Second Look: Orlando Magic 99, Charlotte Bobcats 90 | Magic Basketball

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Apr 27

Second Look: Orlando Magic 99, Charlotte Bobcats 90

Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “Maybe it was the heaven-sent 3-point shots — or the voodoo like Mickael Pietrus said. The Orlando Magic needed some sort of black magic to oust the Charlotte Bobcats 99-90 on Monday night, advancing to the second round of the playoffs with a 4-0 sweep. [...] Pietrus, born on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, received some treatments on his wrists in his homeland last offseason from what he described as a voodoo priestess. Better than having surgery on the left one, he said. ‘She put this sauce on it and some weeds,’ Pietrus said. ‘I think it helped me.’ ”
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Sure, Jameer Nelson continued his stellar postseason by chipping in 18 points, but how about Magic General Manager Otis Smith? Some critics scoffed last summer when Smith matched the Dallas Mavericks’ $34 million offer over five seasons to backup center Marcin Gortat. But Gortat once again helped keep Orlando in the game when Howard was on the bench.”
  • Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: “Howard smiled as he addressed the media about his new handle, but a few hours later it was back to the same old scowling, sulking, fouled-up Howard we saw all too often during this series. And once again — astonishingly — it didn’t matter in the least. Magic 99, Bobcats 90. Time to sweep up and go home, fellas. Thank God, this series has finally been put out of its misery. Seriously, has there ever been a more brutal four games of basketball than what we just witnessed? I’d rather be strapped to a chair and made to watch 47 straight hours of “Basketball Wives meet Kazaam” than any more of this goon ball.”
  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “Almost to a man, the Orlando Magic stressed that this victory, one that would ultimately extinguish the Charlotte Bobcats, was about so much more than just the first four-game sweep in franchise history. This, they announced collectively, was a first step in a championship march. When the Magic got an attacking effort from Vince Carter, two clutch 3-pointers from the self-proclaimed Mickael ‘Playoff’’ Pietrus and more steadiness from Jameer Nelson and Rashard Lewis to make up for the frustration of Dwight Howard, they surged past Charlotte 99-90 to complete a 4-0 sweep of the first-round series. By whitewashing a Charlotte team that was among the NBA’s best home teams this season, the Magic showed the maturity of surging team and the focus of a squad seemingly on a championship-or-bust pursuit.”
  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “Coach Stan Van Gundy relied on Carter despite his cold shooting throughout the series; he’d shot just 13-of-40 from the floor and 0-of-12 from beyond the arc prior to tonight. In the second half, with the chance to finish the Bobcats’ season and earn some rest, he called on Carter to initiate the offense. He answered that challenge by attacking the basket more aggressively and purposefully than he had at any other time in the series. And he got a few jumpers to drop as well. Carter’s never one to doubt his shot, but I do think Van Gundy’s move here made sense in the short-term (to win the game) and the long-term (to get Carter going for the next series). There are things to build on, for sure, but right now the Magic have to be happy that they swept a worthy opponent despite meager offensive contributions from Howard and infrequent ones from Carter.”
  • Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer: “Sometimes the simplest answer is also the most revealing. “They’re better,” Charlotte Bobcats coach Larry Brown said, when asked how his team was swept by the Orlando Magic Monday. “They know how to play playoff basketball and we haven’t figured it out yet.” Specifically, they never figured out how to score efficiently when an opponent raises its intensity to playoff temperature. That was evident again in a 99-90 loss resulting in a 4-0 sweep, the only sweep in the NBA’s eight first-round series this season.”
  • Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer: “I hope Brown stays. I like to believe he won’t leave to coach for an owner other than Michael. But the 76ers probably could use a president and general manager. They’re coming off their worst season in 13 years. Brown coached Philadelphia from 1997 through 2003, his longest coaching stint anywhere, and five times in six seasons he made the playoffs. Also, Brown often says he has no interest in leaving. Yet he has left 12 head coaching jobs.”
  • Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse: “Point guard Jameer Nelson, who wasn’t part of the playoff run a year ago, came out of nowhere to score 32 points twice in the series. On Monday, it was Vince Carter and his 14 second-half points that carried the load. Mickael Pietrus hit back-to-back 3-pointers — sandwiched around a Howard block — that broke the Bobcats late in the game. “We still need [Howard] on the floor,” Carter said. “We can go only as far as he’ll take us.” Teammates came up with the nickname in hopes of loosening the mood around Howard. They started talking about it more openly at Monday’s morning workout. Before Game 4, Howard was joking with reporters about his new tag. He also knows he has to lose it soon if the Magic hope to repeat last year’s trip to the NBA Finals.”
  • John Krolik of ProBasketballTalk: “There’s a glass half-empty/half-full way to look at this series for the Magic. On the one hand, they were able to sweep a pretty good team with their franchise player on the bench half the time and giving them nothing offensively. Their second-leading scorer struggled mightily as well. If the Magic can play this well without solid contributions from Howard and Carter, imagine what they can do if both of them play like they’re capable of playing. And don’t forget that not every team defends the paint like Charlotte does. On the other hand, it is a little troubling that Howard is capable of playing so badly over four straight games. The free throws are particularly disturbing; if he’s not going to make 40% of his attempts from the stripe, teams are going to wrap him up every time he makes a move. The Magic were talented enough to get through the Bobcats with Howard playing like this, but they won’t make it very much further if he doesn’t start playing like the best center in the league.”
  • Eric Freeman of The Baseline: “Congratulations to Orlando, who became the only team to blitz an inferior opponent and get an easy sweep in the first round. What makes it even more impressive is that they did so with Dwight Howard in foul trouble throughout the series. He’ll need to stay off the bench in future rounds, but for now, it just seems crazy that they were able to sweep Charlotte with their best player handcuffed in every game. Tonight, the story was the same as it’s been throughout the series: balanced scoring with five players getting at least 13 points (led by Vince Carter with 21), smart play on offense (only seven turnovers), and quality defense. It’s a formula that wins Orlando a lot of games, and it’s the same one they’ll try to ride all the way back to the Finals.”
  • Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus: “The lone sweep of the first round of the 2010 playoffs belongs to the Orlando Magic. Thanks to the result below, Orlando will head into the semifinals with a significant rest advantage. The Magic did it despite series-long foul trouble for Dwight Howard, who fouled out after 23 minutes in Game Four. Orlando was so good with Howard on the floor (+15) and competitive enough with Marcin Gortat replacing him (-6) that it won comfortably nonetheless. What the Magic has demonstrated in this series is its ability to win with a variety of players carrying the load. In Game Four, it was Vince Carter’s 21 points that led the way. Attacking the basket off the pick-and-roll, Carter got to the free throw line nine times. Jameer Nelson was solid if not as spectacular earlier in the series and Rashard Lewis (four), Matt Barnes and Mickael Pietrus (three apiece) carried a perimeter attack that knocked down 13 three-pointers. All told, it was an awfully good offensive effort against the league’s best defense. I suspected late-game fouling might have inflated the numbers, but Orlando had a 117.0 Offensive Rating even before the final three minutes. Besides the hot shooting, the Magic turned the ball over just seven times all night, making the offense hard to stop.”
2 comments
Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@Billy (slickw143)

Yeah, Howard needs to snap out of it. Hopefully having favorable matchups against either the Bucks or the Hawks will get him back on track.

Billy (slickw143)
Billy (slickw143)

Pietrus talking about getting sauce rubbed on his wrist is classic.

Nelson and Lewis quietly (or in Jameer's case, not-so-quietly sometimes) going about their business is a welcome sight. They both elevate their game in the playoffs, and it's fun to watch.

The points about Dwight are valid though and need to be addressed. If the refs aren't going to call the hooks, he has to adjust. No question about it. It sucks, but he has to do it.