Bobcats Bury Unfocused Magic
I have no problem admitting when I’m wrong, but I was incorrect in believing this now 14-25 Magic squad could sneak into the postseason. Not when you lose to an inept Charlotte team 106-100 in your own building and make Jeff Adrien look like a prime Corey Maggette who can get to the rack at will. Adrien failed in making the Magic roster during Summer League in 2010. The energy, defensive focus, and offensive intensity was absent for Orlando. Charlotte even tried to give the game away at the end, and Orlando still couldn’t snatch it from them. Weak sets and a season-high 31 Magic 3-point attempts were not the solution as Charlotte won the paint battle and attempted 17 more free throws than their hosts.
Coach Vaughn on team’s failure to focus: “That’s why you always have to stay in the now. You worry about today’s game and don’t look forward. That’s always got to be your approach.”
Last meeting in Charlotte on December 15th, Kemba Walker mounted a career-high 32 points in a narrow Orlando road victory. Try 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists tonight. Coach Mike Dunlap’s side was 2-24 in their previous twenty-six contests entering Friday evening. Anything can happen on any given night. Orlando came out of the gates shooting 63.2 FG%, but Charlotte kept even as the initial twelve minutes ended in a 28-28 stalemate.
Orlando was punished for their sleepwalking in the 2nd quarter, trailing by 12 points at the break. Charlotte entered the locker room shooting 59 FG% and were carried by Kemba and Gerald Henderson who combined for 33 of the Bobcats’ fifty-seven points. I’m scratching my head as to why Maurice Harkless didn’t see the parquet court, and also why Nik Vucevic wasn’t being fed the rock.
Jacque Vaughn on Charlotte’s 1st half: “They got off to a start that we didn’t anticipate; a 28 and a 29 first and second quarter. That’s the great thing about the NBA is that as soon as you take a sigh, another team comes in and they’re ready to play.
Tonight was ‘Faith & Family Night’ inside Amway Center. Well Orlando’s belief in their comeback capabilities were calls of help that the refs couldn’t answer for them. It didn’t help that Jameer looked battered and bruise with two bad hips, and that Glen Davis was forced into the locker room early in the third period with a sore back. Both players will be evaluated on Saturday. JJ Redick picked a great time to catch fire late in the quarter as his 8-point flurry had Orlando only behind 76-71 entering the final session of play.
All that semi-decent effort evaporated in the 4th as Orlando settled for soft looks and couldn’t get stops to save anyone’s life. When Hakim Warrick and Brendan Haywood are offensive threats, you don’t deserve to succeed. Get two solid wins against the Clippers and Pacers, only to play down to the competition and drop games to the Wizards and Bobcats in pitiful fashion. Orlando hosts the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.
Adam Papageorgiou runs Orlando Magic Greek and is a proud MBO contributor.