Morning Bell – 1.23.2009

Thing That Became Apparent During the Magic/Celtics Game

The Magic aren’t ready to contend for a title this year.  This doesn’t mean that they’re a flawed team at all, but the fact of the matter is that this team is just not a serious title contender.  And really, it’s not that surprising; the areas in which they failed last night are exactly what people have had concerns about.

First and foremost was the dismal three-point shooting.  For a team that relies on the three-pointer as the basis of their offense, shooting 32% is a death wish.  Not only do the Magic usually score about 30 points off threes (a third of their offense, by the way), that spacing gives Dwight Howard a chance to operate down low.  Shooting comes and goes, but if the three-pointer is that consequential to your team’s success, there needs to be another way to score in big games.  And that’s the second problem.

Dwight relies so much on his superior athleticism and strength, that when he faces an equally as brawny center he can get taken out of his game.  Last night, part of this was because the Magic weren’t hitting outside, and therefore, Howard had to contend with the Celtics’ help defense, but in those situations the Magic need to be able to rely on their star to get himself going.  Howard isn’t a traditional center, and his postups are often ineffective.  Somehow, Van Gundy needs to find a reliable way to get Dwight the ball moving towards the hoop, which is when he’s at his best.

The Magic are a good team, but when the shots aren’t falling, they aren’t near the upper echelon of the NBA. 

Other Thing That Stuck Out to Me During the Magic/Celtics Game

 

I know Stan Van Gundy isn’t a fashion plate, but that shirt he was wearing was ridiculous.  Stan Van with his jacket off during halftime was one of the most harrowing sights I’ve ever seen.

Be thankful he has his jacket on in this picture.

Last Thing About That Magic/Celtics Game

JJ Redick had a pretty decent game, all things considered.  The only Magic with a positive +/-, Redick seemingly replaced Courtney Lee in the second half.  JJ is easy to hate.  Very easy.  But he can be a decent supporting player.  Him and Eddie House guarding each other last night was like watching the video for “Ebony and Ivory.”

Things You Expected to Happen That Happened Last Night

Celtics 90, Magic 80

Lakers 117, Wizards 97 

Seth Carstens