Memphis Mauls Magic
Looking back on the February 22nd matchup in Memphis, the Magic should be commended for hanging in with a solid Western Conference team despite Jacque Vaughn only having seven bodies at his disposal following the J.J. Redick trade. The good news is that Magic had 11 healthy bodies available and every one of them scored. The bad news is that those 11 scorers still managed to be outscored by 26 points as Memphis obliterated Orlando at home by a final score of 108-82.
It’s the SEVENTH time this season Orlando has lost by 24+ points. Memphis only made 3-of-16 from deep last meeting, but torched Orlando from 3-point range as they rained in 11-of-24 triples. Tobias Harris was due to shoot under 50% for once, posting a pedestrian 3-for-14 outing.
Coach Vaughn on Memphis’ short-range offensive efficiency: “They shoot 24 three’s which is a lot for them and make 11. I think the combination of us responding to them making some shots early helped them get buckets at the basket.”
Grizzlies Head Coach Lionel Hollins announced an hour before tip that Zach Randolph was not available for this contest. Sitting Z-Bo proved to be the correct move as Memphis clearly didn’t need him and went out and snagged complete control from the beginning and never relinquished. Orlando never led and were behind by as many as 32 points.
Coach Vaughn on Tobias: “I just think it’s just about the course of the season. It’s like a baseball player, he’s not going to go 4-4 every game. It’s just like in basketball I think overall, if you can shoot 50% for your shooting percentage you’ll stay in this league a long time.”
I blame the unusually cold temperature inside the barren Amway Center for the unusual Magic player shot misses. The 16,020 spectators were the fewest ever for a Magic regular season home game inside the new Amway Center.
Memphis just has so much beef and length that it’s very difficult to run your usual pick-and-rolls, cuts, as well as give-and-go sets. Tobias Harris finally struggled, going 2-for-9 in the first half. Most of his looks were decent and he shouldn’t be chided. The Magic shot 35.9 FG% entering the locker room, trailing 60-35 at the break. Twenty-four minutes is a long time to swing momentum, but there was no realistic possibility of that occurring.
Coach Vaughn on Harrington: “He knows you can’t take this game for granted. He was out there using his minutes and playing extremely hard until I took him out of the game.”
Orlando kept the similar 25-point deficit entering the final period of regulation as garbage time was in full session.
The 16-44 Magic seek solace on the road as they travel to New Orleans and will take on the soon-to-be Pelicans on Monday. I’m sure Ryan Anderson will welcome Orlando by drilling thirteen 3-pointers.
Adam Papageorgiou runs Orlando Magic Greek and is a proud MBO contributor.