Rose powers Chicago over Dwight-less Magic
The undermanned Magic fought hard but fell just short of beating the Bulls on Sunday afternoon losing 102-99. Jameer Nelson hit what appeared to be a game-tying three pointer as time expired, but a review by the officials showed that he clearly did not get the shot off before the buzzer sounded.
Playing without Dwight Howard, little was expected tonight from the Magic. Stan Van Gundy even sounded off before the game that “there’s nothing to be taken” from today’s game with the absence of Dwight. The rest of the Magic players felt otherwise, especially Ryan Anderson.
Anderson finished with a career high 28 points and his presence on the offensive boards was huge in allowing the Magic to stay alive. Jason Richardson chipped in with 24 and Jameer Nelson had 17 points and 11 assists.
Ultimately though, Derrick Rose was too much for the Magic. He finished with 39 points for the game and while his defense was shoddy (unnecessary jab!), he got to the foul line 10 times and shot an extra efficient 13-17 from the field. If he hadn’t locked up the MVP race before, tonight’s game sure made the argument against him much more difficult.
The 60% shooting for the day helped out the Bulls a little bit too. 60% tied a season-high for field goal percentage by a Magic opponent.
Magic fans have been calling for their team to ratchet up the intensity all season and for today, they did. At a minimum, the Magic put a legit scare into the Bulls and the potential second round showdown.
Did Orlando flip on the proverbial switch? It’s tough to tell without Dwight Howard on the floor. With that being said, I do know that I’d much rather spend my energy wondering if they flipped the switch ON opposed to switching it OFF.
The Magic are back in action tomorrow night in Philadelphia and Dwight Howard will be smack in the middle of the court, and playing a full game. Game time is set for 7pm and will be televised nationally on NBAtv.
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