Magic Basketball | - Part 19

Jan 25

Highlights: Tobias Harris’ first career 20-20 game

Jan 25

Video: Orlando runs a “Showtime” fast break

Jan 22

Grades: Atlanta Hawks 112, Orlando Magic 109

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Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Atlanta Hawks 112 Final
Recap | Box Score
109 Orlando Magic

Arron Afflalo
3-9 FG | 0-1 3P | 1 REB | 3 AST | 6 PTS | -15

With the All-Star reserves set to be announced on January 30, Afflalo picked a bad time to have his worst game of the season (his streak of scoring in double figures snapped at 37 consecutive games). He was a non-factor against the Hawks. Case in point: Afflalo was on the bench when the Magic went on two big scoring runs to erase a 19-point second half deficit.

Victor Oladipo
8-13 FG | 6-7 FT | 7 REB | 7 AST | 24 PTS | -4

Oladipo wasn’t flashy, like he was with his first career triple-double game against the Philadelphia 76ers or his career-high 35-point performance against the Chicago Bulls, but he was excellent nonetheless, quietly putting together an efficient outing. Perhaps the most eye-opening thing is that Oladipo is getting more comfortable shooting his floater. He made two of them in the third quarter.

Tobias Harris
7-16 FG | 5-5 FT | 12 REB | 1 AST | 19 PTS | -11

Paul Millsap and Harris represent the old guard and the new guard of the NBA, given that Millsap is your classic power forward while Harris is your new-age stretch four. Needless to say, power beat fitness in this matchup. Millsap had a monster game (24 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 blocks, 3 steals) and dismantled Harris in the low post.

Jameer Nelson
6-11 FG | 5-5 FT | 1 REB | 7 AST | 17 PTS | -21

Nelson was the Tasmanian devil in the first half, whirling around and getting to the rim at will, which is where he did much of his damage offensively. At halftime, Nelson had 12 points and 7 assists, and was — by far — the Magic’s best player. But he was subdued in the second half and finished the game with a whimper.

Atlanta Hawks

When Jeff Teague made a 3-pointer to give the Hawks a 82-63 lead late in the third quarter, this game was all but over. But Orlando didn’t give up, going on runs of 17-6 and 16-2 to take the lead in the fourth quarter. But Atlanta recovered at the very end, holding on to win after Nelson missed a game-tying 3-pointer with time expiring.

Jan 22

Video: The steal, the dunk, the foul

Jan 22

Grades: Brooklyn Nets 101, Orlando Magic 90

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Photo by Reid Kelley/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Brooklyn Nets 101 Final
Recap | Box Score
90 Orlando Magic

Arron Afflalo
4-9 FG | 2-4 FT | 1 STL | 2 REB | 11 PTS | -21

With the way Joe Johnson had been playing lately, you knew it was going to be a tough matchup for Afflalo but he managed to keep Joe Jesus in check. However, Afflalo couldn’t get anything going offensively himself, as Johnson’s length served as a deterrent. It was as if Afflalo was trying to score over Brazil’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue.

Kyle O’Quinn
6-10 FG | 3-6 FT | 2 BLK | 8 REB | 15 PTS | +3

The more O’Quinn plays, the more mind-boggling it gets that Jason Maxiell has logged more minutes than him this season. O’Quinn has made it clear that he deserves to be the backup center for the Magic. His back-to-back blocks on Shaun Livingston and Paul Pierce late in the first quarter shows the kind of defensive impact he can make when he gets playing time.

E’Twaun Moore
5-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | +3

Moore had his best game of the season, but that’s not saying much. First, he’s a bad player so the benchmark for him is low. Second, 10 of his 13 points came in the fourth quarter during garbage time when the game was already decided. It’s on Moore to play like this when the games matter, which he struggles to do.

Victor Oladipo
3-9 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 10 PTS | -24

No 360 dunk for Oladipo against the Nets this time around. The most dramatic thing that Oladipo did against Brooklyn came in the game’s opening minutes when he made a 3-pointer by getting a friendly roll on the rim. Given Orlando’s inability to score at times, it would have behooved Oladipo to attack the basket and get to the free throw line more but that didn’t happen.

Brooklyn Nets

After a close first half, Brooklyn’s defense manhandled the Magic in the third quarter. Orlando shot 3-for-21 from the floor (14.3 percent) and the Nets were able to increase a 4-point halftime lead to 19 in the period before coasting the rest of the way. With the win, Brooklyn is 8-1 in 2014 and steadily moving up the standings in the Eastern Conference.

Jan 20

Grades: Orlando Magic 93, Boston Celtics 91

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Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Orlando Magic 93 Final
Recap | Box Score
91 Boston Celtics

Arron Afflalo
7-16 FG | 4-5 FT | 13 REB | 6 AST | 20 PTS | -2

It wasn’t Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier, but Afflalo and Jeff Green had themselves quite the duel that went into a frenzy in the last minute of the game. Afflalo and Green both made layups while defending each other to tie things up at 89 and 91, respectively, before Harris’ game-clinching free throws. Sidenote: Afflalo’s 13 rebounds matched a career-high for him.

Tobias Harris
5-10 FG | 8-12 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 18 PTS | -7

Harris had his hands full trying to defend Kris Humphries all night long, but he got the best of him on the game’s defining play. Harris drew a foul on Humphries after he beat him to a loose ball following Nelson’s missed 3-pointer. With the Celtics in the penalty, Harris went to the free throw line and made what ended up being the game-winning free throws.

Glen Davis
8-16 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 STL | 7 REB | 17 PTS | +9

Orlando involved Davis in the pick-and-roll, which isn’t breaking news, given that the majority of his offensive possessions this season are involved in pick-and-rolls. But it’s how the Magic utilized him that was key. Rather than shoot midrange jump shots in pick-and-pops, which is normally his (below-average) forte, Davis rolled to the basket and attacked the rim to get his points.

Jameer Nelson
3-10 FG | 9-10 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 16 PTS | -1

The last time Nelson attempted 10 free throws in a regular season game? On November 1, 2009 against the Toronto Raptors at the start of the 2009-10 season. Needless to say, it’s rare that Nelson gets to the free throw line a lot but that’s what the Magic needed — an anomalous event — to get themselves their first win of 2014.

Boston Celtics

As was the case on Friday against the Los Angeles Lakers, Rajon Rondo played in five-minute spurts versus Orlando, with head coach Brad Stevens wisely rationing Rondo’s minutes so that he played in the last five minutes of crunch time. Rondo even made a big midrange jump shot that momentarily gave Boston an 89-87 lead before losing in the last seconds.

Jan 18

Grades: Charlotte Bobcats 111, Orlando Magic 101

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Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Charlotte Bobcats 111 Final
Recap | Box Score
101 Orlando Magic

Arron Afflalo
7-14 FG | 6-8 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 24 PTS | -7

After missing the previous three games with a strained right foot, Afflalo made his return to the starting lineup against the Bobcats and was his usual efficient self offensively. Afflalo scored 12 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, getting to the free throw line at will near the end of the game as the Magic tried make a late comeback bid to no avail.

Jameer Nelson
7-16 FG | 3-7 3P | 1 STL | 8 AST | 18 PTS | -19

On the stat sheet, Nelson played Kemba Walker to a relative stalemate, even though he guarded Michael Kidd-Gilchrist primarily (because of his inability to shoot the basketball and be any sort of offensive threat). It was a ho-hum performance for Nelson, who continues his recent hot streak on offense, albeit in losing efforts.

Victor Oladipo
4-14 FG | 1-4 3P | 5 REB | 10 AST | 11 PTS | -18

It was Oladipo’s posterization of Gerald Henderson that served as the lone highlight in another Magic loss. Midway through the second quarter, Oladipo intercepted a pass from Henderson, then jumped into hyperspace on a one-man fast break. Henderson caught up to Oladipo in transition, tried to block his dunk attempt, and got jammed on. Oladipo flexed in celebration and rightfully so.

Glen Davis
5-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | -9

Al Jefferson (30 points and 16 rebounds) systematically destroyed Davis in this game. Big Al put on a clinic in the low and high post on the left block, an area on the court where he’s made a name for himself in the NBA over the years. This is a game where Orlando missed Nikola Vucevic, as his length could have helped to slow down Jefferson.

Charlotte Bobcats

For a brief moment, it looked like the Bobcats were going to blow out the Magic in the first quarter. Charlotte jumped out to a 21-3 lead in the period, before Orlando slowly chipped away at the deficit and took the lead in the second quarter. The Bobcats restored order eventually, going on a free throw parade in the fourth quarter (shooting 16-for-20 on FTs) to seal the win.

Jan 18

Video: Victor Oladipo posterizes Gerald Henderson

Jan 16

Highlights: Victor Oladipo scores career-high 35

Jan 16

Highlights: Jameer Nelson turns back the clock

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