Brooklyn Blasts Past Magic Behind 3-Point Barrage
Orlando got blown out by 39 points at home in the first matchup with Brooklyn on November 9th, only to lose by just eight points in Brooklyn a few days later. Third time the charm? It wasn’t meant to be as the Magic were defeated 98-86. All five Brooklyn starters notched double figures while the Magic were led by Glen Davis’ 16 points.
After a promising 2-game win streak to kick off their home stand, the Orlando Magic have dropped three consecutive contests inside Amway Center. Coach Jacque Vaughn’s squad is now a poor 4-5 overall in front of their fans this season. No one should be shocked to know that Orlando has only led three times at halftime through these first 15 games. It has many folks yearning for the Stan Van Gundy era again of dominating at home and being very competitive away from your own parquet court.
Coach Jacque Vaughn on the 3rd quarter: “They just made shots. Game plan wise we didn’t anticipate Gerald Wallace going 5-of-6 from three and scheme wise we wanted to keep them out of the paint and try to contain Williams and they made shots.”
In a surprise twist, E’Twaun Moore found himself starting for a 3rd consecutive Brooklyn matchup as Jameer Nelson wasn’t able to suit up for the home side due to a left achilles tendon problem. Nelson is day-to-day. E’Twaun, in his first 2 duels against Deron Williams, averaged 13 ppg, 3 rpg, 3 apg, and an abysmal 5 turnovers per contest. Moore would finish with 13 points, 4 assists, and most importantly 0 turnovers. Lost in the sorrows of losing was Andrew Nicholson’s 12 points off the pine.
Brook Lopez didn’t play, as he’s temporarily out with a mild sprain in his right foot. So in a positive sense, Orlando avoided a potentially worse beating. That’s 18 points and 3 blocks that Nets Coach Avery Johnson wouldn’t be able to rely upon.
Glen Davis on the team’s mentality moving forward: “We have to do whatever it takes to get a win. You get tired of losing. We are trying to win ballgames and we have to learn. It hurts…We understand that it takes times and it takes work, but you don’t want to start tasting these L’s.”
Nikola Vucevic couldn’t possibly have had a worse beginning to a game. Going 0-for-6, in which two of those shots were wide open jump shot attempts is a nightmare. Kris Humphries literally allowed about 10 yards of room for Nik to miss. ‘Vucci Mane’ would make his seventh attempt, a mind-erasing running lefty hook shot that he kissed off the glass. The former USC Trojan tallied 12 points and 6 rebounds on a 5-of-12 shooting to salvage the disastrous start. All thanks to the 7-footer’s left hand. Coach Vaughn would mix his rotation up even more than usual as Kyle O’Quinn and Ish Smith received rare first quarter action. Ish would respond, drilling a buzzer beater that made the score 25-21 in favor of Brooklyn after twelve minutes.
Coach Vaughn on E’Twaun Moore: “He’s getting better. I think we’ve been stressing with him to just keep the game simple. Make the first available pass, the kick ahead pass, the easy pass…we’re working on that assist to turnover ratio.”
It’s sad when you have to mention that Ish Smith’s season-high coming into Friday night was 2 points, and that he broke it in the second period. A lot of praise was earned by Ish for being active on both ends of the court. Glen Davis was attempting his usual difficult and off-balanced repertoire, but the difference was they were actually dropping into the basket. Defense was not an issue for a change, as Orlando trailed 45-44 heading into the locker room. Moore managed 9 points and Davis 11 in that first half. Through 15 games Orlando has only led at halftime three times, which means a lot of hustling to claw back into contests.
Coach Vaughn on changing the team’s mentality not to trail at halftime: “It’s a huge challenge for us. I was pleased with our approach at the beginning of the game today…There was a good focus, there was a good effort and energy and now we have to get to a point where that’s sustained throughout the course of the game…”
The third quarter was highlighted by Brooklyn shooting 6-for-7 from 3-point range to in the period. I’m still stunned to say that four of those swishes belonged to Gerald Wallace. Orlando was even ahead 50-48 at the 9:38 mark before the Brooklyn barrage commenced. That was the sole reason why Brooklyn gained a comfortable 76-65 cushion heading into the fourth where the situation worsened. The Nets led by as much as 20 points at one point. Despite the blowout loss, this Magic team is still very spirited going into their 5-game Western Conference road trip that begins with the Lakers on Sunday. Orlando is currently 1-5 away from Amway Center. Let the Dwight chatter gather momentum again.
Adam Papageorgiou runs Orlando Magic Greek and is a proud MBO contributor.