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Magic show they still have fight in huge comeback victory over the Heatles. Preseason matters tonight.

2011 December 21

I tried to tell you guys that this game would matter. Well, apparently only one of the halves mattered but fortunately it was the important one. After being down by 23 points in the 2nd quarter, the Magic fought back with a huge second half to #BeatTheHeat 104-100.

Led by a balanced scoring attack and a new found aggression, the Magic were able to start the 2nd half on a 10-2 run which ignited the team forward. Orlando took its first lead of the night with 2:39 left in the third.

The comeback feels even more impressive with how terrible the first quarter really was. The Magic started the game down 12-0 to Miami on 0-12 shooting. 8 of those 12 missed shots were three pointers.

Magic Coach Stan Van Gundy said after the game that what it really came down to was the team making shots. He claims that they executed just as well if not better in the first half then the huge second half.  Chalk that up to classic “coach-speak”.

The difference in this game was the aggressive penetration of Jameer Nelson and the stellar 3 man game played between Jameer, Glen Davis and Dwight Howard. Penetration and kick out’s lead to easy rhythm jumpers. The first half of tonight’s game and going back to last game, it was nothing but kick out to kick out.

With Jameer and Dwight starting pick and roll’s and rolling Big Baby off the backside, the Magic were able to continously get easy baskets either in the paint or on spot up 15 footers.

I won’t completely discount Stan’s “the shots were falling” message, but the passion on the floor that Jameer and Big Baby brought in the second half it was really turned this game around for Orlando.

Hats off to the fans at the Amway Center tonight as well. I think I can safely say that this was one of the loudest preseason games I have ever seen in ANY sport. It was powerful and fun and there is no question that Dwight felt the passion.

It’s been nine months since Magic fans were able to watch their team win a big game. It may not count in the standings, but this win will go a long way in restoring the locker room confidence and more importantly, keeping the locker room united.

For more news, notes, tidbits, fun facts, smiley faces and jokes from tonight’s game – click the “read more” button below.

  • Jameer Nelson score 8 points, dished 6 assists and had 0 turnovers in the second half tonight . By comparison, through the first six quarters of the preseason he scored only 7 points, 11 assists and 3 turnovers on 1-17 shooting. I call that “being a difference maker”.
  • The poor shooting from Game 1 transferred over heavily to this game and a lot of has to blamed on the poor conditioning of the team. When you see shot after shot hit the front of the iron, you know that the legs aren’t there. The Magic shot 2-18 from three in the first half before rebounding to shoot 6-9 from three in the second half.
  • SEE ABOVE BULLET. The Magic attempted only 9 3-pointers in the second half compared to 18. Orlando outscored Miami 40-24 in the paint. Easy shots bring easy points. What. A. Concept.
  • Balanced scoring has always been the story for this team dating back several seasons. The leading scorer tonight was Glen Davis with 18 off the bench and they still got the win and scored over 100 points.
  • Stan also managed his players minutes tonight with nobody playing more than 28 (D12). 14 players saw action for the Magic including rookies Justin Harper, DeAndre Liggins and pseudo rookie Daniel Orton. All three guys not only saw the court but they also played well.
  • The subplot that only diehard fans will care about tonight comes at the backup PG position.  Chris Duhon played the role of Jameer’s backup for the first half but Stan turned to Larry Hughes in that spot in the second half. #DuhonTurnover hasn’t shown the ability to get any thing productive on the court and Hughes came in and played surprisingly well. He distributed the ball well and kept the offense in flow. It will be interesting to see how the subplot plays out. (hopefully it plays out with Duhon being waived)
  • The LeBron stopper role that was previously cast for Earl Clark seems to have slipped away. Earl played only 3 minutes tonight and struggled when on the floor. Quentin Richardson started in place of the injured Hedo and was in the head of LeBron all game including several unnecessary roughness penalties.
  • The Magic also announced after the game that Gabe Pruitt has been waived from the team. The roster now stands at 15.

The regular season starts Christmas night in Oklahoma City. Game tips at 8:00 EST.

Bonus Von Wafer dunk video, FOR FREE:

 

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