Knicks HAMMER Magic as Orlando Effort *Disappears*
The Magic started tonight’s game with hot, aggressive play – sparked by Jameer Nelson- and jumped to an early 14-7 lead just 4 minutes into the game. Orlando led New York 29-25 after 12 minutes, behind Nelson’s 11 1st quarter points.
It was Dwight Howard’s first trip to New York since his commitment back to Orlando for the 2012-2013 season ended with a brutal 108-86 blowout. [insert standard Dwight not cut out for New York pressure comment here]
An injured Knicks team already missing Jeremy Lin and Amare Stoudemire, and seeing Carmelo Anthony hitting the exercise bike in between minutes on the court to keep his sore groin loose, did whatever it wanted against a lackluster Magic effort.
Jameer Nelson after the game, “We shouldn’t have to talk about effort. That’s absurd to me to have to come into the locker room and have to talk about effort. You get out-rebounded by 15 or whatever… They just looked hungrier than us and wanted it more.”
After shooting 50% from the field, turning the ball over just once and scoring 29 points in the 1st quarter, the 2nd quarter was just the opposite. 12 points, 5 turnovers and 32 points allowed in the 2nd for the Magic. 4-16 from the field, 0-6 from three. To make it worst, Orlando trailed just 40-38 with 4 minutes left in the half before the Knicks closed it out on a 17-3 run.
Halftime adjustments should fix it all, right? Wrong.
The 2nd half started the same as the first half ended. A 21-0 run in the middle of the 3rd quarter would expand the lead to as much as 39 points. Blowout city. A 15-0 run by Orlando would help make the game look somewhat respectable, but don’t be fooled. This was another one of those -absolutely awful, I can’t believe that game really just happened- games.
Stan Van Gundy on the blowout loss, “What’s shocking to me, is that a team that is playing over .600 basketball can get rocked as many times as we have” “That’s what’s mind-boggling to me”
The Knicks were led by Carmelo Anthony and Iman Shumpert who each scored 25 points and both had complete, well-rounded games with a combined 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
For the Magic, Jameer Nelson led the team in scoring with 17 points. A more impressive scoring stat for Orlando was the fact that three Magic starters scored 5 points or less.
Nothing new to read here. This is the same story that seems to be written every few weeks this season. Nothing changes. This Orlando team has the ability to blow other teams out or be blown out. It is what it is.
“Nothing with this group ever surprises me” – J.J. Redick after tonight’s loss.
The Magic face off against the Knicks once more this season just a week from now in Orlando on Thursday, April 5th as they try to pull out the rubber game in the season series.