Denton: Magic-Grizzlies Postgame Analysis

By John Denton
January 31, 2011


  • Arenas, who didn’t play in Sunday’s win against Cleveland because of a knee bruise and has been battling pain in his left knee for weeks, gave the Magic a chance with his aggressiveness in the fourth quarter.

    Arenas took the smaller Conley down into the post where he scored seven points in the fourth quarter and wisely dished off for a couple of more baskets for the Magic. With Arenas playing well, Van Gundy allowed him to close the game instead of going back to starter Jameer Nelson down the stretch.

    ``I just thought (Arenas) was making good plays. We were getting his post-up down on Conley and he was scoring and making plays to open people,’’ Van Gundy said. ``We made a lot of good plays and we got two absolutely wide-open shots. Ryan had a wide-open three in the corner (from an Arenas pass) that wasn’t close. And Turk had a wide-open three up top (also from Arenas) to take the lead. And Ryan got an offensive rebound and got stripped. So we had plenty of opportunities. And Gil had two free throws to tie it. I can’t get upset about guys missing shots. We made the plays to give ourselves opportunities, but we didn’t get the ball into the basket.’’

  • Howard played exceptional most of the night, but two familiar problems crept back into his game. He made 10 of 14 shots on the offensive end and was active on the glass with four offensive rebounds and 10 defensive rebounds. Howard also switched onto Memphis all-star Zach Randolph late in the game and played a major role in him making just four of 11 shots in the game.

    But Howard had seven turnovers, the last one on a questionable moving screen call with 1:07 to play. And Howard was whistled for his 13th technical foul of the season with 5.5 seconds to go by referee Scott Foster when he argued about a no-call when Gasol collared him under the rim on the Magic’s next-to-last possession.

    Howard had gone six games without a technical foul, but he now sits three Ts away from being suspended for a game by the NBA and being hit with a $5,000 fine.

    Fumed Van Gundy: ``I know he wasn’t demonstrative at all. I know that how many ever people in the building had no idea that anything was going on. Nothing we could do about it.’’


  • Much like last Friday in Chicago, the Magic had a dreadful third quarter and were doubled up in the scoring column. Outscored 34-17 against the Bulls last week, the Magic were hammered 32-16 in Monday’s third quarter.

    Memphis seemingly scored at will against the Magic’s sluggish defense, making 11 of 19 shots in the third period. By the Grizzlies had 66 points they were incredibly shooting 66 percent.

  • Magic power forward Brandon Bass, who had made great strides defensively of late, suffered an ugly ankle injury in the third period and could be lost for some period of time.

    Bass drilled a nice fade-away jumper, but when he landed his left foot came down on the top of Zach Randolph’s foot, causing his ankle to grotesquely roll over.

    Bass was helped off the court by two teammates and needed a wheelchair to get to the X-ray room. X-rays proved negative, but Bass could be out of action for several days with the injury. That should mean more playing time for veteran power forward Malik Allen, who is just back from ankle and knee injuries himself.

    Bass had 13 points and three rebounds at the time of his injury. Making the situation even more frustrating for the Magic was the fact that Van Gundy tried to get Anderson into the game for Bass just before the injury, but referees deemed the substitute not at the table.

    ``They said he wasn’t far enough up at the table. And then Brandon went down,’’ Van Gundy said. ``Obviously we’re hoping it won’t be too long (that Bass is out). We’re not loaded with a number of big guys, so that would be a tough loss.’’


  • The Magic were without reserve shooting guard J.J. Redick Monday night after he took a hard hit to his left shoulder Sunday night from Cleveland’s Antawn Jamison. Redick faked a jump shot to get Jamison into the air and then was hit by the veteran power forward as he went into the air.

    Redick had a large icepack strapped to his shoulder Sunday night and arrived at the Fed Ex Forum early Monday to give it a go. However, the pain in the shoulder proved to be too severe and Redick wan not available for the game.

    The Magic will have Tuesday off and practice Wednesday before hosting the rival Miami Heat on Thursday night at Amway Center.

  • Sunday’s game against Cleveland and Monday’s matchup in Memphis was Orlando’s 14th of 20 back-to-back sets of games this season. The Magic have five times when they play away and away, three times when they play away and then home and 12 home and away sets.

    So far this season, in the second night of those scenarios the Magic are 1-3 in away/away scenarios, 1-1 in away/home setups and 6-1 in home/away.

  • Monday’s game featured two of the four players in the NBA who average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds a game – Howard (22.3 ppg. and 13.6 rpg.) and Randolph (20.2 ppg. and 13.3 rpg.). The other two are Los Angeles Clippers’ rookie Blake Griffin (22.6 ppg. and 12.8 rpg.) and Minnesota standout forward Kevin Love (21.6 ppg. and 15.5 rpg.).
  • Anderson, who had career highs in points (23) and rebounds (16) on Sunday, entered Monday’s game with 47 3-pointers in the month of January. That’s the most 3-pointers by a reserve player in a month since Dee Brown hit 47 in 1999 for the Toronto Raptors over the last 24 seasons.

    Anderson, who had 10 points on Monday, made only one of his seven tries from beyond the arc.

  • With Memphis shooting 66 percent late in the third period and 61 percent through three quarters, the Magic tried everything – even tinkering with a zone defense for the first time in weeks. But predictably, Conley and shooting guard Sam Young torched the zone defense by hitting open jump shots.

    John Denton writes for E-mail John at Submit a question to John for his mailbag segment at