Second Look: Orlando Magic 89, Memphis Grizzlies 72 | Magic Basketball

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Nov 16

Second Look: Orlando Magic 89, Memphis Grizzlies 72

AP Photo/John Raoux

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Orlando Magic would do themselves a favor if they take mental pictures of what happened Monday night and carry those snapshots the rest of this season. They’d see Mickael Pietrus diving to the floor to bust up an opponent’s fastbreak. They’d envision Marcin Gortat rolling around on the parquet to grab a loose ball. They’d visualize Jameer Nelson taking a charge in garbage time. The Magic will be onto something if they reproduce the intensity they used to smother the Memphis Grizzlies 89-72 at Amway Center. After playing horrid defense for parts of five straight games, Orlando finally overwhelmed another team. […] Memphis shot just 36 percent from the field, a performance so abysmal that Grizzlies players held a players-only meeting in the visitors’ locker room after the final buzzer. Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph, the team’s top scorers, finished with just nine points apiece. Orlando’s suffocating defensive effort covered up plenty of miscues.”
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Magic have been doing things differently to begin a regular season, and even coach Stan Van Gundy concedes it could cause them to “take a step back.” Stan obviously is talking temporarily, maybe a game here or there where experimenting with lineups or rotations costs them a win, unwittingly. The Magic have been lacking in the player-development department. But that doesn’t mean Van Gundy isn’t interested in winning every game. It’s in his DNA. Van Gundy says securing home-court advantage in the playoffs is still huge, maybe not critical, but you’d still rather play more times at Amway Center. […] Sounds like we’re getting about six months ahead of ourselves. But I bring this up because the Memphis Grizzlies were in town on Monday night, and the Magic couldn’t afford to have a Toronto Raptors flashback. They need to win games like this because they should, for one. And because they all add up at the end of the year to home-court in the playoffs, perhaps.”
  • Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel: “This morning, Vince Carter said the Orlando Magic had a noticeable focus on defense. It was certainly noticeable in Monday night’s 89-72 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. The Magic held the Grizzlies to 72 points on 94 possessions, forced 18 turnovers and kept the Grizzlies’ shooting percentage at just 36.3 percent. It was a dominant defensive performance for Orlando, made especially sweet because they’ve struggled so much on defense over the past week-and-a-half. Orlando’s perimeter players were more active with their hands, pressing Memphis’ guards, slapping at the ball and contesting every jumper. That was no accident. That was Orlando’s focus entering the game. The end result: a 76.6 offensive rating for the Grizzlies — almost 30 points lower than their season average of 104.9 — and a dominating victory for the Magic.”
  • Dan Savage of OrlandoMagic.com: “Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy challenged his team this week to bring an increased effort on the defensive end and live up to their billing as a shutdown squad. On Monday, the Magic gave their coach the performance he was looking for. The Magic stifled the offensive-minded Grizzlies, limiting them to just 36.3 percent shooting from the field in a hard-nosed 89-72 home victory. […] Despite continued offensive struggles, the Magic battled against human nature and brought a high level of intensity on the defensive end right from the start. They pressured the ball, forcing Memphis to commit 10 first-quarter turnovers and limiting them to just 12 points in the period, a season-low for a Magic opponent. It was a rude awakening for Grizzlies team that came in to the contest averaging 104.6 points per game, seventh-best in the NBA.”
  • Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “To stymie an offense as potent as Memphis’ is quite an achievement, especially considering the rather complex defensive rotations the Magic made. Orlando doubled Randolph from the weak side on each of his post touches, thus putting pressure on Randolph to give the ball up, but also pressuring the remaining defenders on the weak side to make the right reads. And Orlando, which rarely double teams, executed this help-and-recover scheme to near perfection throughout the night. To be fair, Memphis did its part by missing shots. But the point is the Magic disrupted its offense, time and again, and the young team struggled to get quality looks as a result. Defense keyed the Magic’s win tonight, just the way coach Stan Van Gundy prefers, I believe.”
  • Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal: “The Memphis Grizzlies arrived here as if they were construction workers contracted to complete Amway Center, the new home of the Orlando Magic. Laying brick after brick after brick, the Griz put on one of the worst displays in the opening quarter and continued their offensive malaise Monday until the clock mercifully ran out on an 89-72 loss to the Magic. From there, they turned into armchair psychologists. The Griz (4-7) tried to connect on what’s ailing them in the form of a players-only meeting that immediately followed their third straight loss. If it seems a bit soon for a meeting of the minds, then the Griz at least made clear that the talk was constructive.”
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