Magic can’t complete another comeback and fall at home to Chicago
The Orlando Magic couldn’t keep the come back vibes rolling and played below average basketball for 42 minutes as they lost Friday night to the Chicago Bulls 89-81.
The Magic started the game strong and pulled out to a 15-7 lead forcing the Bulls to call an early timeout only 6 minutes into in the game. From there on out, it would be all Chicago as the Magic looked like a team that remained in South Beach last night after the win.
Need evidence that the Bulls were the team with more energy? Let’s look at the hustle stats:
Second chance points Chicago 23 (9/17) Orlando 6 (2/4)
Fastbreak points Chicago 16 (6/6) Orlando 13 (5/14) TERRIBLE CONVERSION!
Offensive rebounds Chicago 17 Orlando 5 (all from Dwight)
Total rebounds Chicago 50 Orlando 30
It’s really tough to win a game when you get manhandled that badly on the boards.
Stan Van Gundy hit on it immediately in his post game press conference, “That one (tonight’s game) is pretty easy to explain, just look at the stat sheet. The game down to (the fact) that we got our asses kicked on the glass”.
The 50-30 rebounding deficit was the largest of the season for Orlando and the 30 total was a season-low as well.
Even with the poor rebounding and lack of effort, the Magic still had a chance to pull this game out in the end but were doomed by continuously poor shooting and sloppy play. After shooting lights out in Miami from deep, they managed to shoot just 6-23 tonight (4-21 if you take away two garbage time 3’s from Jason Richardson).
They countered the poor shooting, with an inability to take care of the ball. Dwight turned the ball over 7 times and Jameer 4. On top of that, I counted at least 5 different times when the Magic had a rebound in their hands and then either immediately turned it over or fumbled it out of bounds back to Chicago. Sounds like a recipe for an L.
Stan Van Gundy refused to blame the loss or lack of an energy on the emotional win from last night, but it’s hard to ignore it. The reality though is that it IS tough to bounce back from that, especially when going from playing possibly the best team in the league to another team that is just as good.
Of more concern for the Magic is that they will now face off against Portland on Monday with no Dwight Howard. Dwight picked up his 16th technical foul of the season at the end of the first half after throwing a hard elbow towards the collective 3 Bulls players that were draped all over him. It is highly unlikely that this T will be rescinded either, which means that Dwight will now be suspended for one game. For a full breakdown of all Dwight’s technicals and the rules regarding them, check out the Dwight Tech Watch.
So while there were a lot of things to be concerned with tonight (two points for Turk, 3-20 shooting from the bench, 4-12 from the free throw line and the technical for Dwight), in the end I wouldn’t put too much stock in the loss. After two extremely emotional victories over New York and Miami, Orlando was due. It seems like an easy cop-out, but it’s the reality.
The mini win streak was fun while it lasted.
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