Keyon Dooling has injured his left Achilles' and will miss a few games. Dooling was injured in last night's game against the Clippers - though he played up until the final buzzer. The injury is not serious and he is not expected to miss too many games.
December 2006 Archives
The Magic picked up things tonight a bit and beat up on the Miami Heat 97-68. Even though the Magic lost last night, the team appeared to have a little swagger back. And tonight, they played well - especially in the second half. Dwight Howard had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Trevor Ariza added 16 points and 10 rebounds. I have to give a little credit to the coaching staff tonight - I thought they did a good job with the personnel available to them. Keyon Dooling and Grant Hill are both out for a few days with injuries.
Grant Hill sat out most of the second half with a sore foot. As soon as I can track down more information, I will update this post.
The Magic seemed to play a little better tonight - but they are still having problems with consistent offensive execution and going through a rash of turnovers at the worst time. Washington pulls out a close one, 112-111. I'm not quite sure what the deal is with Jameer "I got to get mine" Nelson, but I sure hope he gets his act together soon. I'm tired of watching this crap. For that matter, Carlos Arroyo has not been all that easy to watch lately either. I much rather see guys on the floor that play hard on every possession, like Keyon Dooling and Trevor Ariza.
There is a good article on ESPN's Page 2 about Dwight Howard. Check it out if you have time.
Denver has reportedly made a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers to aquire Allen Iverson in exchange for Andre Miller, Joe Smith and a couple first round picks in 2007. If you ask me, I think the Sixers are getting the better end of the deal. Especially if they keep tanking this season - they could land Ohio State big man Greg Oden in the 2007 draft. My concern for Denver is how well Iverson (#2 in scoring) will play alongside Carmelo Anthony (#1 in scoring).
Remember my post from the last game where I said I have never left a game before the final buzzer. I was very close to leaving tonight but ended up staying after the sleeping pills wore off the Magic and the team showed up to play basketball. Dwight Howard was benched for a stretch of time in which the Magic made a run to get back in the game. I think Howard got the message and he finished with a decent game, grabbing 16 rebounds and blocking 5 shots. Two of the block shots were critical Lebron moments that could have stopped the Magic's momentum in the late minutes of the game. The Magic avoid catostrophe by beating the Cavs 81-74 after a very slow start.
When you think things can't get any worse, the Magic seem to find a way to make you turn off the TV with 2 minutes to go. For the record, I've never, ever, left a Magic game before the final buzzer. I don't care if the team is up by 40, down by 5 or being blown out by 30. I do care if the team is putting effort and energy into team basketball. This game stunk of poor energy and lack of leadership pretty much from the start. In case you couldn't tell, the Magic lost in a lackluster effort, 99-89 to the Charlotte Bobcats.
More of the same as the Magic lose to the Toronto Raptors without Chris Bosh, 91-84. Dwight Howard finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Carlos Arroyo scored 22 points on a decent game filling in for the injured Jameer Nelson. Ten assists, fifteen turnovers and just under 38% shooting won't win you many games. It doesn't help matters to be missing Hedo Turkoglu, Keith Bogans and Jameer Nelson. Grant Hill wasn't looking too good either - might be a problem with his knee. Hill we be out tomorrow so we might see more of J.J. Redick. Redick managed to get a few minutes in tonight, but he clearly has timing issues and possibly the jitters a little. The Magic just need to get him 5-10 minutes a game and see where he's at in 3-4 weeks. Suprisingly, we saw no Bo Outlaw or Pat Garrity tonight. With the team playing flat, Outlaw could have provided a little energy. And Garrity started at small forward for us in the past, with his shooting I would have though we'd see more of him. Personally, I think we need to see more of the bench in games. Some players are getting 20-30 minutes a game and playing long stretches in place of starters. I think we could go a little deeper on the bench and get a couple guys in for a few minutes at a time to keep the legs fresh.
Team - Dwight Howard. Dwight Howard - Team. Now, let's see how many of you can get the little round bouncy thing to the big guy down in the post. Reference illustration provided below.
The Magic stayed with Phoenix in the first half, but could not buy a basket in the third as they lose a tough game to the Suns, 103-89. Grant Hill was playing exceptional early on - but the team started in another direction and limited his overall effectiveness. For the 3rd or 4th straight game now, the Magic have either not been able to get the ball into the post and Dwight Howard's hands or the perimeter players are unwilling to do so.
News first broke on ESPN.com earlier today - but the NBA will announce tomorrow the organization is returning to the old ball starting January 1st. Citiing numberous player complaints, the NBA has been reviewing statements and evidence that ultimately lead to this decision. Let's hope it does not affect the Magic's play.
The Magic lose a close one tonight to the Detroit Pistons, 87-83. Dwight Howard had a quiet first half, but still managed a decent game overall. Howard finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds but got little help from his Magic teammates. Trevor Ariza played fairly hard and finished with 10 points. Grant Hill posted 12 points against his former team.
Hedo Turkoglu went down in the first half with a right sprained ankle when he stepped on Tayshaun Prince's foot. Turkoglu was on the floor for several minutes until he was carried off the court by Bo Outlaw and team doctors. Turkoglu will not be back in this game and the injury looked significant enough that he might miss at least a few days.
Here's wishing Dwight Howard a Happy Birthday! Howard turns 21 today (teehee, he's only 21!). Let's hope the team gives him a good birthday present in kicking the hell out of the Detroit Pistons tonight.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the arena finally has a name. Amway and Magic owner Rich DeVos have a deal to pay $1.5 million over 4 years for naming rights to the arena. The arena will officially be called the Amway Arena, but we all still know it's unofficially the O-rena.
I was checking out the Daily Dime over on ESPN.com this morning and came across a familiar picture. I remember not so long the paper bags were showing up in a different arena. It's not that Doc is a bad coach, he's just an average coach. He'll get you to .500; but that it not Celtic basketball. As for Ainge, it's a package deal as far as I am concerned. Things don't just get bad overnight.
If you had to ask the one thing the Magic did right in tonight's game, I'd honestly have to say that it was getting J.J. Redick minutes on the floor. Dwight Howard and the rest of the Magic got pounded on the boards tonight by a smaller team. Jeff Foster, JEFF FRIGGIN FOSTER, grabbed 18 rebounds as the Pacers out rebounded the Magic 48-34. Howard managed to score 20 points, but was getting pushed out away from the basket on almost every play. Grant Hill scored 14 points in the first quarter but only finished with 16 total. The Magic lost to the Pacers (again), 94-80.
A great late minute defensive play by Grant Hill helped to steady the Magic down the stretch. And Jameer Nelson nails a three pointer from Los Angeles with 1.7 seconds left to win the game for the Magic. The Magic improve to 14-5 with a final score in Sacramento tonight of 92-89. Dwight Howard played big tonight, with energy that he lacked from last night. Howard finished with 18 points, 16 rebounds and 1 blocked shot. Nelson finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds.
The Magic looked a little sluggish tonight as they lose by a landslide to the Los Angeles Clippers, 116-91. Suprisingly, Dwight Howard was practically a no-show. I really thought he'd go at fellow Team USA member Elton Brand. Howard finished with 16 points and 7 rebounds but his normal high energy just was not as present as usual.
A steal. Two free throws. A layup off an inbounds pass from Hedo Turkoglu with .3 seconds remaining on the clock. What a great finish to a sloppy game for Grant Hill. The Magic squeak out another win, this time against the Blazers, 91-89. Looking at the box score, I'm not sure how Hill finished with 16 points - but the last four won this game. The call from Brian Hill out of the timeout with 1.2 seconds left on the clock was proof enough that he deserved coach of the month honors.
Dwight Howard is the Eastern Conference player of the month for November while Brian Hill secured coach of the month honors. Howard average over 17 points and 13 rebounds as the Magic compiled a 12-4 record for the month. He has also recorded three 20/20 games. Hill has led the Magic team to the top spot in the East and to big wins over rival Miami and Western Conference leaders, the Utah Jazz.