2007-08 Season

By Marc D'Amico | July 29, 2008

2007-08: First Playoff Series Win in 12 Years
Some may say it was fate. Some may say there was a little bit of luck.

Whatever it was, the interesting off-season the Orlando Magic experienced in 2007 worked, launching the organization into the conversation of “title contenders.”

Shortly after the 2006-2007 season ended, the leading coach in franchise history, Brian Hill, was relieved of his head coaching responsibilities. The team aimed to move in a new direction with its young core players. As a result, their lead coaching target was University of Florida head coach Billy Donovan. Less than two weeks after Hill’s firing, on June 1, 2007, Donovan was named the new head coach of the Orlando Magic. Donovan, the head coach of the back-to-back National Champion Florida Gators, agreed to a five-year, $27.5 million contract.

Just two days after accepting the position and holding a formal news conference, Donovan backed out of the deal, stating that his heart was still at Florida. On June 5, Donovan and the Magic agreed to terminate the contract and allow him to return to the Gators. On that same day, the Magic extended a formal offer to Stan Van Gundy to become their new head coach, which he accepted. Van Gundy had previously coached in the Sunshine State with the Miami Heat from 2003-2005, before Pat Riley took over the position in December 2005.

After filling the head coaching vacancy, General Manager Otis Smith moved next to the free agency period of the offseason. With available cap space and a star center to build around, Smith was able to lure the prized player of the free agent class, forward Rashard Lewis, to Orlando. The Magic obtained Lewis via a sign-and-trade deal with the Seattle Supersonics and signed him to a six-year maximum contract. Coupled with Dwight Howard, many in Orlando believed this would be the tandem to bring a championship to Central Florida.

Those hopes were quickly supported by the team’s early play in the 2007-2008 regular season, as they came out on top in 16 of their first 20 contests. Over the following few months, the team came back to reality, playing only .500 basketball in their next 36 games. But towards the end of that slow run, there were some great highlights.

Dwight Howard was selected as the starting center for the Eastern Conference All-Star team, his first start and second consecutive All-Star appearance. He also accepted an invitation to perform in the All-Star Slam Dunk Contest, and he did not fail to impress. Howard, on a mission to prove that big men can jump, performed numerous dunks that brought the crowd to its feet and brought judges' jaws to the floor. His signature dunk, which landed him the title voted on by fans, was done with a Superman cape on his back as he flew through the air. Fittingly, his new nickname happens to be Superman.

For the remainder of the regular season, the Magic once again picked up their play. In March, they won 10 games in a month for the first time since November. The Magic clinched the Southeast Division not by a win, but by another team’s loss, when the Washington Wizards lost to the Utah Jazz on March 31. This marked the first division title the Magic won since the 1995-1996 season, and was their third division title overall. The 1995-1996 season was also the last time the team won 50 games, which the 2007-2008 team accomplished with its 52 wins. Their 52-30 record notched them in as the third seed in the Eastern Conference, behind Boston and Detroit.

In the first round of the playoffs, Orlando proved the regular season was far from a fluke, dominating the Toronto Raptors in a 4-1 series victory. In that series, Dwight Howard notched three 20 point, 20 rebound games. The Magic had experienced first round exits from the playoffs their prior six visits, and this was the first time the team advanced to the second round in 12 years.

In the second round, the Magic faced off with the perennial Eastern Conference powerhouse Detroit Pistons. After a controversial play in a game 2 Magic loss, the Pistons went on to win the series by a count of 4-1. Two of those wins were by five points or less. Nonetheless, Orlando was ousted from the playoffs and their magical season came to an end.

Overall, the season was a giant step forward for an organization that strives only for success. Dwight Howard has become a superstar, leading the league in double-doubles and being voted to the All-NBA First Team, while leading his team to the second round of the playoffs.

With a young core and new head coach both intact for years to come, the potential of the Magic team is readily on display. It may have been luck, or it may have been fate. Either way, Howard and his teammates will be looking to take another giant step forward in their 20th anniversary season of 2008-2009.

2007-2008 Magic Regular Statisics
PLAYER AVERAGES
             
REBOUNDS
           
Player G GS MPG FG% 3p% FT% OFF DEF TOT

APG

SPG BPG TO PF PPG
Dwight Howard 82 82 37.7 .599 .000 .590 3.40 10.80 14.20 1.3 .90 2.15 3.21 3.30 20.7
Hedo Turkoglu 82 82 36.9 .456 .400 .829 1.00 4.70 5.70 5.0 .90 .30 3.00 3.00 19.5
Rashard Lewis 81 81 38.0 .455 .409 .838 1.20 4.20 5.40 2.4 1.22 .47 1.73 2.60 18.2
Jameer Nelson 69 62 28.4 .469 .416

.828

.40 3.10 3.50 5.6 .91 .06 2.04 2.40 10.9
Maurice Evans 68 47 23.9 .489 .396 .691 1.30 1.80 3.10 1.0 .60 .13 .59 1.90 9.3
Maurice Evans (TOT) 75 47 22.9 .481 .388 .711 1.20 1.70 2.90 1.1 .61 .13 .53 1.90 8.9
Keith Bogans 82 35 26.8 .410 .362 .736 .50 2.70 3.20 1.3 .72 .12 .65 2.00 8.7
Keyon Dooling 72 1 18.5 .468 .338 .845 .10 1.30 1.40 1.8 .50 .07 .85 1.80 8.1
Carlos Arroyo 62 20 20.5 .451 .345 .853 .20 1.70 1.90 3.5 .42 .03 1.24 1.40 6.9
Brian Cook 45 0 12.4 .394 .390 .882 .50 1.70 2.20 .5 .24 .27 .78 1.90 5.0
Brian Cook (TOT) 51 2 12.3 .376 .374 .905 .50 1.60 2.10 .5 .25 .24 .76 1.80 4.7
J.J. Redick 34 0 8.1 .444 .395 .794 .00 .60 .70 .5 .12 .00 .44 .90 4.1
Marcin Gortat 6 0 6.8 .471 .000 .667 1.30 1.30 2.70 .3 .17 .17 .33 .70 3.0
Pat Garrity 31 0 9.2 .338 .216 .800 .30 1.10 1.40 .4 .19 .03 .55 1.10 2.1
Bo Outlaw 2 0 3.5 .667 .000 .000 .00 .00 .00 .0 .00 .00 .50 .50 2.0
Adonal Foyle 82 0 9.4 .458 .000 .471 .90 1.70 2.50 .2 .20 .55 .39 1.10 1.9
James Augustine 25 0 6.0 .529 .000 .500 .60 .60 1.20 .1 .20 .08 .24 .70 1.6
Team Averages 82 0 241.2 .474 .386 .721 9.4 32.6 42.0 20.8 6.3 4.1 14.3 20.6 104.5
Opponents 82 0 241.2 .446 .358 .754 11.0 30.7 41.7 21.5 7.1. 4.2 13.2 23.1 99.0

 

2007-2008 Magic Player Totals
PLAYER TOTALS
             
REBOUNDS
           
Player G GS MPG FG% 3p% FT% OFF DEF TOT

APG

SPG BPG TO PF PPG
Dwight Howard 82 82 3,088 583-974 0-4 529-897 279 882 1,161 110 74 176 263 274 1,695
Hedo Turkoglu 82 82 3,026 556-1219 166-415 324-391 83 388 471 409 74 25 246 244 1,602
Rashard Lewis 81 81 3,076 516-1,135 226-553 218-260 97 340 437 196 99 38 140 214 1,476
Jameer Nelson 69 62 1,961 283-603 64-154

125-151

28 215

243

383 63 4 141 167 755
Keith Bogans 82 35 2,198 241-588 148-409 81-110 42 224 266 104 59 10 53 164 711
Maurice Evans 68 47 1,624 253-517 80-202 47-68 88 121 209 69 41 9 40 132 633
Maurice Evans (TOT) 75 47 1,721 262-545 81-209 59-83 92 126 218 81 46 10 40 142 664
Keyon Dooling 72 1 1,334 198-423 22-65 163-193 7 94 101 133 36 5 61 131 581
Carlos Arroyo 62 20 1,269 157-348 29-84 87-102 10 103 113 219 26 2 77 85 430
Brian Cook 45 0 559 84-213 41-105 15-17 24 75 99 24 11 12 35 87 224
Brian Cook (TOT) 51 2 629 88-234 43-115 19-21 28 81 109 27 13 12 39 91 238
Adonal Foyle 80 0 774 70-153 0-0 16-34 71 137 208 18 16 45 32 94 156
J.J. Redick 34 0 276 48-108 17-43 27-34 1 22 23 16 4 0 15 29 140
Pat Garrity 31 0 284 27-80 8-37 4-5 9 35 44 13 6 1 17 35 66
James Augustine 25 0 149 18-34 0-0 4-8 16 14 30 2 5 2 6 18 40
Marcin Gortat 6 0 41 8-17 0-0 2-3 8 8 16 2 1 1 2 4 18
Bo Outlaw 2 0 7 2-3 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 4
Team Totals 82 0 19,780 3,058-6,446 801-2,704 1,650-2,288 768 2,677 3,445 1,706 520 333 1,173 1,688 8,567
Opponents 82 0 -- 3,057-6,855 516-1,441 1,489-1,975 900 2,519 3,419 1,764 581 344 1,081 1,898 8,119