Magic Offense Sputters

By on March 2, 2017

Orlando, Fla. — Calling Wednesday night’s Orlando Magic vs. New York Knicks matchup sloppy would be an understatement.

The game, a 101-90 win for the Knicks, featured two teams out of rhythm. The Knicks, fresh off the news that Joakim Noah will miss the remainder of the year, took the floor without Willy Hernangómez, and with Derrick Rose and Kristaps Porzingis fresh off the injury list.

It would be the Magic, however, that showed the real rust. Despite having three days off since their win over the Hawks, Orlando looked like a team that had never played together before. The most glaring evidence of this was their 11 combined assists as a team.

There were only three lead changes in the game, all of them in the first quarter, and Orlando’s biggest lead with two points.

After their newest acquisition, Terrence Ross, had a breakout 24-point game on Saturday, it appeared that the team was gelling nicely. Their new small ball approach that hinges on fastbreak points looked deadly as they downed the playoff-bound Hawks.

On Wednesday, however, a very different Magic team took the floor against the twelfth-place Knicks. They played selfishly, reverting to the non-trusting iso-ball that has plagued them all season. They settled, taking step-back, low-percentage jumpers instead of attacking the rim against a Knicks team that had the size advantage.

New York’s length, which hinged on the long arms of 7’3” Porzingis, and the bulky 6’8” Carmelo Anthony in the frontcourt, stopped the Magic from using their speed. New York’s versatility, switching nearly every screen and frustrating the Magic attack, led to poorly executed offensive sets and forced shots.

“They’re long, and they’re definitely a smart team, and they switch,” said Magic forward Aaron Gordon, “I think our switching looked like it was slightly stagnant.”

Energy was a big concern from the Magic, who shot 41 percent from the floor on offense and committed a series of mistakes on the defensive end that led to easy buckets.

“No I don’t think we played hard enough offensively,” said Magic coach Frank Vogel, I thought we played harder on the defensive end than the offensive end and we’re trying to be a running team and we didn’t really commit to that for 48 minutes.”

The silver lining for the Magic is that they did turn 11 Knicks turnovers into 10 points and scored 18 off of fast break opportunities.

Small forward Evan Fournier led the Magic with a game-high 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting. He was the only Orlando player to shoot over 50 percent, and also chipped in two assists and two rebounds.

The Orlando Magic (22-39) will stay at home when they take on the Miami Heat (28-33) on Friday. After dropping the opener against Miami, the Magic have won the last two meetings, and look to finish the year with a winning record over their rival in their final game on Friday.

 

Knicks
STARTERS MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
K. PorzingisPF 33 6-15 2-7 6-8 3 6 9 2 1 0 1 3 +6 20
L. ThomasSF 31 4-5 0-0 3-4 1 4 5 1 2 0 0 1 +6 11
C. AnthonySF 39 4-16 2-7 7-8 1 8 9 2 2 0 2 2 +18 17
D. RosePG 33 8-14 0-1 3-5 1 6 7 4 1 0 3 1 +17 19
C. LeeSG 35 2-5 1-3 0-0 1 3 4 2 1 1 2 1 +7 5
BENCH MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
M. KuzminskasSF 15 2-7 1-3 4-4 3 4 7 2 0 0 1 1 +1 9
K. O’QuinnC 19 2-6 0-2 0-0 3 4 7 4 0 1 0 2 +4 4
M. PlumleeC 1 0-0 0-0 2-2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -1 2
C. RandlePG 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 -2 0
J. HolidaySG 16 6-11 2-5 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 +3 14
R. BakerSG 17 0-2 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 4 1 0 2 3 -4 0
S. VujacicSG DNP-COACH’S DECISION
TEAM 34-81 8-29 25-31 13 37 50 21 9 3 11 16 101
42.0% 27.6% 80.6%
Magic
STARTERS MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
A. GordonPF 24 4-12 0-3 2-2 2 3 5 0 0 0 0 5 -13 10
T. RossSF 37 3-10 0-5 0-0 0 5 5 2 1 0 1 1 -12 6
N. VucevicC 27 6-16 0-0 2-2 3 7 10 0 1 0 3 2 -19 14
E. PaytonPG 21 1-4 0-0 0-0 0 4 4 4 0 0 2 3 -8 2
E. FournierSG 38 8-15 2-7 4-7 0 2 2 2 0 0 3 3 -11 22
BENCH MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
J. GreenSF 24 4-10 1-5 2-2 0 2 2 0 1 2 0 4 +2 11
B. BiyomboC 21 3-6 0-0 2-4 3 4 7 2 0 1 1 3 +8 8
D.J. AugustinPG 27 4-8 2-5 5-5 1 3 4 1 0 0 0 2 -3 15
M. HezonjaSG 21 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 4 4 0 0 0 2 2 +1 2
D. RudezSF DNP-COACH’S DECISION
S. ZimmermanC DNP-COACH’S DECISION
C. WilcoxSG DNP-COACH’S DECISION
TEAM 34-83 5-25 17-22 9 34 43 11 3 3 12 25 90
41.0% 20.0% 77.3%
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