Sunday afternoon the Orlando Magic lost their second straight game to the Brooklyn Nets 82 to 74 and now fall to 2-4 on the season. They now find themselves in the midst of a four game losing streak and their preseason forecast as a lottery team seems to be well underway.
However, when a franchise is rebuilding not all losses are necessarily bad losses. Sunday night was by no means a bad loss.
Heading into the game the Magic were looking to even the score at the new Barclays Center following a pitiful outing at home where they were absolutely crushed 107 to 68.
And while the Magic still ultimately fell short, their something truly respectable about the sense of urgency the team showed throughout the game considering this is a team that is fully aware they’re lottery-bound.
Head coach Jacque Vaughn was even reported as having a “Hoosier” moment before the game. Which speaks volumes to the scrappy underdog persona the team has embraced.
Jacque Vaughn in pre-game went into “Hoosiers” mode, saying the “circumference of the rim” is the same at new Barclays as any other gym
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) November 11, 2012
Unfortunately, the Magic started out of the gate slow and a 14-2 run early in the first quarter by Brooklyn ultimately proved to be the difference in this one. Although Orlando did go on to outscore the Nets throughout the next three quarters.
The most notable performances for the Magic came from their duo down low, as Glen Davis and Nikola Vucevic both finished with double-doubles. The two accounted for 33 points and 22 rebounds combined.
A sight for sore eyes as the two had been completely decimated by Brooklyn’s bigs two nights before. And were only able to muster up a pedestrian 18 points and 8 rebounds on the night.
Arron Afflalo saw his production continue trending upward as he stuffed the stat sheet with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists on the night and held All-star Joe Johnson to 3 of 13 shooting.
While J.J. Redick continued to thrive in the role of a playmaker off the bench. Because despite going 0 for 4 from three-point land, Redick managed to dish out a game high 9 assists.
In all honesty, Orlando would have more than likely pulled out a win if they hadn’t gone 1 for 12 from beyond the arc.
So while a loss is a loss, this loss actually meant something. If nothing else it sent a resounding message that this team has no intention of rolling over.
That these players and its coach are intent on making it very clear that win or lose no single player defines a franchise.