2016-17 NBA Season Week 2 Recap: Orlando Magic
What’s up my good people? Hope y’all had a lot of water and baked macaroni recently. Last we spoke, the Magic were 1-3 coming off a terribly played game against the (winless) Sixers, in a game, which I guess one team had to win. It was Orlando’s first win (Kinda) of the year, which is a positive, even if it required Orlando to overcome an 18-point deficit in the first half. As I was tying my durag the other night, i thought to myself “maybe Orlando is not as bad as they seem,” I was wrong, guys.
Sacramento Kings vs. Orlando Magic:
This game was exactly as bad as you would expect a game between a team whose best player wants to fight every member of its front office and a boring Orlando Magic squad to be. Boogie and Rudy Gay (who has quietly been excellent this season) led the way for Sacramento, jumping out to a 29-23 lead after one quarter. Orlando’s second unit brought a ton of energy with them to start the second quarter to really turn the tide of the game. Biyombo was the catalyst but Augustin, Jeff Green and Super Mario were all crucial in regaining the lead for Orlando heading into halftime, one they would not relinquish for the remainder of the game. Orlando cruised, I mean, um…. sputtered like a ’97 geo metro to a 102-94 win.
Washington Wizards vs. Orlando Magic:
I was (un)lucky to be in attendance for this scorching hot matchup between the one-win Wizards and the “let’s round up the largest group of non-shooting guys in the league and put them on one roster” Magic. Woo buddy, what a barn-burner… okay, I lied. This game stunk. Best time of my night was a random white baby being handed to my boy to hold, while her father stepped over a pile of nachos that was dropped by the same friend holding said white baby. John Wall sat out to rest since it was the second game of a back-to-back (had offseason procedures on knee). Wall showed up to the bench dressed as an African foreign exchange student in his first college public speaking class, but whatever. Neither team was particularly interested in winning this game. Slow starts will be the death of Orlando, as again, they got off the blocks like a Peyton Manning first step. Despite having Ibaka, Biyombo, AG, and Vucci Mane, Orlando once again was pushed around in the paint. Orlando faced a 10-point deficit heading into the half. Second half saw a relatively spirited effort on the defensive end by Orlando.Vogel still has not decided upon a closing lineup in closing time. Six different players scored in the second half, during some funky lineups that seemed to be thrown together at the wall in hopes of something sticking. Jeff Green used the final frame to trick people once again into thinking he’s actually going to live up to lofty expectations some have placed in him. Green scored 11 in the fourth, while Super Mario added nine to help Orlando hold on in a tight one that saw Markieff Morris miss a GW three as time expired. Magic 88, Wiz 86.
Orlando Magic vs. Chicago Bulls:
Thank god Nike had a 30% off sale to keep me from watching this game. Same bad habits plagued Orlando from the start, allowing Chicago to jump all over them. This one was over almost as soon as it started. Just when it seemed the Magic could make it competitive, they drop an impressive 11 point third quarter in true Magic fashion. The puzzling defensive struggles continue. Defense, supposed to be a strength coming in to the season, has been just as bad as the inept offense that we all expected. Defenders continue to go under screens when AG or Frid is the primary ball handler in a pick and roll, daring them to beat them from deep (they can’t). As long as this exists, defenders will continue to clog the paint to cut off driving lanes and stifle any post attempts. Bulls 112, Magic 80.
Orlando ended this week 3-4 with an offensive rating of 96.3 (points per 100 possessions) and a defensive rating of 106.2 (points allowed per 100 possessions). The -9.9 net rating stinks. Hopefully there’s a squirrel out there willing to storm the court and give us Magic fans something to look forward to.