Spurs Reserves Flatten Magic
Reunions are fun, except when your master destroys you. Jacque Vaughn, Rob Hennigan, Beno Udrih, and Hedo Turkoglu (still buried in obscurity) all have had previous stints in San Antonio. No Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard, or Tony Parker at Gregg Popovich’s disposal, but the Spurs still had that Tim Duncan guy for thirteen minutes and enough hot shooting from its bench to pound the visiting Magic 98-84. Not much you can say other than Orlando’s defense is still going under screens and switching way too much, leading to open jumpers galore.
Orlando kicked off Wednesday evening with its 26th different starting lineup of the season that featured Harkless at SG, Tobias at SF, and Nicholson sliding in at PF. I’ve been begging for Jacque to make this move for weeks now and was hopeful of great success. Not sure what was more painful, hearing Matt Guokas’ voice, or witnessing the Magic struggle mightily to score in the first 5 minutes. Spurs were up 14-4 before Coach Vaughn’s bench came in to compete. 10 points off the pine from DeQuan was a massive boost in keeping Orlando within just five points after the first period. It also helps when Vucevic, Harkless, and Tobias each swatted 2 shots.
Don’t ask me why, but I think Gary Neal is a huge pain in the ass. Had 19 points back in November, and was the only Spurs player in double figures at the break with fourteen thanks to 4-of-5 3-point shooting. The Magic were able to run up-and-down and kept San Antonio’s lead at a respectable 51-46 at halftime.
Duncan didn’t play in the second half. That’s fine by me as the Spurs still were leading despite Popovich utilizing the end of his bench. Aron Baynes dominating you in a career-high fashion isn’t an encouraging sign. Nor is Matt Bonner manhandling you in the post. Orlando was dead in the water down 8 entering the final twelve minutes of regulation. Danny Green would pour in daggers in the fourth. You may as well have switched to the McDonald’s All-American game to see such great talents like Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker because the Spurs punched their foot on the gas pedal in the last period. Orlando heads to Chicago to take on the Bulls on Friday.
Adam Papageorgiou runs Orlando Magic Greek and is a proud MBO contributor.