New Look Magic Start Off Looking Like Old Look Magic
In the first game of the Gilbert Arenas era, the Orlando Magic fell to the Atlanta Hawks by a score of 91-81. It was expected that the new Magic players would struggle playing together and that was absolutely the case. The team looked discombobulated on offense and seemed to be either over thinking every possession or hoisting up bad shots. On defense, it was much of the same. Players were out of position and struggled with rotations all night, especially on pick and roll plays.
Dwight Howard led the Magic with 19 points and 20 rebounds and Jameer Nelson chipped in 18 points, most of which came late.
Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu combined to shoot 6-23 from the field for only 27 total points. On the season, those same 3 typically combine to average 39 field goal attempts and score 43 points per game. As a team, the Magic shot only 35% from the field tonight and 4-17 from 3 point distance. New players or not, you have to be able to make shots.
With that being said, the ball movement for the Magic was poor. No one on the Magic had more than 3 assists in the game. On top of that, the spacing was poor which often left little room for drives to the basket and forced shots at the end of the shot clock.
Former Gator Al Horford led the Hawks with 24 points and 11 rebounds.
Cliche time: Rome was not build in a day.
The Magic will be back in action Tuesday night against the red hot Dallas Mavericks as they continue to try to work through their new girlfriend jitters. Needless to say, Stan Van Gundy will not be getting much sleep tonight.