Denton: Magic-Clippers Postgame Analysis

By John Denton
February 8, 2011


  • Howard had 10 rebounds by the end of the first quarter and he pretty much smashed good friend and summer workout partner DeAndre Jordan all game long. It was the 31st career 20-point, 20-rebound game and the 46th time that he’s grabbed at least 20 rebounds in a game.

    ``I was just trying to be the guy to show everybody that the only way that we’re going to get out of what we’re in now is to fight through everything,’’ Howard said. ``Nothing is ever going to go our way on the court, so we’re just going to have to fight through it. And for the most part, I think we did that.’’

  • Arenas met with Van Gundy before Tuesday’s shootaround and the two discussed ways to get him going and more comfortable in the Magic’s offense. Arenas is pushing for more isolation plays so that he can use his creativity off the dribble, and Van Gundy has relented with the promise that the point guard will remain in attack mode when he has the ball in his hands.

    He made just three of nine shots on Tuesday, but he threw his hands to the heavens when he made a 3-pointer in the third quarter to start a Magic run. He finished with nine points in 21 minutes.

    ``When I hit that three, I was like, `Ahhhhhhh,’ and (Hedo Turkoglu) was telling me to just keep shooting the ball and don’t worry about it,’’ Arenas said. ``The meeting (with Van Gundy) was good because you always want a coach’s blessing that you have the green light to go and shoot the ball.’’


  • The Magic’s shooting woes of late continued in the first half when they made just 15 of 39 shots and only three of 16 3-pointers. At one point midway through the second quarter, the Magic had missed 11 of their 12 3-point shots.

    With Nelson making all three of the Magic’s 3-pointer in the first half, that meant that five Orlando players missed all of their tries. Jason Richardson missed his first five tries from beyond the arc, while Ryan Anderson misfired four straight times before finally finding the distance to start the third quarter.

    ``We had great looks, especially in the first half, but we weren’t knocking them down,’’ Anderson said. ``But we had so many good looks and that’s a good sign. We were moving the ball. We’re not going to make them every night. We have a couple of guys, including myself, who are going through a little stretch where we’re not shooting the ball great. But shooters get back into a rhythm.’’

  • L.A.’s Griffin looked like anything but an all-star, playing passively against the Magic’s traps defensively. He had two dunks – one on the fastbreak and one on an alley-oop pass – but he was otherwise a nonfactor on a night where he made just four of 12 shots.

    ``I have to watch film and find areas where I can improve,’’ Griffin said. ``Then, I need to go out and improve on them the next game. I’m not going to treat this game any differently than any other game. You can learn from a win or a loss. I’m just moving forward.’’


  • Jason Richardson made a head’s up play in the third quarter and the Clippers never saw it coming. When Richardson had trouble getting the ball inbounds, he simply threw the ball off the backside of Baron Davis and caught the deflection upon stepping in. Davis was disgusted with himself for allowing the play to happen, uttering an expletive.

  • Why, I wonder, would Los Angeles Clipper coach Vinny Del Negro pull starters Blake Griffin and Baron Davis and then start fouling Howard intentionally? The Magic were up 94-80 at the time of the Hack-A-Dwight, so the strategy was puzzling to say the least.

    Howard was wrapped up twice in a row by Ike Diogu and sent to the foul line on the second one. Howard ultimately sunk both tries, foiling the Clippers’ plan – whatever that plan was.

  • After he played so poorly in Boston on Sunday, Arenas said he recruited power forward Earl Clark to play one-on-one full-court for a couple of hours on Monday.

    Arenas said he had to get a workout in after missing all seven of his shots against the Celtics and going scoreless in a game for the first time since 2004.


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