Saying that the Orlando Magic performed poorly in a 107-68 loss to the Brooklyn Nets would be a gross understatement. Fortunately, there are some relatively easy adjustments that can be made Sunday night as the Magic take a trip to the new Barclays Center looking to even the score with the Nets.
First and foremost is the most basic adjustment a team can make, effort. In their loss Friday night the Magic appeared totally disjointed on both end of the floor and were simply out-hustled. Primarily by the Nets frontcourt, which was hardly contested on offense and absolutely manhandled Orlando’s bigs on the boards.
Second, is offensive rebounding. As the Magic recorded a season low 7 rebounds to the Nets 15. A performance which is really just inexcusable considering the Nets are one of the leagues friendliest matchups on the glass, ranking 26th in rebounds per game.
Which means the Magic must get production from starters Nikola Vucevic and Glen Davis. Vucevic, who is averaging a respectable 7.2 rebounds on the season, only mustered up 5 rebounds. Considering he was match up against arguably the leagues worst rebounding center in Brook Lopez, his performance was pedestrian at best.
Davis on the other hand was truly the biggest factor in the Magic’s loss Friday. He only scraped together 3 rebounds on the night in over 30 minutes of play and went 4 of 13 shooting from the field. Davis is supposed to be the unquestionable leader alongside Jameer Nelson(ankle). So being outrebounded by both Arron Afflalo and E’Twaun Moore on any night doesn’t exactly scream “the man”.
Lastly, the Magic need to be more aggressive attacking the basket. Settling for mid-range jumpers is rarely going to win basketball games, especially if you only shoot 8 free throws and defenders can swarm your shooters. Their 25 to 8 free throw attempt disparity on the night not only shows a lack of aggression, but more so just a flat-out lack of effort.
If the Magic manage to pull down 12 offensive rebounds and at least meet their season average of 16.4 FTA’s per game, they should be able to make this one interesting.
A win Sunday night would push Orlando back to .500, and hopefully swing the momentum back in the teams favor after three straight losses.