Denton: Magic-Bucks Postgame Analysis

By John Denton
April 5, 2011


WHAT WENT RIGHT

  • Obviously frustrated by Sunday’s loss in Toronto, the Magic came out Tuesday night locked in from the start.

    The Magic made six of their first nine shots, including 3-pointers from Turkoglu and Nelson. By the time the game was 5 minutes, 20 seconds old, the Magic were already up 14-0, forcing Milwaukee to call timeout and substitute all five starters.

    ``We had a talk before the game – just the team,’’ Howard said. ``We talked about making sure we come out every night with a lot of energy. Now we just have to sustain it for 48 minutes. Our energy and effort were great in the first quarter, but we just have to do it for 48 minutes.’’

    The Magic’s defense also played a role in the Bucks missing their first eight shots and 11 of 12 to start the game. Milwaukee, which trailed 14-0 and 18-2, made just five of 18 shots in the first quarter. At one point in the second quarter, Milwaukee’s five starters were a combined one of 12 from the floor.

  • WHAT WENT WRONG

  • The Magic led by 16 points early on and shot 55 percent in the first period, but seemed to put it on cruise control after that.

    Orlando’s second quarter – it missed 12 of 14 shots, misfired on all eight 3-point tries and turned the ball over five times – was about as bad as Milwaukee’s horrendous first quarter.

    And the bad shooting carried over to the second half with the Magic missing all four of their 3-point shots in the third quarter and three more in the fourth period. Orlando hit just two of 21 3-point shots, missing the final 19 tries.

    It was the first time since March 30, 2007 that the Magic made fewer three 3-pointers and won. Since the start of the 2007-08 season, the Magic have made fewer than three 3-pointers in a game just once.

    ``It was a frustrating night offensively. We were inept most of the night,’’ Van Gundy said. ``We didn’t shoot well and we didn’t handle the ball well and we didn’t make free throws. But I thought our guys played very, very hard.

    ``If anybody missed the (national championship) game last night, it was a lot like this,’’ Van Gundy added.

  • Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles coaxed veteran referee Dick Bavetta into calling a 10-second violation on a Howard free throw attempt with 1:41 left in the second quarter.

    During Howard’s first attempt, Skiles claimed that he counted to 13 and complained to Bavetta to enforce the rule. Sure enough, Bavetta blew his whistle before Howard’s next attempt, calling a violation.

    It’s the second time this season that Howard has been whistled for a 10-second violation on a free throw attempt. Veteran referee Bob Delaney also called a violation on Christmas Day in a nationally televised game against the Boston Celtics.

  • FINAL OBSERVATIONS

  • When the Bucks missed their first eight shots and fell behind 14-0, Skiles – a former Magic point guard – opted for five new players. The twist was that four of the five – Keyon Dooling, Corey Maggette, Drew Gooden and Earl Boykins – once played for the Magic.

  • When Van Gundy was whistled for a technical foul in the second quarter by referee Curtis Blair it moved the Magic coach into some dubious company.

    Van Gundy is tied with Portland’s Nate McMillan for the most technical fouls by a coach with nine. The Magic already have the player (Howard) with the most technical fouls and now they have the top coach in Ts as well.

    Magic President of Operations/GM Otis Smith has said repeatedly throughout this season that he feels his team complains too much and should just focus more on the game. The Magic have made strides in arguing with referees less of late, and that will be important heading into the pressure-packed playoffs next week.

  • READ ENTIRE ANALYSIS>>>

    John Denton writes for OrlandoMagic.com. E-mail John at jd41898@aol.com. Submit a question to John for his mailbag segment at AskJD@orlandomagic.com.