2016-17 NBA Season Week 5 Recap: Orlando Magic
Before we get started, you damn right I am still eating Thanksgiving leftovers. Anyone who has a problem with that can go to hell. Momma bear felt like outsourcing the sweet potato pie this year, which is perfectly fine. Only problem is the expiration date on said pie was yesterday, though there is pie left. You do the math, I’ll probably have some stomach problems tomorrow but at least the pie will be gone.
Anyway, Orlando continues to disappoint. The offense is stuck in neutral for the fifth week, although there have been (very few) moments where they looked half decent on that end of the floor. Orlando is 7-11, ranked dead fucking last in points per 100 possessions at 95.6. Not much of a church goer but I’m sure they wouldn’t make the finals in the “Latter Day Saints of America” league. Despite the anemic offense, the defense has been steadily improving. Allowing 101.3 points per 100 possessions, Orlando is now 6th (SIXTH!) in the league in defense. Obviously, the Magic are starting to buy into Vogel’s defensive schemes, causing ball clubs fits. However, Orlando had an abysmal week.
Phoenix Suns vs. Orlando Magic
Orlando welcomed the struggling Suns to the Amway Center. This was a rough game to watch for obvious reasons when the teams were a combined 10-19 coming in. Vogel decided to switch things up by moving Aaron Gordon to the bench, starting Jeff effing Green in his place. Let’s just say the move didn’t work. Green would have been better off hitting the bar to watch the game as he went 0 for 7 from the floor. Fournier and Vucevic were the lone bright spots, as the three other starters all failed to hit double digit scoring. Our prized (so they tell me, at least) offseason pick up, Ibaka, went 2 for 5 for a wonderful 5 points. Phoenix is terrible defensively, yet Orlando somehow managed to make them look like world-beaters. Phoenix 92, Orlando 87. Side note: let’s add some perspective to those whopping 87 points Orlando put up. I know its unfair to compare Orlando to the likes of the Warriors and Cavs but goddamn, they had more than 87 points in the THIRD Quarter. 3rd. Okay, I’m done.
Washington Wizards vs. Orlando Magic
The first time these two met up was probably the worst game I have had the pleasure of watching so far this season. The Wizards should never, and I repeat: NEVER be up on any team by 19 points, let alone up 19 in the first quarter. But that is exactly what took place. Orlando trimmed the deficit to 10 by halftime and even took the lead at one point in the fourth. Ultimately, they used a ton of energy to get back into the game and ran out of gas at the end. Jeff Green, starting his second game in place of Aaron Gordon, went scoreless in the first half. Ibaka bounced back by scoring 19 points while Vucci Mane added 17 points and 17 rebounds. John Wall threw up a double double en route to handing Orlando another L. Washington 94, Orlando 91.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Orlando Magic
These two squads faced recently as Giannis posted a triple double. This time around, there was no triple doubles being fucked around and had, but the Bucks did hand the Magic their fourth straight loss. Vogel tweaked the starting lineup again, adding three new starters. Augustin, Biyombo, and Aaron Gordon all found themselves in the starting lineup, in hopes of boosting early offensive production. Can’t say it worked. Gordon went scoreless; Augustin had 11 points with five assists. Evan Fournier lit up Milwaukee for 27 points, having secured his title as Orlando’s most consistent scorer (which isn’t saying much, but still). Orlando, yet again failed to score 100 points, topping out at 96. When Orlando does score 100 points or more, they are a respectable 3-1. Just doesn’t happen often enough. Milwaukee 104, Orlando 96.
Orlando Magic vs. San Antonio Spurs
I was fully expecting an ass-whipping coming at the hands of the Spurs, but boy was I wrong. Orlando’s defense came to play and made things very uncomfortable for San Antonio. San Antonio played a sloppy game, looking off from the very beginning but the Magic had a little something to do with it. Orlando forced a San Antonio season-high 19 turnovers and held them to their lowest scoring output of 83 points, to get their best win of the young season. The Magic hadn’t beaten SA since December 23rd in 2010, nearly six years ago. Ibaka scored 18, while Fournier put up 13 points and Vucevic added 12. Hopefully, Orlando can take some good from the game and apply it to their next game vs. Memphis. Orlando 95, SA 83.