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.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Game review: Magic (7-3) 88, Nets (0-9) 72

Injury-riddled New Jersey, led by former Magic PG Rafer Alston's triple-double, gave the Magic a pretty good game for a half, and trailed by just six points with under ten minutes remaining in the game before the Magic went on a 10-0 run to seal the victory. The Magic were missing Brandon Bass (flu), in addition to Rashard Lewis and Ryan Anderson. The Nets were missing six different players, including Devin Harris, Yi Jianlian, and former Magic players Courtney Lee, Tony Battie, and Keyon Dooling.

The Magic started slowly, as the Nets had the lead for virtually all of the first quarter and led after one 27-23. The Nets extended their lead to 36-26 in the second quarter before the Magic came back to take the lead before settling for a 42-42 halftime tie. The Nets never had the lead in the second half, as the Magic led 62-56 after three quarters and had their largest lead of the game at 88-70 before the final margin.

Magic leading scorers

Dwight Howard: 26 points (10 of 14 FGs), 12 rebounds, 5 blocks
Mickael Pietrus: 16 points (6 of 14 FGs),
Vince Carter: 14 points (5 of 12 FGs), 5 rebounds
Matt Barnes: 13 points (4 of 9 FGs), 13 rebounds, 5 assists
Jameer Nelson: 10 points (4 of 11 FGs), 5 rebounds

Overall Game Statistics:

FG%: ORL 44.6% (33 of 74) NJ 32.9% (28 of 85)
3 PT FG%: ORL 29.6% (8 of 27) NJ 29.4% (5 of 17)
FT%: NJ 84.6% (11 of 13) ORL 56% (14 of 25)
REB: ORL 48 (8 offensive) NJ 44 (7 offensive)
AST/TO: ORL 16/16 NJ 12/14

Other game notes and stats:

-Alston wound up with 17 points (7 of 20 FGs), 10 assists, and ten rebounds for his first career triple-double
-Three other Nets' players finished in double figures
-Jason Williams scored all 9 of the Magic's bench points
-J.J. Redick did not score in 33 minutes, but had 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal
-6 of 8 Magic players played at least 32 minutes
-The Magic held the Nets to 45 total points the final three quarters
-Brook Lopez and Terrence Williams of the Nets combined to shoot 4 of 29 from the field
-Magic were just 3 of 17 on threes in the first half, but improved to 5 of 10 in the second half
-The Magic are now tied for second place in the SE with Miami at 6-3, one game behind 7-2 Atlanta

Here is the complete box score and recap from nba.com


  • At 5:37 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    It wasn't easy for the Magic, especially in the first half, but the defense looked a lot better the final three quarters, even though it was against a team missing so many players. The Magic were missing players of their own, also.

    The Hawks look like they're really going to be tough this season, as they are at 7-2 with their impressive win over the Celtics in Boston. Jamal Crawford has really helped their bench, while their young bigs continue to impress.

    I'm not about to proclaim the Hawks favorites to win the SE though, like I did last season when they started 6-0 and the Magic 4-3; when this Magic team gets back to full strength soon, I still like the Magic to win the SE and challenge for the top spot in the East.

  • At 10:40 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    What's up Magic fans!?

    It's been a while for me I know. I haven't missed any games. I've just been laying low. I got my NBA LP again; watching tons of basketball. I guess I've just chosen to stay away from the blogs. Sometimes they get a little exhausting for me(not you guys). A perfect example was in the last post, where I noticed you guys had to remove some dumb comments. Nice work!

    Onto the Magic... We all should be thrilled with our 7-3 record. Although, due to my SVG never satisfied personality, I'm still not happy because I think we should be 10-0.

    But to be fair, we've had 6 different starting lineups in 10 games. We've been without VC, Pietrus, Anderson, Bass, and of course Lewis depending on the night. In addition, Nelson has only looked comfortable in spurts, and apparently the NBA has decided to change how they officiate Howard. I still haven't figured out that last one. Sometimes he's aloud to play, other times he's a marked man. It's been a problem in more than one game, but it all started against the Pistons. How Howard and Gortat both fouled out in 15 minutes is beyond me. But in contrast, Howard was aloud to play last night, and he looked like himself. The rest of the team struggled all the way until the 4th, but Howard carried us. The bottom line for the Magic is Howard. We need him on the floor. He's our MVP on both ends of the floor, and we're going to struggle if he can't stay out there on a regular basis. Hopefully the NBA figures out a way to officiate him with some kind of consistency, because it's been horribly up and down throughout the first 10 games.

    As for the future, I expect things to pick up a bit. VC, Nelson, and Pietrus haven't looked in "season form" yet. Lewis will probably be a few steps behind. But I expect our depth to step up while those guys catch up. WE ARE the deepest team in the NBA. I think all of this early adversity will make us even better. I expect us to win 60+ games and finish #1 in the NBA.

    You guys touched on an interesting debate. Who should be our 5th starter? It's a tough one, and I think it'll be experimented with. Anderson gives us a big lineup with unbelievable firepower. Bass would give us a traditional looking lineup. Pietrus is a guy we need to figure out once again. I personally think he's best off the bench, but that's only if he can do it. So far this season, he's looked pretty bad off the bench. The reason I'm not crazy about him starting, is that he's to trigger happy, and we don't need that from our 5th option on the floor. And last we have Barnes, who I think is the perfect complimentary piece for our starters. He's tough, he defends, he'll help Dwight on the boards, he keeps the ball moving on the offensive end, and he can still knockdown a basket if needed. It should be fun to see how it all plays out.

    And Mike, I just watched the C's lose to the Pacers. I'm glad you kept your "love" with the Hawks somewhat in check this time around. ;) They're a solid team, as they were last year. They might even be a little better. Unfortunately for them, the best they can hope for is another 2nd round exit. Maybe they won't be swept this time around? In other words, they're still not legit. I feel bad for them, they're close, but they're still missing something.

  • At 1:39 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    OVERWADED... welcome aboard for the season! Glad you got a chance to read the blog, even if you didn't comment.

    I was wondering when we were gonna hear from you and your thoughts about the Magic with all the various moves they made over the off-season; haven't heard from you since the Finals! You know your basketball (just like the other regulars on here), no question.

    Your reasoning for staying away is understandable. I had to delete about 10 comments this past week from my posts from Magic haters who had nothing intelligent to say and only wanted to be offensive. Hopefully, they'll stay away from here (at least until the next time the Magic play the Cavaliers or Lakers).

    Some thoughts on your comments...

    You hit on an excellent point when you said the officiating has got to become more consistent when it comes to calls on Dwight Howard. Some refs will call Howard for a foul even if there's just minor contact, while other refs will ignore it and let him play. No doubt it frustrates him, as he noted on his blog and got fined for it. He has got to stay focused and not get too frustrated, because it's so important that he remains on the floor, as you noted.

    I hope we see more of the Mickael Pietrus that we saw in the playoffs last season; for the most part, we haven't so far this season, but I'm confident that he will pick up his play once the Magic get into a regular rotation with everyone back. You're right, I think it would be best if he were to come off the bench.

    I can't wait to see what lineup Van Gundy uses when Lewis and Anderson return next week. There are so many various lineups he can use depending on the matchups he wants on the court.

    OVERWADED, sounds like to me you would prefer a starting lineup of Barnes at SF and Lewis at PF. Nothing wrong with that, and I think it would be effective, but there are a lot of intriguing options, especially if SVG decides to start Lewis at SF. I don't think he will though; I think he'll use Barnes starting at SF, like you said. Barnes really played well against NJ, doing so many things well, especially defensively.

    Lastly, I learned my lesson last season; I panicked way too early after the slow Magic start and the fast Hawks' start, and I mistakenly thought the Hawks would win the SE. The Magic really made me look like a fool, as it turned out.

    Like you said, the Hawks have a solid team, maybe even better than last year (though the Pacers' win over the Celtics Saturday night makes the Hawks' win in Boston Friday a little less impressive), but in no way does the Hawks' depth approach the Magic's depth and what they can put on the floor.

    Let's just hope the Magic can remain healthy now, and we don't see the rash of injuries and flu that we've seen the first 10 games.

    All in all, I'm satisfied with the 7-3 start, considering how many players the Magic were missing and the lack of practice time the Magic have had with playing so many games with no more than a day off between games.

  • At 3:18 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    It's refreshing to be involved with some "basketball talk" that actually makes sense to me. I need to start avoiding ATH, PTI, and ESPN in general and just come on here.

  • At 3:08 PM, Blogger Andrew said…

    I'll tell you who has surprised me so far this season on the Magic - Reddick. He has definitely improved quite a bit IMO since last season. Once this team is 100% healthy they can make some noise again.

    OVERWADED - You enjoying that NBA League Pass? It's definitely the way to go if you're a hoops junkie. I love how NBA League Pass Broadband lets you follow up to 7 teams - perfect for staying on top of all the divisional competition.

  • At 4:40 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At 4:43 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Good stuffs guys! And OW/intro glad to see you back man. Like mike,i was waiting to see what you had to say about this years squad after a few games too. I wouldnt have a problem with barnes starting for all the reason's you and mike mentioned,outside of dwight he'd be the best defender on the floor and probably wind up guarding the stars(LJ,PP,JJ,etc). It will be very interesting to see how SVG divides the minutes with anderson and bass on the bench. When it comes to the hawks,bibby isnt getting any younger so they wound up playing crawford at his spot and they seemed at their best when he was on the floor. Horford is a very good undersized big,JJ seems like he plays the game in slow motion even as good as he is and nobody off the bench actually scares anybody. I love josh smith,but thats all the hawks truely have. The celtic's,they dont have any players that will draw a double team. Shocked me to see the hawks handle them like that but the reality is if teams are making shots the celtics are in trouble. They get most of their points off of their defense with rondo running & gunning and getting people involved. The hawks played everybody straight up and forced them to make shots over their defense,the plan worked and the pacers just followed that same plan to get their win over the celts.

  • At 5:41 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Andrew, I agree with you about Redick. He has really made big strides with the other facets of his game, other than his shooting, which has been inconsistent. He has turned into an underrated passer, he can get a rebound or two, and play decent defense.

    When all is said and done, he will make around 40% on his threes; which makes him valuable to have around with all the improvements he has made in his all-around game.


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