I know itís probably wrong of me but I will probably go to my grave blaming the game one loss on Danny Granger deciding to take a week off at the end of the season to ďrestĒ his knee. He had a killer month of April from the field and sitting out two games I think threw off his shooting rhythm. I have no proof mind you but thatís just my feeling.
Speaking of Danny I have a feeling that Orlando got saved by the bell so to speak when time basically ran out in the first quarter because Quentin Richardson was being a little to cute in his celebration to Danny being called for a travel and Danny did not take to kindly to his over exaggeration of the traveling motion. Danny is one of those very rare players that actually plays better, much better in fact, when he is mad. Donít believe me, just ask Kevin Love. The very next play down the Magic missed a shot and Danny jumped just a little higher than he had previously and was talking with Richardson as he was coming down the court. I have a feeling that had there been much more time Danny would have run off some shots, but as it was time expired and Danny calmed down at the half.
Look I get that Orlando has a right to be proud of their game one win and they can be proud that they competed for half of game 2, but at some point in time their celebrations become a little juvenile and well frankly Derrick Rose nor myself will ever forget Big Babyís high stepping dance after his fade away.
Also this series has just reaffirmed what I have always suspected, Ryan Anderson is a turd. I am sure that Satan and Saloon Door have a lot to do with this but as you can imagine I hate ďstretch fourís with the passion of a white hot son. In fact I hate even saying or typing it. I hate Steve Novak that most but a very close second is Anderson and as I have always suspected if you take away Dwight Howard who you have to double and triple team he canít create his own offense. I really enjoyed the fact that both Frank Vogel & Stan Van Gundy trashed him in their post game press conference. I just hope that the Magic reward him with a big fat contract that eats up their salary cap for years and then Howard splits on them.
While Iím being petty can I admit something? I hate that stupid announcer that the Magic have in their arena. I have hated him for over 20 years and having to listen to his stupid yelling of Shaquiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiilllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll lEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE OíNealllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll. I know itís wrong of me but I just want him to get a case of crabs from a toilet seat or something.
Have you noticed a trend here? Iím not really talking about our team or the game all that much. The reason is pretty simple; the boys took care of business.
Vogel has been superb in this series so far because he has mixed and matched and adjusted and re-adjusted. Van Gundy (who I donít like) has done a very admirable job trying to do anything to keep his team in this but for the past 6 quarters they have just simply been overmatched and the one real weapon they have (Davis) I think is starting to wear down from all of the min. he has played.
Iím not sure really who was our best player tonight really. I know that the trend is to say that Hibbert was the best and he certainly had a good game but Danny was good and George Hill was very good as well.
Whatís funny is that even though Danny had decent stats and actually shot well from the field I still donít think that he had that great of a game.
Speaking of not having a good game and Iím still waiting on him to have a good game, Leandro Barbosa still is getting significant min. and still not really producing much. I mean 5 points from him in 23 min. is slightly less than I think most of us expected. Not sure if itís the ankle or the style of play but we are still waiting on his breakout game.
Not much really to talk about with this game so letís just get right to grades.
David West: C The Magic went way out of their way to make sure that David didnít have any easy looks at the basket. Unfortunately for them as Frank likes to say we have two horses (meaning Roy) and when they covered David the team just shifted to Roy and didnít miss a beat. David was still working down low though and got some rebounds and in general did a great job of being an active decoy all night long.
Danny Granger: A Hit his shots, grabbed some rebounds, defended his man. Pretty much what you would want from Danny. Even saying that though I still feel as though Danny has not turned it up to the next notch yet. He did have too many turnovers tonight but he also had the ball a lot. I think if nothing else people should really be happy with Danny being a willing passer (except whenever he is on a fast break which he is just generally horrid at) and while he isnít getting the assist he often is the pass that leads to the pass that is the assist.
Roy Hibbert: A Man in the middle. He saw Ryan Anderson and his eyes lit up. Also he put a little extra mustard on that dunk over Davis because I have a feeling he was a little tired of his antics on the floor. Didnít get a great number of blocks tonight but he has established himself as a defensive presence enough now that he is affecting several shots by the Magic.
Paul George: B+ Birthday boy gave us all a couple of presents tonight. He actually attacked the rim and got to the line. There are just so many times that I think he tries to hard to either shy away from contact or frankly be a little to cute with his scoop layups, but tonight he just went right at the rim and got to the line 7 times. Drawing fouls helps so much because not only do you get to the line but you make them one foul closer to being in the penalty and one of their players being sent to the bench in foul trouble. He once again had a very good overall rounded game.
George Hill: B+ Since game one his defense on Nelson has for the most part been outstanding. Heís pretty much kept in front of him and has taken away any type of airspace when he goes for a jumper. Itís just the nature of our offense that does not allow for a lot of assists so judging him based on those stats you would think he was a miserable failure but if you did you would be wrong. Very important cog in our machine.
Leandro Barbosa: C- Not really sure what to make of his play to be honest with you. Normally his defense is surprisingly good but so far in this series itís just been adequate and it was barely that tonight. Still canít hit a shot. Iím hoping he breaks out on Saturday.
Darren Collison: A- Good shooting night, decent defense and had yet another breakaway dunk. Really pretty much all you can ask from a backup point guard. Iíll say this, if he had been playing defense like this all season long he would not have had to worry about losing his starting point guard spot.
Tyler Hansbrough: B Nothing spectacular really, just good solid defense and he actually did grab some rebounds tonight. Limited play limited his production but when he was on the floor he did what you would hope he would do.
Lou Amundson: C Not really much to judge him on.
Ok, Iím not reviewing the players who played when the game was decided. Just assume that each of them did well enough to get passing grades and go from there.
Weíve done our job. We now have home court back and right now we have the momentum in this series. I just wish we played Friday instead of Saturday because I have a feeling that Davis in particular is fatigued but so are many of their players.
Frank has really impressed me by learning each game. He has limited the bench play and he is not letting them as a group not produce before he subs them out. I really like the fact that he isnít subbing in and out 3-4 players at a time.
Couple of days of rest and letís get right back on them and not give them any room to breath.