Celtics Clobber Magic, Bradley Torches Orlando’s Backcourt
The Magic entered Monday’s matchup with two rough losses in a row and did little to make sure that came to an end on Monday night. The offense struggled to get into any consistent rythym, thanks to the pesky Avery Bradley and the defense faired even worse. Defense has been a consistently solid surprise for this Magic bunch, but not in this contest. Boston shot 60 FG% and crushed the pinstripe patrol 120-105, leaving the Magic 3-5 on the young season.
The ominous signs were evident early as Orlando trailed 25-31 after the opening session as Boston capitalized on sloppy possessions by dominating on the break and posting a 68.4 FG%.
Jameer Nelson has just been abysmal trying to score at the basket and may be better off shooting from halfcourt at this point. While he is consistently getting to the basket, the drives aren’t turning into points (same can be said for Oladipo). The Magic backcourt was having trouble all night stoppingJordan Crawford and Avery Bradley from lighting them up off pick and rolls and flare screens. Bradley finished with 24 points (second highest scoring night of his career) and Crawford had 16. Seven players scored in double figures for Boston in all.
Maurice Harkless came alive and looked aggressive (on offense, not defense) and reached double figures at halftime, where Orlando trailed 50-59 at the break. Boston was still shooting a ridiculous 62.5 FG% with Orlando’s respectable 45.7 FG% obviously not being adequate enough. However, Harkless finished the game with just 12 points.
Victor Oladipo led Orlando in scoring with 17 points. Nik Vucevic had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The 3rd period found Orlando utilizing Vucevic (but never nearly enough) and flirting with a comeback. It didn’t matter with Avery Bradley crushing Jameer. Andrew Nicholson couldn’t get anything right and it was an appropriate move for Jacque to hand over the Canadian’s minutes late to Kyle O’Quinn in an attempt to jump-start the defense. We went from a defensive grind on Friday to Boston blowing the doors out of their arena with their crazy shooting. Orlando trailed 74-87 entering the final period.
Other than Afflalo and Oladipo padding their stats, the 4th period was much of the same with Boston penetrating into the paint with ease and the Magic guards not being able to provide much of a fight on either end. The Magic missed an abundance of close rim looks too which didn’t help the cause. Orlando seeks to shake off a 3-game losing skid and attempt to regain their winning ways at home Wednesday against Milwaukee.
Adam Papageorgiou runs Orlando Magic Greek and is a proud MBO contributor.