AP Photo/John Raoux
6-14 FG | 9-17 FT | 1 BLK | 23 REB | 21 PTS | +10
If it wasn’t clear at the start that Howard was playing with a chip on his shoulder after catching wind of Shaquille O’Neal’s comments about him, it should have been clear enough by the end of it all. Howard was out for blood. Not only did he have another 20-20 game but he got Andrew Bynum into foul trouble for three quarters and made him a non-factor.
6-12 FG | 3-4 3P | 9 AST | 2 REB | 17 PTS | +8
After being thoroughly outplayed by Tony Parker on Wednesday, Nelson acquitted himself nicely against Derek Fisher. Granted, Nelson getting the best of Fisher should be expected, given their history. But with Nelson struggling so much early on this season, it wasn’t a guarantee. It’ll be interesting to see if Nelson can build on this performance moving forward.
5-11 FG | 3-6 3P | 6 AST | 2 REB | 15 PTS | +5
Redick was steady against the Los Angeles Lakers. He aided in the Magic’s fast start in the first quarter, making a layup and a three-point shot — both plays taking place in transition. Normally known for his shooting, and rightfully so, Redick was effective in acting as a playmaker of sorts, setting up his teammates on offense and racking up a season-high six assists.
5-10 FG | 3-6 3P | 4 STL | 8 REB | 13 PTS | +12
Anderson did just fine. It’s curious that the Lakers didn’t try to exploit him more when he was defending Pau Gasol, but that falls on head coach Mike Brown and the rest of his coaching staff. Perhaps Anderson’s biggest contribution to the game came in the fourth quarter when he had a three-pointer and dunk on back-to-back possessions to essentially close out the game for Orlando.
|Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are clearly missing a lot of things on the roster. There’s no consistent perimeter threat outside of Kobe Bryant, there’s a lack of quality depth, there’s little in the way of three-point shooting or transition scoring, Gasol and Bynum aren’t getting enough touches in the post. Los Angeles’ defense is great but there’s a lot of holes that need to be addressed.
Eddy Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of Magic Basketball. Follow him on Twitter.