Recap: Orlando Magic 92, Charlotte Bobcats 77 | Magic Basketball

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Apr 21

Recap: Orlando Magic 92, Charlotte Bobcats 77

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Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

BOX SCORE

In a game where things shifted back and forth between a defensive struggle and a shootout, the Orlando Magic were able to defeat the Charlotte Bobcats by the score of 92-77 to take a 2-0 series lead in the first round of the 2010 NBA Playoffs. The Magic were led by a balanced attack, as all five starters scored in double-figures. Vince Carter had 19 points, five rebounds, and two steals and was, without a doubt, the player of the game for Orlando. And despite being plagued by foul trouble for a second consecutive game, Dwight Howard had 15 points, nine rebounds, two steals, and two blocks in roughly 28 minutes of action. For the Bobcats, Stephen Jackson led the way with 27 points on 10-of-20 shooting.

In the first quarter, the Magic and the Bobcats displayed to a nationally televised audience why they are two of the best defensive teams in the NBA. Neither team had much luck scoring on the other, which made for some boring or entertaining basketball depending on how you look at it. In any case, amidst all the missed shots and turnovers from both sides, head coach Stan Van Gundy stayed true to his word and made a concerted effort to call plays for Howard and get him involved on offense. On nearly every possession in the period, Orlando ran 4-out/1-in offensive sets for Howard. The thing is, the results were a mixed bag since Charlotte elected to double-team Howard on the low block almost every time. Sometimes Howard would make a good decision, like passing the ball out of the post to a cutting Matt Barnes for an easy layup. Sometimes Howard would make a bad decision. The important thing was that Howard was getting his touches and given chances to make plays offensively.

However, as was expected, Howard got into foul trouble early in the second quarter and was forced to sit on the bench the remainder of the period. Considering Marcin Gortat didn’t play very well in Game 1, it seemed like the door opened for the Bobcats to close the gap or take the lead but that was not the case. Gortat played with much better effort and energy this time around, plus various players for the Magic were able to chip in on offense while maintaining a high intensity level on defense that usually dips when Howard is off the floor. That’s why Orlando was able to increase the lead from six to 11 in Howard’s absence, because several players were able to pick up the slack on both ends of the court.

In the second half, though, Carter and Howard did the heavy lifting.

For the first time in the series, Howard was able to make an impact on offense by scoring nine consecutive points to start the third quarter. Howard scored in a variety of ways, either in 4-out/1-in offensive sets or 1/5 pick and rolls with Jameer Nelson, and punctuated his scoring flurry with back-to-back dunks that sent the crowd at Amway Arena into a frenzy. Unfortunately for Howard, he picked up his fourth foul shortly thereafter and couldn’t ride the momentum he created by seemingly scoring at will against Theo Ratliff. Logically, with Howard out, the Magic needed Carter to deliver and he did.

From the 5:35 mark until the end of the period, the Bobcats could do nothing to stop Carter from creating, passing, and scoring with the basketball in a half-court setting. Van Gundy stated beforehand that he wanted to see Carter attack the basket more, particularly in the pick and roll, and guess what? That’s what happened. Carter was involved in the 2/5 pick and roll with Gortat or the 1/2 pick and roll with Nelson on almost every possession and the results speak for themselves.

It’s important to note that, at this point, Orlando’s lead was 10.

THIRD QUARTER
[5:35] Carter makes free throw 1 of 2
[5:35] Carter makes free throw 2 of 2
[5:01] Carter makes layup (Nelson assist)
[3:40] Carter makes layup
[2:19] Carter makes driving layup
[1:40] Lewis, 23-foot three-point jump shot (Carter assist)

By the time the damage was done, the Magic led by 20 heading into the fourth quarter and that was all she wrote.

6 comments
Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@KSB

Thanks. What's funny is that I didn't realize my tweets were being posted on the Daily Dime Live chat until afterwards. Now I know.

@Will, @Greg, @Billy (slickw143)

Longtime readers at Orlando Pinstriped Post know that I rarely, if ever, comment about the officiating because I don't like talking about it. It's a lose-lose proposition, in my opinion. In any case, I'd have to agree with y'all that the refereeing in the game was poor.

Will
Will

Like I said. . .I NEVER comment on officiating and even if I did, why would I if my team was the victor UNLESS it was horrid on all sides. I was literally fuming last night and both teams got jipped.

Billy (slickw143)
Billy (slickw143)

Yeah, the league seriously needs to look at this and what it's doing to the games. It's simply terrible that after a playoff game, that's what many people want to talk about first. David Stern's getting up there in years, but the last elements to his legacy might be this labor negotiation coming up in 2011 and doing something about the quality of officiating moving forward.

Greg
Greg

Will,

Count me in as another person who thought the officiating was horrible. The calls on Dwight at this point have become laughible. He posts up and immediately gets a forearm shiv into his back, then gets a two-handed push to his back (which is an automatic call any time), then gets the arm that he's using to seal his defender grabbed and pulled on.

Then when he raises his arms and uses his strength to establish position he's called for a foul?? What? He routinely get's called for this and it's absurd. The over the back call was just blatently bad. The foul on Howard when he blocked G. Wallace baseline almost made me turn off the TV.

On the other hand half the calls against the Bobcats, or the ones they missed, were just as bad. Barnes T-eed off on S-Jax head on his drive in the fourth and that was missed. The foul called against Jackson for poking the ball away from Rashard was a joke. And let's not mention the call on Rashard for being on the same half of the court as the Charlotte player who flopped.

If this wasn't a playoff game I would have turned it off. That's how bad the refs were, they made the NBA product nearly unwatchable.

Will
Will

I live in Phoenix so I watched both of the Suns-Blazers games and I, of course, watched my boys in the Magic-Bobcats series and I have to say, as a neutral observer for the Suns, and as a Magic fan with two playoff victories under the belt this year, the officiating has been absolutely awful.

I pride myself on NEVER taking cracks at referees. I just feel it is unnecessary since they have the toughest job in sports. But those two series (I haven't really paid attention to the other series too much. . .though Celtics-Heat game 1 was fine) seem to have the worst officiating I've ever seen and I can't help but comment. Does anyone else agree?

On another note: I was impressed with VC this game. As the masterful Kevin McHale said, VC has a calmness to him that helped the Magic close it out. He played like it was a regular season game and if he can maintain that against a Hawks/Cavs/what have you (I'm not going to Tracy McGrady my butt and say we are in the second round already) then I think the Magic have a really strong shot to take it all.

KSB
KSB

Great to see you on DDL tonight, Eddy. Keep coming by and dropping your knowledge over there whenever you can. On to game 3...