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.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

How Bad is that Cleveland Bench

I've never visited popcornmachine.net before, but it shows the whole flow of the game with who was on the floor. what I take from the charts and graphs is how well all 9 Magic who played contributed. Even Tony Battie who has been a season long drag on the team when on the floor had an even +/-. The only question this data brings up is how much to play Pietrus who was in the final 19 minutes of the game while the Magic were outperforming the Cav's.

Magic fans should cheer wildly when Cleveland goes to its bench.
Szczerbiak -7 +/- in 13.3 minutes
Joe Smith -8 +/- in 15.1 minutes
Ben Wallace -14 +/- in 9.8 minutes
D Gibson -3 +/- in 3.2 minutes.
Please "Coach of the Year" Brown -- Play Ben Wallace more minutes against Dwight! It's like playing 6 on 4. By the end of the 1st quarter Cleveland was grinding the Magic into dust with a 16 point lead when Wallace entered the game. Over the next 7 minutes Wallace was on the floor the Magic outscored Cleveland by 6. At the end of the 3rd, beginning of the 4th he played another 3 minutes with the Magic gaining 5 points and coming all the way back to within 2 points.

Joe Smith contributed to the comeback as well. He played 8 minutes bridging the end of the 3rd and beginning of the 4th while Ilguaskas sat. During that time the Magic outscored Cleveland by 9.

For acquiring these guys Danny Ferry was named Exec of the Year. Yes, he picked up Mo Williams, but has he done a better job than Otis Smith other than Williams and LeBron entering his prime? All Otis did was sign Pietrus and Johnson, trade for Liu and Alston to replace Jameer, take a big chance on Redick finally contributing and drafting Lee with the 22nd pick. So far, despite some growing pains, that is working out.

If Cleveland intends to single cover Dwight Howard with Ilgauskas and play tight D on the 3 point line in Game 2 Dwight needs to get Ilgauskas in foul trouble and force Wallace and Joe Smith into the game.

Can't wait for Game 2.

PopcornMachine's GameFlow - ORL @ CLE

6 Comments:

  • At 4:09 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Since Cleveland finished with the best record in the NBA, I guess you could expect that they would get awards like Coach of the Year and Exec of the Year, but you bring up some really good points about the ineffectiveness of the Cavs' bench.

    I was a little worried about Szczerbiak possibly hurting the Magic off the bench. I think it was the first game against the Magic in January that Wally scored like 14 first-half points off the bench and made all his outside shots.

    He was practically invisible last night, though.

    I'm surprised that Daniel "Booby" Gibson played such few minutes; he is a streak shooter who, when he's on, can score a bunch of points in a hurry.

    I thought Joe Smith was a nice pickup for them, but he's not going to be much of a help if he continues to play like he did last night, though he was their only reserve to score.

    As for Ben Wallace, he should think about retiring after this season.

    Like you said, Otis Smith has done a very solid job in building this Magic club, and has made draft picks and trades that have really paid off for the Magic in helping bring them this far.

    I think that even Matt, who is a frequent critic of Smith, would concede that Otis has made some smart moves and deserves credit.

     
  • At 6:52 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    It has been hilarious to watch the national media nimrods today. Half of them are still wondering how the hell the little ole Magic could beat such a media darling in the Cav's. The other half can't jump on the bandwagon fast enough, and are praising the Magic and SVG like they have always loved them. It really is rather sickening.

    This is the team they ignored all season long. The team they gave absolutely no credit to for anything. Even with having top ranking in almost every catagory and the 4th best record, they were constantly written off as a fluke. The Magic are making these clowns look like fools and they know it.

     
  • At 8:52 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    So this is news to???? Cleveland has the same bench they've always had,the magic just play good defense against average players! The media didnt take into account that the magic is a pretty good defensive ball-club themselves,guys like zerbiack and gibson cant create their own shots so its not that hard to stop those guys. Stay at home and let lebron take a million shots. Joe Smith actually played well in the first half but like everybody else on the cavs,struggled in the second half. Wallace wasnt physical enough and that was surprising,dwight did what ever he wanted against all their bigs.

     
  • At 8:56 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    The cavs dont seem to have a back-up point guard either,looks like delonte was taking over PG duties when williams came off the floor. That has to be taxing delonte a bit and also keeping him from being aggressive at some points of the game.

     
  • At 11:22 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Nice try, Mike on Otis Smith. I give enormous credit to Coach Van Gundy for pulling this team together in a way that the use of every body's talent is maximized. The team was initially built on offense but quietly evolved on defense, as well... Magic is one of the most underrated defensive teams today. I give Smith credit for picking up MP who, as Big Figure indicated, was brilliant in his defense of LeBron despite his indefensible 49 points since he had to earn each single one of those points. I, however, cannot give Smith credit for picking CL at 22 ... as you all know picking at that number is a crap-shoot. The credit on his development goes to SVG who inserted him in the starting line-up, thus raising his confidence level, while risking the alienation of MP.

    As for CAV's bench I cannot fault Danny Ferry for picking Ben Wallace since he was then considered a top-notch defender, and I don't pretend to know what happened to him, afterwards. Mo Williams and Delonte West have been great picks, and their lack of efficiency in this last game is only a testimony on how tough Magic guards are playing defensively; MP, CL and even JJ., included. I have no idea on why Daniel Gibson was not given more minutes.

    I predicted that Magic will win this series in 6. That was, and still is, my prediction and I am sticking to it.

     
  • At 3:56 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Well, Matt, I'm glad you gave Otis Smith credit for something (signing Mickael Pietrus). I don't think you've ever done that before!

    You're right about Delonte West, that was a good pickup by Danny Ferry last off-season. He and Mo Williams have been a good complement to LeBron James.

    It is a good testament to the Magic defense that both West and Williams shot so poorly last night.

    Cleveland traded for Ben Wallace in February of 2008, in a multi-player trade with the Bulls. The two main principles in that trade, Wallace for the Bulls and Larry Hughes for the Cavs (who went to the Bulls), had been huge disappointments before the trade was made.

    Wallace played better with the Cavs just after they got him last season, but has had injury problems this season; that, along with getting older and being well past his prime, has really limited Wallace's effectiveness this post-season.

     

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