Pelicans Pound Orlando Magic Again to Conclude Preseason
No Jameer, Tobias, Doron, or Maxiell Friday evening as the Pelicans were sporting their big guns which meant an ugly contest for Magic fans to view. Orlando’s rotation men only truly played in the first half before the camp invites and third string players for Jacque Vaughn bumbled and stumbled their way to a 101-82 defeat.
Harkless was notably extra active than usual on both ends of the court with Al-Farouq Aminu being his SF counterpart. Oladipo continued to abuse All-Star Jrue Holiday on both ends of the court until personal foul trouble got in the way and we saw Victor actually have to let off the gas pedal. Orlando’s rotation defense on 3-point attempts is still noticeably awful which is solid news for opponents. It was nice to see Ryan Anderson get a solid fan reaction from the half-filled Amway Center crowd considering all the personal problems he’s had to deal with of late. Pelicans led 21-31 after one period thanks to 62.5 FG%. Jacque didn’t make a single substitution.
Jacque went with his deep bench guys in the 2nd period, and it showed as we had to witness 5 ugly minutes of basketball before Jacque put in that starting lineup of Oladipo, Afflalo, Harkless, Nicholson, and Vucevic. Nik looked uncomfortable out there with that right sleeve to protect his elbow as his shooting form suffered and uncharacteristic errors led to turnovers. I was happy to see Vooch torch Greg Stiemsma though as he should. Oladipo would bolt to the hole and finish a lefty lay-up at the buzzer to tie the contest. 45-45 at halftime. Victor and Vooch would end their outing at halftime with each providing 10 points. Manny Harris led all Magic scorers with twelve on the evening.
It took about 5 minutes into the second half for the Pelicans starters to go up double digits on Orlando’s ‘deep’ bench. Orlando trailed by fifteen entering the final period. At least a few bailout buzzer beaters were drained by Manny Harris. He won’t make the squad, but some NBA team could use a fifteenth guy like Manny. Ronnie Price and E’Twaun Moore (1-of-10 entering the fourth) were making me think about Chris Duhon for a split second – their guard play was so bad. Some press defense, a Ronnie Price dunk, and some awesome swats got the crowd’s pulse up in the middle of the period before that quickly died down thanks to Brian Roberts proving again he’s Jannero Pargo reincarnated. Orlando ends the preseason with a 2-6 record. After the game, Romero Osby, Mickell Gladness, Kris Joseph, and Manny Harris were all sent packing as they did not make the team. All had unguaranteed deals. Solomon Jones, Mount Dora native, is this season’s DeQuan Jones addition. Magic have their full 15 men counting the still not bought out Hedo Turkoglu as they prepare for Tuesday’s regular season opener in Indiana.
Adam Papageorgiou runs Orlando Magic Greek and is a proud MBO contributor.