Grades: Orlando Magic 110, New Orleans Pelicans 90 | Magic Basketball

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Nov 01

Grades: Orlando Magic 110, New Orleans Pelicans 90

Screen Shot 2013-11-02 at 1.48.19 PM

AP Photo/John Raoux

 

Orlando Magic 110 Final
Recap | Box Score
90 New Orleans Pelicans

Nikola Vucevic
4-6 FG | 2-4 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | +24

The Pelicans shot 13-for-38 (34.2 percent) at the rim against the Magic and Vucevic — alongside Jason Maxiell, Kyle O’Quinn, and Andrew Nicholson — was one of the reasons for that low percentage. Taking a page out of Roy Hibbert’s playbook, Vucevic did a nice job of using the “law of verticality” to contest shots without fouling. Interior defense is a group effort and Vucevic did his part.

Victor Oladipo
4-10 FG | 1-2 3P | 6 REB | 6 AST | 10 PTS | +12

The one play that stands out the most from Oladipo, who had several spectacular sequences on both sides of the ball, was his weak-side block on Greg Stiemsma’s dunk attempt late in the third quarter. Dwyane Wade comparisons have been thrown around for Oladipo because of their similar playing styles, and with plays like that, it’s easy to see why.

Arron Afflalo
10-14 FG | 4-5 3P | 4 REB | 4 AST | 30 PTS | +12

Afflalo couldn’t have played any better. He abused various Pelicans defenders in the post and got his fadeaway jumper to fall. He went to the free-throw line plenty. But what fueled his efficient outing was his 3-point shooting — the corner 3 specifically. Maybe this is Afflalo’s first step towards reconciliation with corner 3s after abandoning that shot in 2012-13.

Maurice Harkless
6-10 FG | 6-8 FT | 4 STL | 8 REB | 20 PTS | +18

After practically looking invisible against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday (2 points in 19 minutes), Harkless’ aggressiveness versus the Pelicans stood out like a sore thumb. He was looking to score. So much so that, for a moment, Harkless was on pace to set a new career-high in points before the game got out of hand in the second half.

New Orleans Pelicans

In case you haven’t heard, New Orleans has made a lot of changes since last season. They changed their name. They acquired Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans to bolster their backcourt. They have a creepy new mascot that will haunt your dreams. But the one thing that hasn’t changed, so far, is the losing, as evidenced by their 0-2 start to the regular season.

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