Archive for the ‘Orlando Magic’ Category

Right emphasis in the Magic Kingdom

October 27, 2008

Stan Van Gundy is a coach’s son, and a coach’s brother … who’s worked with and for Pat Riley [i.e. “No Rebounds; No Rings.“], in the NBA, for a number of years.

In this League, SVG is a solid head coach, who understands the contribution of Rebounding & Defense to a top notch team.

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Hudson a possible replacement for Mike Wilks at PG
Boston model for defense

There have been improvements this preseason, but the Magic’s defense is a work in progress now, according to Van Gundy.

And the reigning NBA champion Boston Celtics are to be his team’s model as it moves forward. The Celtics’ three chief offensive weapons might have gotten the headlines, but he wants his guys to emulate the mean green’s defensive attitude.

“That’s a great model for the rest of the players and teams in the league,” he said. “That’s eventually what’s going to get you over the top and get you through the tough moments.

“I don’t care how good you are offensively; you’re going to have nights when the ball won’t go in. Our guys have worked like they want to make a commitment to that; it’s just a matter of getting the job done.”

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While certain outfits over the years have found success in the regular season, by focusing their efforts at the Offensive end of the floor, exclusively, the eventual NBA Titleist is not a team which fits readily into this mold, on an annual basis.

It says here that … those expecting the Magic to slide back to the rest of the pack in the Eastern Conference this season, after the jump forward they took last season, will end up being sorely disappointed.

LOST – Maurice Evans, Keyon Dooling, Carlos Arroyo, Pat Garrity

ADDED – Mickael Pietrus, Anthony Johnson, Troy Hudson-?, Courtney Lee, Tony Battie

This team, as is, is gearing up for an extended run in the upper echelon of the East.

If the Magic sign a solid, veteran PG, like Troy Hudson, they will have a roster with both good High End Talent and QUALITY DEPTH … well-balanced between Rebounding, Defense & Offense … which is what’s needed in order to advance in the NBA Playoffs.

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Step-up time in the Magic Kingdom

October 9, 2008

Easily the most impressive performance last night on the docket in the NBA was put forth by the Magic:

Magic 118, Bobcats 80
Full Play-By-Play
Box Score
Recap

If you look at that 1st Quarter demolition Orlando laid on Charlotte [an improved squad, in their own right], it’s apparent that the Magic mean business this year.

The most impressive individual lines from the perspective of this corner?

The three highlighted in bold and italicized below.

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Field Goals Rebounds  
  pos min fgm-a 3pm-a ftm-a off def tot ast pf st to bs pts
M.Pietrus G 24:50 5-8 1-3 2-2 0 4 4 2 4 1 4 2 13
J.Nelson G 20:38 2-5 0-1 6-6 0 5 5 1 4 0 1 0 10
H.Turkoglu F 24:10 2-5 1-3 4-4 1 1 2 1 6 0 1 0 9
R.Lewis F 22:05 5-8 0-2 7-8 2 1 3 4 4 1 2 1 17
D.Howard C 25:05 6-9 0-0 8-10 3 5 8 1 2 0 5 5 20
B.Cook   18:20 1-10 1-3 6-6 1 3 4 0 2 1 1 0 9
T.Battie 18:18 3-3 0-0 2-2 1 6 7 0 0 1 0 0 8
C.Lee   17:54 4-8 0-1 1-2 0 4 4 1 2 1 1 0 9
A.Johnson 17:14 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 7 4 0 2 0 0
A.Foyle   15:20 2-4 0-0 3-4 3 3 6 1 3 1 1 2 7
J.Redick   13:58 3-4 1-2 5-5 0 2 2 0 1 0 1 0 12
J.Richardson   12:00 0-4 0-0 2-2 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 2
M.Wilks   10:08 0-2 0-0 2-2 0 2 2 0 1 1 0 0 2
K.Bogans                      
M.Gortat                      
D.Jones                      
 
Total   240 33-70 4-15 48-53 12 37 49 18 33 7 19 10 118
  47.1% 26.7% 90.6% Team Rebs: 5 Total TO: 19

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If Orlando can get consistent production from their three main new additions to the line-up, like this …

* Pietrus, with a solid all-around game;
* Johnson-A, with 0 shot attempts, 7 assists and 2 turnovers; and,
* Battie, with a solid all-around game;

they are going to join the Celtics and the Pistons, as a legitimate 3rd team, in the fight for the No. 1 Seed (overall) in the Eastern Conference Playoffs this season.

[Note 1: With Keith Bogans and a healthy JJ Redick … i.e. two improving 3PT-shooters … coming off the bench for the Magic, there will be few, if any, gaping holes remaining in Orlando’s line-up.]

Live Blogging and Game Analysis: Detroit @ Orlando (Game 3)

May 7, 2008

Will be Live Blogging for tonight’s crucial Game 3 … to see if the Pistons are going to sweep the Magic away (my pick for this series) or resuscitate Orlando with one of Detroit’s periodic stinkeroos.

Seems to work best on wordpress.com when using the ‘Comments’ section.

Please feel free to drop by – beginning at approximately 7:45 PM Eastern Time – and expound to your heart’s content.

Enjoy!

Raptors @ Magic … post mortem

April 23, 2008

Orlando vs Toronto (Tue Apr 22) – Game Summary

When the Raptors play this well, on the road, in the playoffs …

* Shooting a higher Field Goal % than their Opponent (45.7 to 42.7)
* With a higher 3pt Field Goal % than their Opponent (37.9 to 29.0)
* With more Made 3pt Shots than their Opponent (11 to 9) 
* With a higher Free Throw % than their Opponent (90.0 to 82.6)
* With more Assists than their Opponent (21 to 19)

and finish only 1 point shy on the Scoreboard …

Tor 103, ORL 104

after being down by as many as 18 pts, at one stage, and with a clean look on their final possession to win the game outright …

it can seem as though Toronto put forth a tremedous effort, battled hard and was just unfortunate to lose a game that could have very easily gone either way.

Yes, indeed, that can sometimes be exactly how it seems.

But … seeming isn’t the same thing as BEING the case when trying to understand the reason(s) one team lost and one team won a specific game in the NBA playoffs.

With 3:00 remaining in the 4th Quarter of yesterday’s Game 2, with these line-ups for each team:

PG – Jose Calderon v Jameer Nelson
OG – Anthony Parker v Keith Bogans
SF – Jason Kapono v Rashard Lewis
PF – Carlos Delfino v Hedo Turkoglu
C – Chris Bosh v Dwight Howard

the following sequence of possessions occurred:

3:00 … Tor/Calderon Made 3Pt Shot (over Bogans) … ORL 98, Tor 97
2:41 … ORL/Nelson Driving Layup Attempt Blocked by Bosh
2:30 … Tor/Kapono Missed Leaning Jump Shot; Kapono Turnover (stepped out-of-bounds)
FULL TIME-OUT
2:13 … ORL/Howard Fouled by Delfino
2:03 … ORL/Turkoglu Missed Jump Shot; Offensive Rebound by Lewis (vs Delfino)
2:01 … ORL/Lewis Made Layup (vs Delfino) … ORL 100, Tor 97
1:47 … Tor/Calderon Made 3Pt Shot … ORL 100, Tor 100
1:26 … ORL/Lewis Missed 3Pt Shot; Defensive Reound by Parker
1:04 … Tor/Delfino Driving Layup Attempt, Fouled by Turkoglu; Delfino Missed 1st Free Throw Attempt, Made 2nd FT … Tor 101, ORL 100
20 SECOND TIME-OUT (ORL)
1:02 … ORL/Turkoglu Missed 3Pt Shot, Tap-out by Lewis/Delfino; Offensive Rebound by Nelson (vs Calderon)
0:51.6 … ORL/Lewis Missed 3Pt Shot; Defensive Rebound by Bosh
0:47.0 … Tor/Turnover by Bosh (bad pass); Steal by Bogans
0:35.1 … ORL/Howard Fouled by Bosh
0:30.3 … ORL/Turkoglu Made tough Driving Layup … ORL 102, Tor 101
20 SECOND TIME-OUT (Tor)
0:26.5 … Tor/Bosh Missed Driving Layup Attempt (Blocked Shot by Howard, no foul called)
0:18.7 … ORL/Turkoglu Fouled by Kapono; Turkoglu Made 2 Free Throws … ORL 104, Tor 101
0:09.6 … Tor/Delfino Made Driving Layup … ORL 104, Tor 103
20 Second Time-out (Orlando), Dooling replaced Bogans
0:09.3 … ORL/Offensive Foul by Dooling
FULL TIME-OUT (Tor)
0:03.0 … Tor/Bosh Missed 18′ Jump Shot
GAME OVER

meaning that Chris Bosh, Carlos Delfino, Jason Kapono and Jose Calderon each committed the types of serious miscues which can derail an inexperienced team playing on the road in the post-season … e.g. Giving up an Important Offensive Rebound, Missing a Critical Free Throw, Committing a Turnover & Missing a Crucial Jump Shot. 

Until Toronto’s best players are put into these specific types of End-of-Game situations more times during their NBA careers, it is likely that they will continue to come up on the short end of intensely played playoff games that are usually decided by individual player execution during the final three minutes of the game.

Looking ahead to Games 3 & 4, in Toronto, it will be interesting to see:

(A) How Orlando’s best players … in most cases, equally inexperienced as Toronto’s … are able to handle the intensity of playoff competition during this specific phase of the game, where Winners & Losers are frequently determined in the NBA’s post-season; and,

(B) If Toronto decides to give increased playing time to the specific Small-Ball Unit (i.e. Calderon, Parker, Kapono, Delfino & Bosh) that finished Game 2 … with its strength (3Pt Shooting) and weakness (Offensive Rebounds Allowed).

A winning line-up for the Raptors vs the Magic

April 22, 2008

During Sunday’s Lakers v Nuggets Game 1, Jeff Van Gundy (NBA Analyst) made an insightful comment – one of many he makes, per game – about the value of a coach’s ‘words’ alone toward the performance of his team, vs what their habits are, on a daily basis …

“(as a coach) You cannot influence a team with your words, at halftime or in the pre-game talk … they are going to do what they do.” – JVG

… which is exactly what I thought of while evaluating the Boxscore from Toronto/Orlando Game 1 … where the the Rebounding numbers were, as follows:

Toronto 35 (Individual) + 11 (Team) = 46
Orlando 42 (Individual) + 6 (Team) = 48

meaning that the Raptors and the Magic both performed pretty much as expected when these two teams are matched-up against one another, since during the Regular Season …

Orlando (+0.31) finished 16th in ‘Rebounding Differential’; while,
Toronto (-1.54) finished 22nd.

For Toronto to effect some type of fundamental change to the ‘Rebounding Differential’ numbers in Game 2 … they will need to address their Individual Player match-ups vs the key ‘board men’ for Orlando, who are D12 (22), Turkoglu (6), Bogans (5), Lewis (4), Evans (2) & Nelson (2) … for example, by going to a player rotation that I suggested on different web sites several weeks ago …

STARTERS
1/Calderon v Nelson
2/Moon v Bogans
3/Graham v Lewis
4/Humphries v Howard/Turk
5/Bosh v Turkoglu/D12

KEY SUBS
G/Parker v Dooling/Evans
F/Kapono/Delfino v Evans/Dooling
C/Nesterovic v Foyle

which is what a ‘Top Notch’ GM & Head Coach combination, like RC Buford & Gregg Popovich, would have done with the Raptors’ player personnel … several months ago … e.g. when TJ Ford was pulling his ’sulking’ I’ll-only-play-as-a-Starter-for-this-team B.S.

Unless you can ‘think the Individual Player match-up game’ like a ‘Top Notch’ NBA head coach, it’s very difficult to truly understand what THE DIFFERENCE is between ‘the Winners’ & ‘the Losers’ in this League, in the games that have a lot of meaning … i.e. versus Plus .500 Teams.

Enjoy Game 2 this evening! … which Orlando will probably win to go up 2-0 in this 1st Round series.