Magic Win – Let’s All Be Thankful For Playing the Pistons
For the second time in less than a week, the Detroit Pistons were the medicine to cure the Orlando Magic ills. After winning a close game in Detroit last Friday, the Magic (4-7) were able to run away in the second half tonight to beat the Pistons (2-10) 90 to 74.
Don’t be confused, the close 16 point differential is not indicative of how terrible Detroit played tonight.
The Magic were trailing by three at halftime before Detroit went ice-cold in the 3rd quarter, scoring just 8 points total. Orlando came out on a 21-0 run to start the half, a run which lasted nearly 10 minutes of game play. Fortunately for the Magic, the rest of the game was just as cruel to the Pistons. Detroit would score just 26 second half points.
“I thought our defense was pretty good in the defense also. I think it was just great concentration coming out of halftime. Guys were focused and it showed.” -Head Coach Jacque Vaughn
Andrew Nicholson led the Magic in scoring tonight with a career high 15 points, including a monsterous dunk over Kyle Singler. Fellow rookie Maurice Harkless got his first career start in tonight’s game and although the final box score of 7 points and 4 rebounds in 21 minutes doesn’t jump off the page, he was impressive in his stints on the floor providing energy and sorely needed athleticism.
Expect Harkless to secure the starting SF position soon as Coach Vaughn much prefers to bring J.J. Redick off the bench. If Harkless can continue to earn his coach’s trust, especially on the defensive end, it’s his spot to lose until Hedo Turkoglu returns from his rehab.
“The reason we put J.J. in the lineup from the start was that Jameer was hurt and we needed some more punch,” Vaughn commenting on the lineup change, “Now that we are getting a little bit healthier as a team and I said from Day 1 that I wanted J.J.’s role to be off the bench and tonight was an opportunity to make that happen, and it seemed to work pretty well for us.”
Whether it be continuous injuries or food poisoning, it’s been difficult for the coach to get a steady lineup on the floor. Tonight the Magic were able to field the closest thing they’ve had since the first night of the season and it showed as instead of being the team that gets run over, they did the running.
This year, #wewill be thankful for playing the Pistons.