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Morning After Thoughts & Links

Brian - About you 3rd point I say it depends. Depends on how smart/creative Van Gundy is. If the Sixers went with the big line-up and I was the coach of the Magic I simply go with Lee at the point, Pietrus, Hedo, Lewis and Howard. At the end of the day that is probably the Magic's best offense/defense combo line-up with Nelson out. Lee played some point in college, besides that Hedo plays point forward anyway offensively.

Also about your final point. Is it really Willie's minutes that go to Ivey or Lou's? When Willie is on the floor with Miller you can simply put him on the scorer (whether that is Lee or Alston at the time). But when Lou is in the game they never put him on Lee and that relegates Miller to defending him and we have seen how bad that works out.

Let me bring up one final point that seems to be overlooked. As much as everyone loves the kid, Thad has played 2 games, 70 minutes and only had 4 rebounds. And we can all (at least I can) vividly remember a few offensive rebound and put backs Lewis had while Thad was checking him. This is a big issue for me considering rebounding is suppose to be a strength of this team.

If you're talking about the fourth quarter last night, Miller actually wound up on Lewis on one of those plays. They were switching aggressively. In game 1, Lewis only had 3 boards, none offensive. I'm not sure you can lay all the blame on Thad for the defensive rebounding problems.

As for Green/Lou's minutes. Neither one of them has guarded anyone all series.

For the big lineup, if Van Gundy switched to that lineup, I'd trap the hell out of Lee. I don't think he's a legit point.

A couple of interesting tidbits today:

1. Charley Rosen wrote about the game. He said amongst other things familiar to Sixer fans that Iggy needs to get started earlier, Thad was killing but went long stretches without any touches and Lou Will was helping the Magic more than the Sixers. He cited the Sixers really went down the tubes when Reg the Fierce had to play center. Oh, and that Lee saved the game for Magic.
http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/9486956/Rookie-helps-Magic-fans-go-home-happy

2. Here's a Magic blog complaining Iggy and Thad are shredding Hedo and Lewis. He gives Hedo the ankle sprain as an excuse but no excuse for Lewis. He put the turning point of the game was putting Lee on Miller to shut him down.
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/160950-orlando-magic-leefense-wins-games

My thoughts are alot different from others.

1. I believe the sixers lost the game because they did not give a chance for Lou, Marshall and Iggy get into the game w/ their shooting. You can't just give a guy 1 shot and not feed them. No passing to shooters.

2. I strongly think Reggie Evans needs to find a seat on the bench. He cannot even layup the ball.

3. I believe this game was given away by the sixers and not won by Orlando.

Your first point may hold water for Marshall, but Lou and Iggy don't really get set up much, they create their own shots. Lou got up plenty last night, especially considering how he was shooting. Iguodala should've done a better job of getting involved in the offense in the first half.

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Tom Moore on Apr 23 at 15:57
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Ratliff from Thursday's media session: "It's the playoffs. Home-court means nothing. We went in there and won the first game there. We know they're going to come in (to Friday's Game 3) and they're not going to lay down. We know it's going to be a battle every night and we've got to be willing to stand up to the challenge."

Sixers haven't won two home games in a row since the 2003 Eastern Conference semifinal loss to the Pistons (Larry Brown's last year). They couldn't win two straight at the Wachovia Center in 2005 or '08 losses to Detroit.

Good attitude. Personally, I don't think the series is over if they split these games, but I want them to take both, obviously.

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Tom Moore on Apr 23 at 16:13
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My sense is they lose if they split and win if it's 3-1, though Orlando isn't as experienced in these situations as Detroit was last year.

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Tom Moore on Apr 23 at 16:21
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BTW, DiLeo said Dalembert was the backup plan at center in the fourth quarter last night because he liked the way Ratliff and the group he was out there with were playing.

Really? He liked all the offensive rebounds they were giving up? Ugh.

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Bryon reply to Tom Moore on Apr 23 at 17:28
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Unbelieveable DiLeo said that. Sure hope that was coach-speak and he was saving face for his own screw-ups. When Rashard grabs a board over Theo's shoulder at the end of the 4th, sure, you have to like the way Ratliff was playing. Give me a break, Tony.

disappointing.

Mostly what I got out of that game is that Orlando isn't very good. On the other hand, they're a few points away from being 2-0 in spite of awful play from Turkoglu and Rashard in both games.

They're also 3-minutes of horrible sixers rebounding away from being down 0-2.

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Tray reply to Brian on Apr 23 at 17:52
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Yeah. I do think, though, that it's pretty sad when you can't get a win against a team getting next to nothing from its three best players. Rebounding's going to continue to be a problem all series long. Orlando's also due to make some shots. I can certainly see this going seven, though, instead of my original prediction of six.

I'd love to know how they went from grabbing 80% of defensive rebounds in game 1 to 66% in game 2. Orlando is not a good offensive rebounding team either. They were 28th in the league during the regular season.

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Tray reply to Brian on Apr 23 at 18:09
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Well, you know, random variation. These things aren't too constant from game to game, especially when your starting center plays about 12 minutes.

I still believe my points, Brian. This team, all year, does not seem to get the point of feeding the hot hand. Yesterday, thankfully, Miller was the hot hand. But otherwise, the other 3 guys stood around and watched. Their fault, sure, but not all.

Anyway, their rebounding is bad. If they don't correct it, we are in trouble. Ashame because that is the only reason, IMO, they do not win the series.

Kate Fagan said it better for me:

The Sixers seem to know who their go-to guy is ... it's Andre Iguodala. Keep an eye on him tonight. His follow-up performance to Sunday's game-winner will say a lot about whether the Sixers are in this series, or whether they will go the way of last year's first-round attempt.

They did not and see the results. The rest of the team does not feel that way, obviously.

They didn't in the first half, which is a huge problem. I like to look at what teams do differently in the second half, to see what kind of adjustments coaches make. The definitely did go to Iggy in the second half, and he responded. Have to hope it doesn't take that long in game 3, because I really don't think ORL has a player capable of guarding Iggy.

Another thing I'd like to see is quick passes out of doubles designed to get the ball to Thad in the corner for a three.

agree, you always say it more clearly.

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Tom Moore on Apr 23 at 21:57
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Willie Green (2-for-11, 4 points in two games) Thursday: "I have to be more aggressive offensively and give the team more of a spark starting the game. The last two games, I haven’t done much on the offensive end."

I swear the Sixers are the kings of ironic quotes. Did Lou talk about being a team leader too?

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Bryon reply to Brian on Apr 24 at 0:44
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I hope Lou sought out Bruce Kruetzer on his way back from Florida, maybe stopped off in the ATL for a few sessions. Cause he sure needs it after last game. Calling good Lou, paging good Lou, you there Lou?

I know I have said it before, but if Willie isn't going to give us anything, and Lou is having an off night, and with Ivey being offensively challenged then bring Rush in. I mean, he can stand in the corner and guard Anthony Johnson can't he?

I mean, he can stand in the corner and guard Anthony Johnson can't he?

I've seen no evidence that he's capable of this :)

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Alvin reply to Brian on Apr 24 at 1:26
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Ditto.

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Bryon reply to Brian on Apr 24 at 11:14
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And that, my friend, is called sad...

The Sixers have definitely earned the Magic's respect. They've given the Magic a wake-up call, informing the Magic that maybe they aren't as good as they thought they were. It's the playoffs - you can't just show up and beat anybody.

That said, this is maybe the worst the Magic have looked all season. They're out of sync, and something is definitely something wrong with Hedo. I'm not going to say it's all the Magic, because the Sixers deserve a lot of credit for a fantastic defensive scheme and excellent offensive play from their stars.

These two games have probably robbed the Magic of "championship contender" status (which no one really gave them anyway), but to some of the commenters above who said they don't think the Magic are that good - be careful. This team is a good shooting night from a 30+ point victory, and I'm thinking Dwight puts up something ridiculous in the next two games - something like a 35+ points, 20+ rebounds and 6+ blocks.

The Sixers can't keep letting the Magic get huge third quarter leads. The Magic have been closing the door on teams all season... That's why these last two games are somewhat baffling to us Magic fans.

Regardless, the Sixers are a fun team to watch. You guys are a good center and a servicable shooting guard (which Lou can be on some nights) from being a really, really good team.

That turned out a little bit longer than I intended. My bad, lol.

No apology needed. We appreciate well thought out statements like yours. And you hit the nail on the head about us needing a center and guard. We have been screaming for that all year! I believe management agrees but has done nothing to get the pieces. But thank you, I enjoyed your read.

Zach,

I think what you're seeing in the comments is probably more surprise than anything. Everyone on here has seen the Sixers play really good basketball at points this season, but morale among fans was probably at a season low heading into this series. They really played terrible basketball down the stretch and no one knew if they'd pull it together for the playoffs. I think people are surprised Orlando didn't blow them out in the first two games, and now they have some legitimate hope heading into game 3.

For me, personally, I tend to build up a hatred for anyone the Sixers are playing. It's nothing personal :)

Keep up the good work on Orlando Magic Daily.

Brian


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