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Brooklyn’s Magical Blowout – Redux

2012 November 11
by Brian Serra

Arron Afflalo does his best “Jumpman” impersonation.

Misleading title. It was a much better showing  for Orlando this time than the 39-point beat down delivered by Brooklyn on Friday night.  The Nets hung on late to defeat the Magic for the second time in three days, 82 – 74. While the box score from this afternoon may show a closer game, the result remains the same.

Undersized at every position on the court, the Brooklyn Bunch manhandled the smaller, inexperienced Magic squad at the beginning of the game to jump out to a 35-17 lead after the 1st quarter. The lead would remain in double digits for the majority of the night before the Magic made a late 4th quarter run behind better ball movement and defensive rotations. Although, it’s far from a reach to assume that after 7 consecutive quarters of not being challenged, that the Nets may have been checked out.

With Jameer Nelson and DeQuan Jones still sidelined with injuries, Coach Jacque Vaughn chose to remove Josh McRoberts from the starting lineup and instead inserted J.J. Redick. Orlando started 3 traditional SG’s and 2 traditional PF’s. Tough situation for Vaughn; lottery if you do, lottery if you don’t.

The Magic are severely missing the play-making and setup abilities of Jameer Nelson (missed his 5th straight game) and Hedo Turkoglu. The team’s shot attempts are entirely too forced and rarely are they taking place in rhythm, let alone in any semblance of an offensive flow. With Vaughn forced to start Redick, the second unit struggled without being able to rely on Redick’s distribution skills. The entire team suffers immensely with Redick off the court as the rest of the team hasn’t shown any consistent ability to create for others.

After allowing 35 points in the first quarter, Orlando clamped down defensively and was able to hold Brooklyn to just 47 points for the remainder of the game. Brooklyn’s medicore bench erupted for 55 points on Friday night, but were held to just 18 points.

“I thought defensively we were great. This was a great second game for us.” Coach Jacque Vaughn after the game, “Last game we let our lack of offense affect us defensively, tonight we didn’t let that happen.”

Glen Davis and Arron Afflalo led the team in scoring with 19 points each, while Nik Vucevic had 14 points and 12 rebounds. Brook Lopez led the Nets with 20 points, while Deron Williams had 17/7/7. The bench production was utterly non-existent, combining to score just 4 points. Josh McRoberts had a team worse -24 +/-.

Rookies Maurice Harkless and Kyle O’Quinn, both Queens natives had lots of family and friends in the building tonight but were unable to produce. KOQ failed to see the court, while Harkless was scoreless in 11 minutes.

With the loss, the team has now lost 4 in a row to fall to 2-4 on the year. Next up for the Magic is the New York Knicks on Tuesday back home in Orlando.

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