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 02, 2009

A look ahead to the month of January for the Magic

The Magic start the New Year with a 25-7 record, which is the third best record in the East and the fourth best in the NBA. The Magic's road record of 12-4 is the best in the NBA, just ahead of Boston's 11-4 road mark. The Magic finished the month of December exceeding all expectations, with a 12-3 record. Against teams that are over .500, the Magic were 5-3, while the Magic were 7-0 against teams under .500.

The month of January promises to be the Magic's toughest month yet, as they play 13 games, 9 of which will come against teams with winning records, with only 4 games against losing teams. The Magic play 7 away games, 5 of which will be against winning teams: Atlanta, San Antonio, Los Angeles Lakers, Denver, and Miami. Two away games will be against losing teams: Toronto and Sacramento. The Magic play 6 home games, 4 of which will be against winning teams: Miami, Atlanta, Boston, and Cleveland. Two home games will be against losing teams: Washington and Indiana.

From January 6th-17th, the Magic play 7 games in a 12 day stretch, including a four game trip out West. The Magic play only one back-to-back this month, but is a brutal one during their road trip as they take on the Lakers and Nuggets on successive nights. The Magic get a much-needed 4 day break from the 18th-21st after their Western swing.

Key games for the Magic include a home-and-home set against the Hawks on the 7th and 9th. The Hawks continue to play very well and are just 3 1/2 games behind the Magic with the 5th-best record in the NBA. The Hawks made the Magic look bad on opening night and traditionally give the Magic a very rough time, so we'll see how the Magic handle them now. Of course, there's the three games against the teams that have better records than the Magic... the Celtics, Cavaliers, and Lakers.

Optimistic outlook of how the Magic fare this month: 9-4
Pessimistic outlook of how the Magic might fare: 6-7

The Magic begin the month Friday night as they host the much-improved Miami Heat and superstar Dwyane Wade, who leads the league in scoring. Rookie G Mario Chalmers has been a pleasant surprise to go along with number two pick Michael Beasley.

For a complete game preview from Yahoo! Sports, click here

4 Comments:

  • At 7:18 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    The month of January will show the true color of Magic. So far they have been on a good pace due to excellent coaching. As I don't get to see the games, I could not be a judge of coaching in actual moments in the games, but the preparation has proven to be excellent since the Magic rarely comes to games unprepared, and they don't lose to the teams that they shouldn't.

    My worries for the play-offs are still the same as I have repeatedly stated, and not much have changed ever since. These shortfalls show when we play teams of equal caliber (the example of recent game with DET comes to mind). Based on record, as well as talents, Magic are still the third team in the east, and yet we cannot say with any degree of certainty that they could beat DET in a best of seven series. The future match-ups with CLE and BOS (which beat us soundly in the last match-up) could paint a clearer picture of where the Magic stands.

    GO MAGIC!!!!!!!!!!

     
  • At 11:23 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I agree matt,and it's rare when we totally agree on something. I've been thinking about something for a while now very seriously about our team. Here's the question,do you change something to get your team over the hump against one team(DET)? Or do you ride it out and hope to miss the pistons in the play-offs? To me Bos and Cleveland dont have that same type of edge against the magic. Rasheed intimidates dwight to a certain extent(whether he'll admit it or not) and neither bos or cleveland have that type of player. Bos has garnett,but garnett doesnt shoot three's which make him easier for us to defend and dwight always plays well against him. Cleveland has nobody. I came up with answer's for both sides of the equation for myself. If you choose to change up the team to get past the pistons then hedo has to go. The Effect:He's been great,but without hedo jameer would probably get closer to double figure assists every night. With hedo handling the ball so much it actually makes it look as if jameer isnt doing his job to a high level,if you factor in hedo handles the ball half the time then you see jameer getting 7 assists(seems like he always finishes with 7)is actually REALLY good. The replacement: Has to be a defender that plays the small forward position and shoots the three pointer well with good size. Rashard has been fine at PF so to me he needs to stay right there,getting tougher at small forward will give us another presence on the floor to go with jameer,MP,rashard and dwight. If you chose to hope you miss the pistons,then you might as well just ride it out.

     
  • At 4:49 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I can't disagree with anything Matt wrote either. Until the Magic can actually beat a team like Boston, Cleveland, or their nemesis Detroit come playoff time, they will never be considered an elite team. It's only logical the Magic have to prove themselves in the playoffs against the teams who have better records.

    The matchups this month against the Cavs and Celtics could indeed paint a clearer picture of where the Magic stand, like Matt said.

    I hope the Magic don't trade Turk, because the chemistry on the team is just so good now.

    The next time the Magic play the Pistons, I would hope that Coach Van Gundy has a completely different game plan than the one he had on Monday; the Pistons made the Magic play at their pace, and as a result, came up with the convincing win. That was one of the rare games SVG was outcoached.

    We'll have to wait until February 27th for the next Magic/Pistons matchup.

    On a different note, I bet all you guys in the Orlando area who have cable instead of satellite TV are happy that the ridiculous (over a year) dispute between BrightHouse and Fox Sports is finally resolved, and Fox Sports will now appear as a basic cable channel in BrightHouse's channel lineup.

    Since most of the Magic's games in the second half of the season are on Fox Sports, at least everyone who has cable in the Orlando area will be able to see the games.

     
  • At 5:20 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Yea mike what a relief! I have brighthose and i was beginning to think they'd never reach a deal. I have to say that i agree with you in the fact that i dont want to trade hedo either,but if making a change is the answer what other move can you make? And i'm just asking to see what some other opinions are. I think what you said about playing at their pace is very correct also,but when you think about it if the magic have home court advantage maybe that would be enough to get them over the hump if they were to meet the pistons. They shot the ball extremely well in their building and we still only lost by 6 points or so,that tells me that the gap is at least closing.

     

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