Magic Basketball | - Part 25

Nov 17

Grades: Dallas Mavericks 108, Orlando Magic 100

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AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.


Dallas Mavericks 108 Final
Recap | Box Score
100 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
8-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 16 PTS | -2

Normally a face-up player, Vucevic went to work in the post against the gangly Samuel Dalembert, leveraging his size to his advantage and scoring with little difficulty. He made a few hook shots with both hands — including two lefty hooks — and displayed good footwork. If Vucevic can keep making strides in the low post, he’ll become a more complete player on offense.

Victor Oladipo
3-8 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 10 PTS | -10

Turnovers were a big issue for Oladipo. Most of his nine turnovers related to his passing and ballhandling. Oladipo made several bad passes and lost the ball a few times when trying to split the double-team in pick-and-roll sets. The underlying theme is that Oladipo was forcing it way too much. The good news for Magic fans is that these are correctable mistakes.

Arron Afflalo
6-12 FG | 13-14 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 25 PTS | -2

After setting career highs in points and 3-point field goals made versus the Milwaukee Bucks, Afflalo followed that up by setting a new career-high in free throws made and attempted against the Mavericks. He was aggressive in attacking the rim off the dribble and drawing fouls. That allowed him to rack up free throws in bunches and put together a James Harden-like performance offensively (25 points on 12 shots)

Jameer Nelson
6-11 FG | 3-6 3P | 4 REB | 2 AST | 15 PTS | -4

The biggest storyline in the Magic’s loss to Dallas was a healthy Nelson not playing in the fourth quarter of a close game. Head coach Jacque Vaughn made the decision to play a small lineup (Oladipo-Moore-Afflalo-Harkless-Vucevic) in the final period and his choice raised a lot of eyebrows, given that Nelson was torching Jose Calderon and Oladipo was struggling to do the same.

Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks got contributions from a lot of players in their win over Orlando, but it was Dirk Nowitzki (18 points on 6-for-12 shooting) that had the game’s defining moment. Dirk Nowitzki made a cold-blooded 3-pointer from the right wing over Harkless’ outstretched arm with 3:10 remaining that gave the Mavericks a 100-91 lead and essentially ended the game.

Nov 17

Video: Harkless and Vucevic play give-and-go

Nov 14

Highlights: Arron Afflalo sets a new career high

Nov 14

Grades: Orlando Magic 94, Milwaukee Bucks 91

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AP Photo/John Raoux


Orlando Magic 94 Final
Recap | Box Score
91 Milwaukee Bucks

Nikola Vucevic
6-10 FG | 5-6 FT | 11 REB | 3 AST | 17 PTS | +2

Vucevic made two big plays. First, he came up with a huge block on O.J. Mayo with 1:09 remaining and the Magic clinging to a 92-89 lead. Then a few possessions later, Vucevic threw down an uncontested dunk that made it 94-91 with 9.2 seconds left — the Bucks failed to tie the game with a 3-pointer with no timeouts.

Victor Oladipo
4-14 FG | 1-2 3P | 2 REB | 2 AST | 6 PTS | +10

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. How does that axiom apply to Oladipo? He shot 2-for-9 (22.2 percent) at the rim against the Bucks. Time and again, he attacked the basket. Time and again, he couldn’t convert. Oladipo really struggled, in particular, trying to finish through John Henson’s pterodactyl arms.

Arron Afflalo
11-15 FG | 8-11 3P | 8 REB | 6 AST | 36 PTS | +4

Twice this season, Afflalo has flirted with setting a new career-high in points. Tonight, the flirting reached critical mass, as Afflalo set a new career-high in points and 3-point field goals made. He seemingly couldn’t miss in the second half, and you couldn’t help but wonder what the Milwaukee players were thinking as they continuously helped off of him on defense.

Maurice Harkless
5-11 FG | 0-4 FT | 3 BLK | 9 REB | 10 PTS | +6

It’s hard to choose the play of the night for Harkless, who had a number of action-packed sequences against the Bucks. Was it his monstrous weak-side block on Khris Middleton’s layup attempt? Or his spin move and dunk off the dribble? Or his steal and dunk to beat the buzzer at the end of the second quarter? There’s no wrong answer.

Milwaukee Bucks

Milwaukee was without Carlos Delfino, Ersan Ilyasova, Zaza Pachulia, Luke Ridnour, and Larry Sanders against Orlando. And to make matters worse, Caron Butler left the game late in the fourth quarter with a left shoulder injury. Yet the Bucks, playing on the second night of a back-to-back, almost escaped with a victory despite dressing only eight players. A valiant effort from a shorthanded squad.

Nov 13

Video: Maurice Harkless busts out a spin move

Nov 13

Glen Davis fined


Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic have fined forward Glen Davis an undisclosed amount following his actions on Saturday, Nov. 9, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

“We will not tolerate or condone this type of behavior,” said Hennigan. “As we have stated repeatedly, when a player puts on an Orlando Magic uniform, he is representing something much greater than himself. We expect our players to uphold a certain standard of conduct and character at all times.”

There will be no further comment on the incident.

Nov 11

Grades: Boston Celtics 120, Orlando Magic 105

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AP Photo/Charles Krupa


Boston Celtics 120 Final
Recap | Box Score
105 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
6-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 10 REB | 4 AST | 15 PTS | -5

Vucevic, unsurprisingly, abused Kelly Olynyk on offense at every available opportunity. Brad Stevens was smart to limit the minutes of his defense-averse rookie until late in the second half, and Vucevic didn’t put up huge numbers as a result. Still, at times he showed off the physicality, shooting touch, and overall knack that’s made him something close to a revelation in Orlando.

Victor Oladipo
7-17 FG | 1-2 3P | 2 REB | 2 AST | 17 PTS | -10

Oladipo took 11 shots outside the paint in this game and made only four of them. That accuracy, though far from stellar, isn’t what’s most troubling; the overall shot distribution bothers far more. Oladipo is letting the defense off the hook by taking pull-ups in transition or with the shot-clock winding down. He’s too effective as a penetrator to rely so much on his jumper.

Arron Afflalo
6-12 FG | 2-5 3P | 4 REB | 7 AST | 18 PTS | -7

Afflalo’s offensive game was on point from the opening tip. He made several jumpers of the pull-up and catch-shoot variety, got to the rim off the dribble, and made plays for his teammates. Afflalo’s normal defensive worth wasn’t as evident against a hot-shooting Celtics team, but that’s not necessarily damning. This was another solid outing in a season full of them.

Maurice Harkless
4-10 FG | 2-3 3P | 5 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | -13

A bright spot for Orlando early, Harkless couldn’t sustain that high level of play for the entire 48 minutes. His jumper fell and he made some plays off the dribble in the first half, but he — like a lot of his teammates, actually — was mostly absent on both ends in the second stanza. On the whole, Harkless didn’t stand out much one way or another.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics shot 60 percent from the field in this game. Normally that’s indicative of a poor defensive effort from the opposition, but that wasn’t necessarily the case tonight. Orlando got lost in half-court rotations, beat in the post, and ran by in transition, but its level of play wasn’t the biggest issue. Boston simply shot the lights out. Sometimes there’s just not much the defense can do.

Nov 11

Video: Orlando shows off nice ball movement

Nov 08

Video: Maurice Harkless throws the hammer down

Nov 07

Highlights: Nikola Vucevic records 30-20 game

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