“Stop shooting threes!” – Adam Greene 11/3/09
The Magic got outplayed by a vastly inferior team. No Richard Hamilton, no Tayshaun Prince, and the Magic laid an egg. Yes Dwight was in foul trouble and fouled out, but that is no excuse. I don’t want to dwell on this because the Magic are down a couple of their starters, but they have to play smarter than that.
– Jameer’s poor play was frightening. His decision making in the second half was poor. He appeared to be trying to take over the game but he was unable to get any space against Will Bynum/Rodney Stuckey. Those two locked him up defensively. Particularly on one late isolation play for Jameer, Bynum did not allow Jameer any space and caused a turnover. I blame this mostly on the fact that Jameer should be running the offense not jacking it up every time he gets the ball. I realize that he was shooting a lot in the Toronto game, to good effect, but it felt like it was more in the flow of the offense.
– Dwight’s foul trouble crippled the offensive and defensive flow for the Magic. It makes you realize how much space he creates for the rest of the team. He got too frustrated with the physical play, which is understandable since he only got away with one foul in the game (elbow to Bynum’s head on a block).
– Ryan Anderson played terrible. He has never seen a three he didn’t like. My above quote was screamed at the TV, at Ryan, for at least 8 of his eleven three point attempts.
– Vince Carter became that jump shooting player that I cursed at many years ago. He seemed unwilling to drive, or even explore. Was it the ankle? I hope it was the injury and not a pattern.
– Why is Brandon Bass playing so little? I think I know the answer. Though Bass plays good individual defense, especially in the post, he isn’t showing well on the pick-and-roll (furthermore the PNR). Dwight is guilty of this sometimes too, but Bass shows a bit and ends up picking his own player. He has to move his feet (I must have yelled that a dozen times too). Also, Bass is jacking it as much as Anderson only from midrange. I don’t know the sites where one can find these stats, but the feel I get watching the games is that Bass is taking a lot of shots for the amount of time he is on the court. Maybe I’m seeing something that isn’t there, but I feel like he plays some one-on-one and that upsets the offense. That being said, I would rather see Bass playing a lot of minutes and not Anderson because if you get Bass to play defense within the team concept then you have a much better player in other categories than Anderson and more defensive potential.
– JJ Redick played better defensively than most people will give him credit. He was called for a couple shitty fouls, but stayed with Ben Gordon most of the time. JJ can defend someone who plays off a lot of screens (see Ray Allen in the ’09 playoffs). Where he has a lot of trouble is a ball dominant slasher. Ben Gordon can do both but he is short. I know Gordon shot 60% and scored 23, but JJ denied the ball a lot and kept Gordon from scoring 30+. The Pistons were attempting to go through Gordon for most of the game.
– Matt Barnes is a good defensive player (mostly) and fills up the stat sheet with the “little things”. Right now I feel like his jump shots are coming out of rhythm. It seems to me that 90% of his shots look like Ryan Anderson’s did last night. Something I often say in games, and Kelly can attest to this, is “Bad shot, I don’t care if it went in it was a bad shot”. Barnes makes me say this a lot (and I would have said it more last night if the Magic had made more shots).
In conclusion, the Magic have to move the ball and trust each other. I know that SVG doesn’t want them passing up open shots. Some of these guys need to learn what open means. Hopefully Phoenix gets a highly motivated, angry, Magic team tonight.