Second Look: Orlando Magic 92, Charlotte Bobcats 77 | Magic Basketball

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Apr 22

Second Look: Orlando Magic 92, Charlotte Bobcats 77

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “Only 14 teams in NBA history have won a best-of-seven series after trailing 2-0. Like in Orlando’s 98-89 Game 1 victory, [Dwight] Howard again battled through foul trouble, held to another 28-minute night. Backup Marcin Gortat was re-signed at a high price for these situations and again played about 20 minutes. “Hopefully, the refs will start letting Dwight be a little more physical and stop calling such tic-tac fouls on him,” [Matt] Barnes said. “You know, give him a chance to play. As far as the physicality, we welcome that now.” Barnes said Howard receives “no respect. Absolutely, Dwight gets no respect from the refs, from the league, as far as not being mentioned as the MVP.” Asked if he were worried the way the postseason is being officiated, Howard said, “Yeah, it’s a big concern.” What the Magic and the Bobcats can agree on is this: They don’t like the way the whistles are blowing.”
  • Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: “Once and for all, isn’t it time everybody stopped portraying the Magic as just a bunch of running, gunning, cunning 3-point shooters? Yes, they made more 3-pointers this year than any team in NBA history, but this team would just as soon lock you down as gun you down. Even offensive-minded players like Vince Carter are spouting [Stan] Van Gundy‘s defense-first mantra. “If we’re going to be the last team standing, we’re going to do it with our defense,” Carter said. Coming into this series, the main story line was how the Magic’s rifling offense would deal with Charlotte’s stifling defense. Granted, Charlotte is one of the league’s best defensive teams, but so, too, is Orlando. Has anybody bothered to look at the league stats? It’s Orlando that leads the NBA in field goal percentage defense and defensive rebounding. The Magic have been the toughest team in the NBA to shoot against, allowing opponents a league-low 43.8 percent from the floor. And, oh by the way, they also have a guy by the name of Dwight Howard, who may someday go down as the greatest defensive force the league has seen since Bill Russell.”
  • George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel: “We know the deal with Carter: Extremely talented individual player, spotty record with the team concept thing, a veteran looking for a championship ring after years of disappointments with other people and places. This first round NBA playoff series started as badly as it could for him. Only four shots went in; the other 15 bounced here, there and everywhere. Vinsanity indeed, but only in the different context. A lot of folks justifiably judged Carter harshly after his 4-19 effort in Game 1 of the playoff series against the Bobcats. But he wasn’t among the crowd of dissidents while watching game film on Monday. He watched each shot. Every single clunker. Then vowed to be better. His 19 points, on 5 of 10 shooting, was a solid rebuttal. The five Magic starters scored in the teens, reflective of balanced scoring. That’s a good thing, Just ask Stan Van Gundy.”
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Even before the series started, Bobcats officials hinted that they would use their bigs’ 24 available fouls to put Howard on the free-throw line, where the Magic center is at his most vulnerable. But, if anything, Charlotte didn’t foul Howard enough on Wednesday night. Howard attempted 12 foul shots and made only five of them, and in retrospect, the Bobcats would have been better served if they had wrapped up Howard whenever he received the ball within six feet of the rim. One example of a missed opportunity for Charlotte came just two minutes into the third quarter. Howard collected the ball directly underneath the hoop, between two defenders, and as he jumped and twisted toward the foul line, he banked the ball off the window for a reverse layup.”
  • Tania Ganguli of the Orlando Sentinel: “After a bruising physical game, in which both the Orlando Magic and Charlotte Bobcats pounded at each other, the Bobcats found themselves in an 0-2 hole to begin the franchise’s first playoff series. What did Charlotte learn from Game 2 against the Magic? “We gotta be more physical, more aggressive,” Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace said. “If the referees are gonna let us play, we gotta play.” Charlotte lost Wednesday night to go down 0-2 in the best of seven series against the Orlando Magic. They’ll return for the franchise’s first home playoff games starting Saturday at 2 p.m. Charlotte goes home still hoping for an upset, hoping they can pound their way to one.”
  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “On the one side, Orlando has a battering ram (Dwight Howard), aerial assault (Vince Carter) and waves of battle-tested troops (Rashard Lewis, Jameer Nelson and Mickael Pietrus). On the other side, Charlotte certainly has a nifty one-two punch (Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace), but little else in the way of dangerous firepower. Clearly, after Orlando smothered Charlotte 92-77 in Wednesday’s Game 2 at noisy Amway Arena, this is looking more and more like a matchup where one team simply overwhelms the other with its embarrassment of riches as it pertains to weapons.”
  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “I do think that, going forward, Orlando will need to get more production off its bench. Mickael Pietrus lit it up from the outside once again, draining 3 of his 4 three-pointers, but the rest of the second unit contributed just 12 points on 9 shots. Marcin Gortat, once again forced to take on a larger role due to Howard’s foul trouble, played 19 minutes and finished with just 2 points on 1-of-2 shooting (the miss was a wide-open dunk), 2 rebounds, and 1 blocked shot. You expect those numbers from Gortat in, say, 7 or 10 minutes of work, not 19. And he was, once again, not much of a factor on defense. Though he seemed to be more energetic than he was in Game 1, it’s clear that he’s just not getting into his highest gear, to use an automotive analogy. His failure to box out Boris Diaw on a missed Tyson Chandler free throw led to a three-pointer from D.J. Augustin and a 5-point possession for the Bobcats. Those 5 points, incidentally, represent 6% of their total output. Scoring’s at a premium for this team, as it has been for most of the season.”
  • Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer: “Every so often Charlotte Bobcats coach Larry Brown dispenses with the technical jargon, and leads a scouting report with something more gut-level: “Don’t get punked,” it will read on the dry-erase board. They’re getting punked, and that’s why they’re down 2-0 in this playoff series following a 92-77 loss to the Orlando Magic.”
  • Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer: “Watching the Bobcats in the first quarter felt like cringing at the Carolina Panthers’ offense in their infamous Arizona playoff game. If Jake Delhomme had been playing point guard, it could not have been worse. Of the Bobcats’ first 13 possessions, they failed to score on 12. They turned the ball over six times. They shot an air ball. Quickly, it was 13-3, Orlando. But because Charlotte was playing good defense and Orlando wasn’t raining 3-pointers with its customary regularity, the Magic didn’t put Charlotte away immediately. Instead, it turned into a slow, painful, boring death for Charlotte in Game 2.”
  • Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse: “Not since the Detroit Pistons became champions in 2004 has anyone won an NBA title without one dominant scorer, without someone averaging at least 19 points a game. Although playoff time traditionally is when teams shorten their playing rotation, the Magic have played like it’s still the regular season, leaning on two people at every position. In both victories over Charlotte, the Magic played 10 guys nine minutes or more. And in both playoff games, they had five players reach double-figure scoring. They did it 46 times that way in the regular season, winning 40 of those games.”
  • John Krolik of ProBasketballTalk: “The Bobcats kept the game close by playing good defense on Dwight Howard. The Magic went to him early and often in the post, as Stan Van Gundy promised they would. It ended up playing into the Bobcats’ hands, as they did a great job frustrating Howard with quick doubles, rotating when he passed out, and putting him on the line instead of giving him easy dunks and layups. It took Howard 10 shots and 12 free throws to get his 15 points, and he turned the ball over six times. He looked like he finally got comfortable on the block at the beginning of the third quarter, but promptly picked up his fourth foul and was forced to sit. Howard was again in foul trouble thanks to some cheap loose-ball fouls, and only played 29 minutes. The surprising thing is that during the 19 minutes Howard sat, the Magic actually managed to out-score the Bobcats by 13 points. Howard is a great player who makes the Magic much better on both ends of the floor, but the Magic seemed more comfortable offensively when Howard sat on Wednesday.”
  • Britt Robson of Sports Illustrated: “After a slipshod first period in Game 1, Lewis has defended Boris Diaw extremely well while finding his range for a combined 13-for-23 on field goals — including 6-of-12 from 3-point territory while leading his team in plus/minus in each of the last two games (he’s +31 for the series). After a wretched showing in three regular season games versus the Bobcats, Lewis has joined Pietrus in sealing off the weaknesses in Orlando’s game at both ends.”
  • Eric Freeman of The Baseline: “The Magic had a more balanced attack, with all five starters finishing in double figures and Vince Carter (19 points on 5-of-10 from the field and 9-of-11 from the line) and Dwight Howard (15 points on 5-of-10 FG and seven offensive rebounds despite foul trouble) leading the way. It wasn’t always entirely successful — they shot 45.3 percent, good but not great — but this was a team effort, the kind of performance that speaks to just how much talent the Magic have. They got just enough from everyone to make this a comfortable win.”
8 comments
jax502
jax502

I might have to take back my comment on Gortat since he made the key free throws in game 3 to seal the victory. Great job on that.

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@Will

It's not THAT much. Sheesh.

@hulKK

The NBA isn't rigged and if you don't want to read negative stories about the Magic, don't read them. Simple as that. As for the officiating in general, the referees are the best in the world and they have a really tough job to do on a nightly basis. Yeah, the officials get a ton of grief from the public and some of it is deserved but at the end of the day, they're doing the best they can. That's why I never talk about officiating because it's such a divisive topic and ultimately, gets a conversation nowhere.

Will's comment, more or less, jives with my opinion as well.

Will
Will

HulKK, I'm afraid that any conspiracy theories for last year can't really apply since the Cavs were not in the Finals last year and that's how it was 'SUPPOSED', notice the quotes, be.

As for this year. . .no conspiracy there either since the Bulls are suddenly in the series (if only for a few days) and no one has talked a positive note about the Lakers in months. I think this year has been fairly quiet about the 'league's best' which will make it ironic if this year's season gets last year's 'desired, there's those pesky quotes again, Finals with Cavs-Lakers.

I DO think that Stern made a political booboo by upping his game by threatening the coaches and players for challenging an official system that is making even the common fan scratch their head. I've talked more about officiating more in these first weeks of the playoffs then in my entire life.

I read the Donaghy book and found it 98% bull. . .I don't think there is a conspiracy but I DO think there is a problem and Stern is backing the wrong side. He should back the coaches and players because in the end people are talking about the refs and not Kobe's buzzer beaters or Dwight's dunks.

Will
Will

Indeed. I think if you add up how much we pay Lewis and Gortat pe basket it comes out to be about $75.3 billion.

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@jax502

I don't know if he missed that dunk out of nervousness or anything. Gortat was trying to dunk the ball left-handed. That's tough to do, no matter who you are.

@Billy (slickw143)

Exactly.

@Will

Are we talking about Gortat or Rashard Lewis? Hah.

Will
Will

Considering we pay him $17 million per bucket. . .he better make them more, regardless of the extension!

Billy (slickw143)
Billy (slickw143)

Well, he was a bit far away. It was not an easy dunk. He had to over-extend himself just to get there, and that's how it went off the back rim.

jax502
jax502

Gortat needs to step up. He looks nervous out there. I can't believe he missed that dunk.