AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
This is what head coach Stan Van Gundy said after the Orlando Magic defeated the New Jersey Nets on Friday, despite committing 18 turnovers.
“We don’t value the ball much. We just throw it around and don’t really think it matters, and that’s going to be a huge problem. You’re not going to win a playoff series like that — you’re just not.”
Apparently the Magic didn’t get the memo, compiling 18 turnovers — yet again — in a loss to the Miami Heat.
Even though LeBron James stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists, and five steals, he did only score 14 points on 4-for-14 shooting from the floor. So despite Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade having big games to circumvent LeBron’s relatively quiet night (for his standards), with Wade doing much of the heavy lifting in the fourth quarter (scoring 14 of his 31 points in the period) with the game still very much up for grabs, Orlando had a chance to beat the Heat.
But turnovers did Orlando in.
Sure, Ryan Anderson, J.J. Redick, and Hedo Turkoglu didn’t make much of an impact in the game and Dwight Howard just couldn’t get things going on offense in the fourth quarter when the Magic needed to rely on him to generate points. Those are relevant storylines to take away from Orlando’s loss.
Yet it all comes back to the Magic’s inability to take care of the basketball against Miami. That’s the storyline that mattered (and matters) the most.
Orlando got away with turning the ball over 24 times in an overtime win against the Heat on Tuesday. The players for the Magic, however, can’t expect that to be a formula for success. Van Gundy knows that. Yet guys like Chris Duhon and Turkoglu keep turning it over. It’s not a coincidence, then, that turnovers were the main reason why Orlando lost to Miami on Sunday.
The Magic’s margin of error for beating teams like the Heat is low as it is. Why make things harder?
Turnovers are already killer because they’re wasted possessions. They’re backbreakers against Miami because of their ability to convert those turnovers into points, usually in transition since LeBron and Wade are able to get out and run in the open floor. Orlando is fortunate that the Heat didn’t really burn them too much in that regard. Miami scored only 14 points off of 18 Magic turnovers. The end result was a 10-point victory for the Heat, though the margin of victory could have been a whole lot bigger.
Orlando better not continue testing their luck.
MVP (Most Valuable Player)
With LeBron having a lackluster performance, Wade (and Bosh) picked up the slack for Miami. Wade was especially dominant in the fourth quarter, making a number of floaters and layups to shut the door on the Magic.
LVP (Least Valuable Player)
You could have your choice between Turkoglu, Anderson, Redick, or Duhon. Each of those players struggled mightily, either by coughing up the basketball, getting burned defensively, or simply not scoring.
Although Bosh had a quiet second half (18 of his 23 points came in the first half), he was the main reason the Heat got off to a good start in the game. Bosh primarily did much of his damage in the post against Anderson.