2016-17 NBA Season Weekly Recap: Orlando Magic
Man, I still have no idea if Orlando is good. They have one great win (San Antonio), a couple good wins, but also some bad losses. Generally speaking, they beat the teams they are expected to beat and lose to ones far better. But is that good enough for a postseason run? I am not so sure. Last time we spoke, Orlando let Austin Rivers scorch (Does anyone even like Austin Rivers?). They lost three of four with three games upcoming against the Nets, Raptors, and Heat.
BK Nets vs. Orlando Magic
I previously mentioned the Magic beat the teams they should beat. Enter the Nets of Gentrified Brooklyn, New York. This was a back and forth affair that saw 15 lead changes and 15 ties. Things heated up late in the fourth quarter when Fournier’s manbun and the Nets’ Sean Kilpatrick got into a shit-talking bout. I imagine it sounded like when battle rappers travel overseas to battle a foreign-born battle rapper and you have no idea that the Frenchman dissed you but the crowd is throwing their drugs up in the air like a graduation cap. Fournier insists Kilpatrick started the noise, but his manbun was more than happy to finish it. By the way, the fellas rocking the manbun's have grown reaaallllllyyyy bold over the last couple weeks in the league. Shump hasn't missed a shot since Teyana Taylor braided that whatever it is on his head and Fournier talking shit to a dude from Brooklyn on the hardwood. 2016 is wild. Anyway, the little spat with Kilpatrick lit a fire under him. Fournier scored 11 straight points to lead Orlando over the Nets 118-111. The Magic’s high paid frontline came to play, recording 11 blocks to dominate the paint but once again allowed over 100 points. Vucevic added 21 points and 10 rebounds after returning from a three-game absence.
Toronto Raptors vs. Orlando Magic
Orlando’s prize for beating the Nets? The team on pace to be the greatest offense in league history. No, not the Warriors, the Raptors. Drake is the mascot for potentially the greatest offense in the league. I hate 2016. When you drown out the “Respect us, dammit!!” noise screamed by the Raps fans (approaching the Vegan level of annoyance), they are not terrible to watch. Okay, I lied. They are terrible to watch. Probably why Raps fans are so miserable. The only saving grace is Derozan climbing the ladder and shattering the rim like he did against a few bigs who decided to leap with him. Back to the game at hand. Orlando was outclassed throughout, scoring only 28 second half points to finish with 79. They gave up 109 points. Not much more to say about this one.
Orlando Magic vs. Miami Heat
This was a wacky game that someone had to win but no one wanted to win. Orlando slid through for the W like “I mean, I guess?” Miami had a five-point lead in the final minute of regulation and a four-point lead in the final 40 seconds of the first overtime. The Magic won 136-130 for just their third win in their last 19 outing against Miami — most of which came against the LeBron Era Heat. Vucevic and Fournier contributed 26 points apiece, with Payton and Ibaka adding 22 and 20, respectively. Unsurprisingly for a double-overtime, there were 27 lead changes and 10 ties. By the time regulation ended, Orlando had already surrendered 109 points, furthering the trend of 100-point games against them. Thanks to the balanced scoring and big shot-making by Fournier (starting to become a trend as well), Orlando scraped up just enough offense to overcome late deficits. Entering games played on December 21st, Orlando was ranked dead last in offensive rating (98.4) and 11th in defensive rating (103.7). Maybe a trade to one of Orlando’s key pieces will jumpstart an otherwise comatose offense.
Y’all be cool!