Denton: Magic-Pacers Postgame Analysis
By John Denton
January 26, 2011
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Two of those power moves were dunks that led the rim and backboard shaking for several seconds and brought Magic players up off the bench in celebration.
``We have to play inside-out and when we do that it’s when we have the most success,’’ said Howard, who was somewhat angered that the Magic got away from their strategy in Monday’s loss to Detroit. ``We’ve got to continue to play like this. There are going to be games where we don’t play as well, but we have to keep working to get the job done.’’
Van Gundy marveled at the focus and intensity that his center, who is expected to be named an All-Star starter tomorrow for a fourth consecutive year, had early in the game.
``I thought he was great early on,’’ Van Gundy said of Howard, who made eight of 16 shots. ``As much as anybody they try to load up on him and make it tough to throw him the ball inside and bring a second defender and it leaves (a shooter) open.’’
Not surprisingly, all nine of the first-half 3-pointers came from reserve players. Anderson continued his torrid shooting of late, scoring 11 points in the second quarter alone while also hitting four first-half 3-pointers. Gilbert Arenas had two first-half 3-pointers, including a clutch one in the final second of the first period.
``I just come off the screens and read the situation and usually we have someone open for a three,’’ said Turkoglu, who made seven of 10 shots and also had six rebounds and four assists. ``I look inside first to Dwight, see how they are playing him and run our play through that. If we spread the floor and make the extra pass we can get lots of open shots and really hurt teams from the 3-point line.’’
WHAT WENT WRONG
Granger made just six of 19 shots and missed eight of his 11 3-point tries. He did get to the free throw line 13 times (with 12 makes), but he only had one assist because Turkoglu and Jason Richardson stayed in front of him.
``He’s a guy who can get hot easily and I tried to be close by him all night and make his job really hard,’’ Turkoglu said. ``I didn’t want to let him catch the ball in his comfort zones and keep him guessing. It was important for us to play better defensively. Offense is no problem for us, but as long as we’re getting stops we’re going to win the game.’’
``Our rotations were very sloppy in the second quarter and we had lapses on the perimeter that we shouldn’t have,’’ said O’Brien, whose Pacers have lost six in a row. ``Sometimes you have games where you’re not focused on the little things, and that’s what happened (on Wednesday).’’
Jeff Foster is in the final year of a contract that pays him $6.6 million and is defensive-minded center who can play off the bench. Veteran small forward James Posey, who has Finals experience with the Heat and Celtics, could also be had for the right package. The sticking point, however, is that he is still owed $6.9 million next season.
Could the Magic possibly be interested in one or both Pacers players before the NBA trade deadline? Foster would provide depth at center behind Howard, while Posey would give the Magic a rugged wing defender to throw at Miami’s LeBron James and Boston’s Paul Pierce.
Indiana’s Danny Granger drove by Jason Richardson but was greeted at the rim by Anderson, who swatted the shot. The only contact on the play was Granger’s follow-through hand hitting Anderson in the forehead yet Anderson was whistled for a foul call on the play.
``I don’t use them if they’re not double-word scores,’’ gloated Redick, who went into Wednesday night holding a sizeable lead.