play the same amount of minutes but be able to guard second teir players,we need someone at that position that will limit players more than anything because paul pierce had his way. Shame that the fans werent into it,but i think thats because the team they were watching was never really in the game. Cutting the lead to 5 showed that we were at least fighting but i never believed they'd come back and they didnt.

  • At 6:05 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Random thoughts. (1)Where was this floor game that's usually the only thing i could give hedo credit for??? Sucked passing (air-balls),sucked shooting (air-balls again),sucked defensively,what a trifecta! (2)Doc rivers because he has the better go-to-guy is looking like a better coach than SVG when i dont think thats true. (3)If hedo was able to at least make the night tougher for paul to start the game,maybe the celtics wouldnt have gotten off to a good start but hedo continue's to let guys have easy scoring nights against us. (4)Rob parker called us this morning on espn's first take "the phoneix sun's east" saying exactly what i said,the magic wont win when three's dont fall because were soft. Along with him skip bayless says he's gonna start calling dwight "dwight coward if he doesnt start coming up bigger in meaningful games". (5)The magic wont win a championship with hedo as a starter in my opinion,there will always be someone tougher than him guarding him. Going at him and getting to the line as well as coming up with stops at critical times against him. The hedo bashing is going to continue as long as (1)he continue's to bail out the defense by not attacking the basket with the intention of drawing fouls (2)PLAYING HIS STYLE OF SOFT DEFENSE (3)making us live or die with his jumshooting. Thats not good go-to-guy play any way you slice it,and to be honest this play-making stuff he keeps getting credit for was not on display (against a good team). Hedo was running around screens not getting off shots like usual,he was passing the ball alot to people that werent open just moving the ball around the horn,seems like when we face a good defensive team they show us that hedo isnt that good. You can get tough with him and beat him that way,i'm not sure if its a european thing but all of them seem to be a little softer than the american born players. Whatever the case,the magic are still the little brother's to the piston's and now you can add the celtics to that list. If we lose to the cavs,then you can basically start thinking how we can improve this team in the off-season. We have to at least prove we can beat one of the three sometime this season if were gonna get to the east final.

  • At 6:10 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Which everybody agree's should be the magic's natural progression. (forgot to put that at the end).

  • At 6:26 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Hedo: 6-15 shooting (and four of those shots were three pointers). So two made shots other than the three pointers,horrible when this is suppose to be your go-to-guy. 8 attempts at the line(i actually thought their would be less) but by contrast paul almost shot double the attempts with 14 free throw attempts.

  • At 6:33 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I wish there was some way that i could lie to myself and say "oh this was just a bad game for hedo" but this is what i've been saying for three weeks about hedo,this is who he truely is. The only thing the magic have proven to date is that SVG's system is good enough to beat most of the teams in the league. No more losing to sub-par opponents which was our trait under BSH. At some point winning a ton of regular season games but not advancing in the play-offs has to get old and i'm already at that point because we continue to get punked when we play the elite teams in the east and unlucky for us they are all strongest at our weakest position,Small forward!

  • At 6:55 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I didn’t see these kinds of responses coming...



    “Dwight Coward”; that’s cute. Mr. Coward had 25/20/3 against the Lakers just two games ago, while dominating Andrew Bynum. That wasn’t a meaningful game though... Plus that kid Bynum is no good; although he did have 42/15/3 in his last game... It was against the Clippers though, so that doesn’t count...

    “Phoenix Suns of the East” is right. Except we play defense, and have a player that dominates the paint on both ends of the floor. You’re not going to try and tell me Amare dominates the paint, or plays a lick of defense are you?

    I got it! Although this is a “mans sport”, maybe we should get one of those bitches that claim to have balls. Either that or maybe we could send a few of our players to acting school. Because honestly, that's what we're really missing; a player who can fraud his way to the free throw line. That's what really wins championships. Hah...

    After all of those hard facts I’ve come to the conclusion that you’re right, in all regards; especially that “Hedo sucks on both ends of the floor.” Thank you for the education.

    How bout you give yourself a few more pats on the back.

  • At 7:02 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    LOL. Ok,here's what Brian Schmitz had to say."The Magic might have to come up with something more than curses against the Boston Celtics, and Turkoglu certainly doesn't have any voodoo to slow Paul Pierce". More from brian,"the Celtics know how to close, especially with Pierce. As he did when the Celtics trounced the Magic in Boston, Pierce (27 points) was the difference, getting whatever he wanted against Turkoglu.

  • At 7:05 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I have no problem with dwight myself because no-matter what he brings toughness to our game. For the most part everybody else in our line-up does,jameer even if an off night held rondo to 9 points. CL held ray to 12 points. Rashard and garnett were a wash and perkins and dwight were a wash,only player to get absolutely abused HEDO.

  • At 7:07 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    So if we do win any regular season games against one of these elite teams in the east, it's not going matter because it’s not the playoffs. But if we lose to them, we’re getting punked?

    Whatever works to prove a point...

  • At 7:21 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    First(1)“Phoenix Suns of the East” is right. Except we play defense, and have a player that dominates the paint on both ends of the floor. You’re not going to try and tell me Amare dominates the paint, or plays a lick of defense are you? I'm not tryin to tell you nuthin this wasnt my statement!! ROB PARKER said this! (2) I got it! Although this is a “mans sport”, maybe we should get one of those bitches that claim to have balls. Either that or maybe we could send a few of our players to acting school. Because honestly, that's what we're really missing; a player who can fraud his way to the free throw line. That's what really wins championships. Hah.. Sounds like your mad at the league for the refs making bad calls??? But how is that a defense,to me if you cant beat'em join'em were the dumbasses for not getting with the program,lets find us somebody that will get us to the line like your namesake(i know you hate that idea) we need a few actors if thats what it takes to get past the eastern elite (trying to find humor in this),in all seriosness i'm down for whatever it takes because at the end of the day we all want to win whether we agree or not.

  • At 7:25 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Who said it wouldnt matter,i said in my posts from the begining bos,det and cleveland are the measure. These are the teams the magic have to prove themselves against,the eastern elite. I'm very careful with my words,seems like your reaching now. If the magic beat the hawks by 40 thats what doesnt matter and i stated that plainly.

  • At 7:28 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    And furthermore i just stated that if the magic could beat cleveland IN THE REG season that it would mean something,it would say to me that we could at least win the first and second round if not facing det or bos. Your either not reading or reaching intro.

  • At 7:29 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    In certain situations, the only thing an intellectual can do is turn to humor. Thankfully I’m ignorant, and have no sense of humor.

    Because Paul Pierce has never scored 27 before...

    Personally, if I was going to bitch about someone having a big game, I’d choose Glen Davis. 27 for Pierce is nothing out of the ordinary. He could put up those numbers on anyone in the NBA. But 16 from the fat guy off the bench is what should be considered truly embarrassing.

    If you were actually being somewhat fair about your complaints, you should have spent sometime talking about what Davis did, and what Howard didn’t.

    At least Turk did something, that’s more than can be said for Howard, Nelson, or anyone else on our team last night.

    Or maybe it’s all Hedo Turkoglu’s fault...

    What do I know...

    I'm done now...

  • At 7:39 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Thats good find other scapegoat's,mentioning big baby shows me exactly your knowledge of the game between the lines intro and i usually wouldnt put it that way. late in the fourth when we started double teaming paul,the celtics started rotating the ball. If you watch the game two or three times like myself you'll see dwight at the top of the key many times pushing the guard out high when big baby catches the ball and shoots it. But the funny thing is your trying to insinuate that dwight had him straight up or something and thats no where close to the truth. Those shots came off of rotations and big baby was catching the ball with plenty of space to shoot. The only thing you could say about big baby making those shots is that jameer was letting rondo get by him and the making the pass to big baby on the weak side of the floor,sportcenter has been playing this exact highlight all day,had nothing to do with dwight or any one player on most of his jumpers,you have to coach your team to rotate harder and be physical when they get there which is what they did to us.

  • At 7:57 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Boy o boy,i dont care that peirce scored 27 i'm making the point that he made it look easy. Things are to easy for people hedo guards,cant say it any more simple than that. And fair? Are you serious,who do you think were the reason's that they didnt blow us out,jameer,CL,rashard and dwight holding their guys to average scoring nights kept us in the game just as mcuh as hedo's offense what are you talking about??? But i'm a defense first kinda guy and if a player sucks in that area your gonna hear it from me whether you like it or not,i'm plenty fair,play D and you can have off shooting nights in my book. If hedo played defense better i would never complain about his offense. Thats a rule for me,i give players the benefit of the doubt offensively if they play great or even good defense,and i've always been that way because the one thing i learned from my high school coach is that offense will come and go but you can bring your defense everynight.

  • At 8:21 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    The only player that was getting killed in his individual match-up was hedo,bottom line. I'm talking one-on-one's where you either stop someone or get exposed. Or at least if you get beat you get physical with them and make them remember your were there,but i bet when guys come to town they get big smile's on their face when they see hedo on the other side of them knowing there's no level of toughness in his game. And also,even with big baby hitting jumpers off of rotation none of those were straight up in anybody's face let alone dwight's face. We can live with the jumpers from set plays or rotation,but we cant live with getting beat in our one-on-one's because they lead to points or free-throw for whoever hedo is guarding.

  • At 8:44 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I've come to the conclusion that matt was always right. We need to move rashard to small forward and bring in either one of two things(1) an athletic PF who can shoot the three or (2)a banger with an outside jumper at least. This line-up aint gonna get it done,too soft at one spot. I'd love for hedo to stay here and come off our bench.

  • At 9:51 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    After reading all of OVERWADED's and Big Figure's posts, I just need to add my additional two cents worth...

    No doubt Turk had a poor game defensively and was not very efficient offensively, that was one problem. It was also a problem that Nelson made only 1 of his first 9 shots and couldn't get it going until it was too late. It was also a problem DH was held to 9 points under his average and only attempted 10 shots the whole game. It was also a problem CLee and Bogans combined for 0 points on 0 for 9 shooting. It was also a problem that Redick took only two shots in 26 minutes. It was also a problem that the Magic reserves contributed very little to the game.

    In other words, there were lots of things one can look at and see why the Magic lost; to single out Turkoglu because of his poor defense doesn't make all those other problems that were there go away. Every Magic player that played could have looked himself in the mirror after the game and realized that he could have played a lot better than he did. Heck, even SVG admitted he did a poor job of coaching.

    Bottom line is... this was only one loss; I'm not going to panic like I did earlier this season when the Magic were 4-3 and Atlanta 6-0 and I proceeded to write a post that Atlanta should be the favorite in the SE because of the Magic underachieving. Well, the Magic proceeded to make me look like a complete fool for writing that post; even though Atlanta is much-improved, they are nowhere near in the same class as the Magic.

    The Magic play the Celtics twice more, both in March. The Magic should have Pietrus back (which will help the depth tremendously), hopefully SVG will have a better game plan then and hopefully the players can play a lot better than they did Thursday night.

    Again, this is only ONE loss to the defending World Champs... if the team and coach can learn from it, that's the important thing.

  • At 10:10 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    OVERWADED, sorry to hear about your negative experience at the game. You're absolutely right when you said that at times, the Celtics fans that were there seemed to be cheering louder than the Magic fans. One could get that impression watching the game on TV also.

    From what you wrote, it sounded like you and your sister were really into the game, cheering the guys on and making sure not to use profanity. Too bad the fans by you were not so into the game as you and your sister. I'm sure it's a real downer for the players to hear the opposing team's fans cheering louder than their own fans in their own arena.

    That's weird that the ushers would want to double-check your tix when you were already seated.

    The last Magic game I attended, in January of '07, was against the Celtics, and even though the Celts stunk that year, there were several Boston fans at the game wearing Boston garb. I give the Celtics' fans credit, they are like the NY Yankees' fans; the Celtics have fans everywhere, it seems, just like the Yankees.

    I guess the fact that the Magic didn't have the lead for most of the game and they were down 16 in the third really kept the crowd quiet. I get the feeling they would have maybe erupted if the Magic could have made some threes in the third to make a game of it, but the Celtics were able to maintain a double-digit lead until late in the fourth, and by then it was too late.

    I hope to be in Orlando in late February/early March, and plan to see 2 or 3 Magic games. I hope the atmosphere there will be better than it was against the Celtics.

  • At 6:57 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    The undeniable fact is that in the two games that we played against BOS, we did not look good, at all. We have two more to play against them and hopefully we will look a bit more in sync. The upcoming game with CLE could serve as an indicator of where we are. As it stands, it seems that we need to finish at least 2nd in the East so that, assuming BOS finishes first, we would only meet them in the East's final. That puts CLE in 3rd, and let's hope that DET finishes anywhere between 4-6 so that at 4 or 5 they will play BOS in semi-final and at 6 they play CLE in the first round. To me the 2nd place looks better than the 1st because DET most probably finishes at 4 or 5. However, if DET finishes 6 and beats CLE in the first round, the 2nd team has to play them in the semi-final.

    It seems that we struggle against good defensive teams which force us into a lower pace half court game. BOS and DET are the examples. I don't want to get engaged in a detailed debate against Hedo, but I still believe in order for the Magic to make it to the next level, we have to upgrade the PF position to a true PF while using Rashard's talents where he belongs which is the SF. Now if there are high hopes for this team to make it to the East finals, it would be unconscionable to ruin its chemistry this late in the season except if great trade opportunities come about.

  • At 10:17 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Matt & mike good stuff! I'll just say this to your comments mike,if you set a tone defensively at the tip-off/begining of the game usually your team will get a ton of easy baskets and three's within transition which will lead to confidence throughout the game. The magic got nothing easy against the celtics and all those things you pointed out may have been different if we had played tough defense from the jump and made THEIR confidence waver. But as you know they gained great confindence early on our floor because hedo was letting paul walk right through him. Dont you think if we were shutting paul down,getting rebounds off of his misses and running things wouldve been different? OF COURSE because we wouldve had even more shots at the basket. It all starts with defense and hedo is a major weakness before the game even gets going good,5 mins into the game paul was 3-3 and hedo was coming out for keith bogans. While i agree all those shooting days were bad,maybe they are good if they are gaining confidence because they're getting stops and rebounding the ball. But how demoralizing is it when you watch one of your teammates getting abused and you cant do anything about it,while the lead on the scoreboard just keeps getting bigger. Hedo getting us off to a bad start defensively has a bigger impact on how the game will be played than those shooting percentages which are final game tally's. It only gets tougher from here on out and miami will get tough with hedo tonight,lets see how he respond's because i'll give him credit if there's something to give him credit for. To me our players that were bad shooting the ball can shoot better,but i'm not sure if hedo can become a better defender. I personally am on matt's bandwagon now,move hedo to the bench start rashard at SF. I'd be willing to bet paul wouldnt like that at all,rashard even though he got caught fouling on one play by paul was doing an excellent job on paul for the most part in the fourth quarter. If rashard was able to go against paul for four quarters i give the advantage to the magic,he's bigger and stronger and actually uses both to his advantage. Rashard putting paul on the low block and backing him down under the rim,would be a dramatic change in toughness offensively directed at him. Wear and tear from having to battle on the defensive end/under the rim is vital to slowing down scorers like paul,but with hedo guarding him his nights are so easy that he's basically fresh when the game is over and we cant have that. The only toughness displayed was from keith and rashard the few times they got matched up with him. Your right mike it was only one game,but that one game speak's volume's about us seeing as how the celtics beat us even worse at their place.


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