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HEDO LIVES! Magic victory saves outside shot at 65-1 record.

2011 December 26
by Brian Serra

A strong overall shooting night paced the Magic to a 104-95 victory in their home opener against the Houston Rockets. Coming off of a disappointing opening night loss to the Thunder, the Magic needed this win to propel the momentum back to an upswing.

It’s amazing what happens when you switch from playing one of the best defensive teams in the league to one of the worst.  Swap out Ibaka and Perkins for Jordan Hill and Samuel Dalembert and magically points in the paint are easier!

Hedo Turkoglu led the Magic in scoring tonight with 23 points and JJ Redick and Dwight Howard had 20 and 21 respectively. Stan was asked after the game what the difference in Turk was tonight and he had trouble pinning it down but ultimately settled with aggression.

Stan on Hedo, “there is no reason he shouldn’t play like this”.  He then went on to note a summer conversation he had with Turkoglu on being the guy he was in ’09. Aggressive. He isn’t there yet in regards to returning to that form, but nights like this give it hope.

Notes, tidbits, stats, and somewhat meaningless info from tonights victory:

  • Stan started the first and second half by using the first few possessions to draw up plays for Turk and Jason Richardson. J-Rich scored on both of his, but didn’t do much more for the remainder of the evening finishing with only 10 points in almost 33 minutes.
  • If J-Rich isn’t careful he is going to lose his starting spot to JJ Redick. Obviously JJ’s 20 points is great, but it’s the little things he does on off the ball that help the offense flow. Watch him catch the ball, he doesn’t waste time with jab steps. He either catches and shoots or catches and puts the ball on the floor. The ball never stops outside of the paint, which in turn keeps the defense moving and forcing them to adjust.
  • Big Baby also had a big night for the Magic and helped the team pull away with a few big baskets in the 4th quarter. He only had 13 points and 4 rebounds on the night, but his energy on both sides of the court was contagious. He was also involved in the funniest play of the night when he just stopped in the middle of a possession patting the top of his head and asking for a sub. Conditioning isn’t quite there yet…
  • Consistency will be the big key moving forward. The guys that had a big night last night, struggled tonight. Ryan Anderson scored just 8 points and Jameer managed only 2 points on 1-6 shooting. Meanwhile, Duhon and Turk who looked like they didn’t even belong in the NBA last night both looked great tonight.
  • The schedule plays in the favor of Orlando over the next 5 games when they face off against New Jersey, Charlotte, Toronto, Detroit and Washington. All lottery teams a season ago. Obviously wins are always important, but they become slightly more important when your star player is asking to be traded. It will be critical for the squad to go at least 4-1 in this stretch.

Orlando is back in action Thursday night at home against Dwight Howard’s New Jersey Nets. Tickets are still available starting at $8.

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