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.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The week ahead for the Magic

The Orlando Magic begin the week at 22-8 (12-3 home, 10-5 road), in first place in the SE 1/2 game ahead of Atlanta. The Magic hold the overall third spot in the East behind Boston (23-6) and Cleveland (24-8). The Magic are averaging 101.2 ppg, which is 10th in the league. They are allowing 95.9 ppg, which ranks 7th in the league. Here is their schedule for the upcoming week:

Dec. 30th: Milwaukee (12-16, 3-9 road) Former Magic PG Scott Skiles coaches a talented bunch of players, including rookie guard Brandon Jennings, center Andrew Bogut, and guard Michael Redd.

January 1st: at Minnesota (7-24, 4-12 home) The Magic play on their third major holiday of the season. Al Jefferson and Kevin Love lead the T-Wolves, who have won 2 in a row.

January 2nd: at Chicago (11-17, 9-6 home) The Bulls have Tyrus Thomas back, which really helps their depth. Bulls had a solid win over New Orleans Saturday night in Thomas' first game back.

It would be great to see the Magic go 3-0 this week after the loss to the Celtics on Christmas. How will Dwight Howard respond offensively after being stifled so much by the Celtics.

Last season after 30 games, the Magic had won 7 games in a row to advance to 24-6 before losing to -who else- the Pistons.


  • At 9:09 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    With BOS's two losses to LAC and GS, if they lose again to PHO, and CLE loses one of its home-and-home games against ATL while Magic winning on Wednesday, Magic will claim the top spot in the East. The recent two losses show BOS's lack of depth especially on offensive production when Pierce is out. They were lucky that they caught Magic on an off night.

  • At 12:25 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    The Cavaliers are really playing well as of late, thanks to the strong play of Mo Williams, which helps LBJ so he doesn't have to do it all himself. With their win in Atlanta Tuesday night, their 25 wins is leading the East. They are 22-5 since starting 3-3.

    I still don't think they are nearly as strong as the Celtics or the Magic, but if they can trade for another scorer (like Antawn Jamison, as has been rumored), then they can be potentially be right up there with the Celtics and Magic.

    In addition to missing Paul Pierce, the Celtics are also missing one of their top reserves in Marquis Daniels, so they are really hurting offensively now.

  • At 9:32 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    I think that despite bringing in Anthony Parker, CLE's guards are not consistently good. Mo Williams did not perform well at the East final against an average Magic back-court, last year. Antawn Jamison is not going to help them with that deficiency. Additionally, the question is who are they going to part ways with?

  • At 12:21 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    First thing first. Im surprised to see you guys not just go easy on SVG but not even mention him at all really in the loss to boston. Boston and cleveland both seem to struggle with the rest of the league but against the magic they've done pretty well holding our stars in check. Lets be honest,that was probably the worst the magic have ever played in that first half against boston. SVG should take most if not all the blame for that for these reasons (1)arent you the coach? (2)Isnt it your job to draw up something offensively that will work? (3)How can you sit there and watch your team shoot jumpers and miss for a whole half? And what was most disapointing was the fact that there didnt seem to be any rhyme or reason to what we were doing offensively. We didnt play through dwight,we didnt run any offensive sets,we basically just tried to move the ball which lead to jumpers. Thats not good enough SVG!!!!I was telling a friend that SVG just sat there and watched us be horrible with the thought that he will probably chew them out during his halftime speech and tell them to abandon the jumpers and get to the basket. Funny,thats exactly what happened in the second half and we almost came close enough to win. But why waste a half,basically thinking "i'll let them play". Well to me you only "let them play" when they are showing that they are making good basketball plays and decision's and against the celts that wasnt the case. SVG should have taken over the team right as the second quarter began and lead with his guidance/coaching and take the keys away from the team (so-to-speak). I never got a chance to voice my opinions about that game so i apologize if this comes across as being late.

  • At 12:54 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    On to this week. Boston is without pierce but is still playing at a high level,rondo missed freethrows that would have won them the game against LAC so they probably feel ok thinking that they let games get away. I dont think their christmas day performance was luck at all,it was a combination of rondo dominating jameer and garnett/wallace/perkins doing a wonderful job of pushing dwight around and making him uncomfortable/mad without getting fouls called on themselves. Perkins and rondo specifically were REALLY good and i love the way doc coaches them to play. Rondo pushes the ball at all times and looks to distribute the ball to keep everyone involved. They play team basketball. Cleveland and the magic are more similar,neither team has a high assist PG so the players seem to go one-on-one alot more and offensive field goal percentage can be great some nights and horrible others. The only way for the magic to take advantage of having very good wing players is to have a PG that will get them the ball in good scoring positions. I dont care how good your perimeter is,if they have to go against a defense as good as boston's and go one-on-one at it to boot,that makes boston almost impossible to score on because its basically one-on-five. We have great wing players in VC,MP and rashard and if jameer or dwight isnt making the game easier for them what the hell are they trying to get done out there on the floor. Were gonna struggle on those nights with shooting because were a jumpshooting team that happens to have a dominant big. SVG has the ability to coach us to play through jameer or dwight but doesnt and i wonder why he doesnt take advantage of them being that they are our leaders. Im tired of watching VC shoot three's from the parking lot because jameer doesnt get him good shots. Im tired of watching dwight be a black hole,he needs to pass to get guys shots not pass to re-post for better position. We need guidance more than anything because jameer and dwight are match-up problems,but they can get outplayed something horrible on some nights when its clear that they arent being guided.

  • At 1:14 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Games against teams like this teach you nothing about yourself,the magic should go 3-0 with no problem. That doesnt mean the games will be blowouts,but at the end of the day the magic should have 3 w's. And let me say this also SVG needs to re-think his rotation's,BB could have been used against the celtics to help dwight out under the boards. If he doesnt like to play dwight and BB together,he's foolish because its no different than playing dwight and battie together! BB shoots 16 footers which stretch the floor enough. I actually like RA and MG playing together better than i like,BB could be used as the first back-up at PF and slide rashard over to the three only during games against teams like the celts which would give us size at more position's. I like the skill set of all the players on this team but to me they are slightly mis-managed rotation wise,and not guided enough offensively. The defense always seem to be great when we can score,i've never questioned SVG's defensive tactics (unless you look at defensive rebounds as defense)so im not so worried about that.

  • At 1:44 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    The Orlando Magic just completed their shootaround for tonight’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks, and Stan Van Gundy was clear when he talked about one of his team’s top priorities tonight.

    Van Gundy wants to get Dwight Howard the ball deeper in the paint so Howard can take the ball more quickly to the hoop, before the defense can collapse on the all-star center.

    “One of our priorities in the last couple of days has been for Dwight to get the ball deeper, for us to do a better job of getting him the ball down there and to play out of that,” Van Gundy said. “We’ll see how that goes.

    “I think that we’ve all got a responsibility in trying to establish him a little bit better in more optimum spots down low. Dwight’s got a responsibility of working hard to get the ball deeper. Our players have a responsibility of being able to deliver the ball down there when he’s open and on screening for him to get in there. And then I’ve got a responsibility in terms of play-calling to find us things that will get him the ball — not just get him the ball, but getting him the ball in deep spots.”

    The added emphasis comes after arguably Howard’s least effective offensive game of the season. He attempted just seven shots and scored five points against the Boston Celtics in the Magic’s Christmas Day loss. Howard also turned the ball over seven times against the Celtics’ suffocating defense.

    Howard explained what the Magic have tried to do in practice in recent days.

    “We’ve been running a lot of plays where I can just catch it and take one, two dribbles and get to the basket. I think the thing Coach mainly sees is when he calls regular post-up plays for me, everybody’s looking at me. And when I have the ball, as soon as I put the ball down, everybody’s coming to take the ball out of my hands. He wants me to be able to catch it and go right up with it instead of having to play out of double-teams and play out of positions where I have to pass it out and re-post.”

    In other Magic news:

    – Van Gundy said all 13 players participated in the shootaround.

    – He praised the Bucks’ energy level and said the Magic will have to be ready to match that energy.

  • At 1:45 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Just found this in the sentinel. Pretty much what i said! Why is it that coaches cant figure these things out IN-GAME!!!!!!!!

  • At 6:25 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Big Figure, thanks for your input. I've always respected your basketball knowledge, even if we didn't always agree (like last season our differing opinions of Hedo Turkoglu).

    I did mention about Coach Van Gundy though, in one of my comments after the Boston loss, where SVG admitted he needs to do a better job of figuring ways to get the ball down low into D12.

    After reading Brian Schmitz's latest post on his basketblog, I think that's great that SVG wants Dwight to get the ball down low where he doesn't have to put the ball down and possibly get stripped, like what happens so often, but instead he can go right up to the hoop with it.


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