The Orlando Magic took the floor Friday night against the Detroit Pistons in hopes of snapping a five-game losing streak. Bolstered by the return of starting point guard Jameer Nelson, who had been sidelined since the Magic’s season opener with a groin/hamstring injuries, the team came out on top 110-106 in a fourth quarter thriller.
For the first time this season we saw the Magic almost seamlessly clicking within the flow of the offense shooting a red-hot 49.4% from the field. They noticeably asserted themselves on the glass, pulling down a whopping 14 offensive rebounds to the Pistons 6.
But what would a win be without me picking apart each Magic players performance?
Fine, still a win, but you’re stuck with me anyway. (players will not appear if they played less than 15 minutes*)
Arron Afflalo: B
Afflalo scored 19 points on the night, but didn’t contribute much else as he finished with two boards and an assists. He also understandably struggled with the length of Tayshaun Prince defensively, but he did notch two steals. Plus, you’ll find when you shoot 7 of 14 from the field and 2 for 4 from three, the scoring column has a way of stretching a long way.
Glen Davis: A
Ah the anomaly of production that is Glen Davis. You never really know what you’re getting with the guy until it’s all said and done, but we’re okay with it, we just want to forget about Dwight Howard. Davis helped that cause tonight, as he posted 17 points and 13 rebounds on 8 of 14 shooting. And while his defense was a train wreck, somehow I could be willing to overlook that every night for 6 offensive rebounds.
Nikola Vucevic: A
V-Dub? Yeah, that works. V-Dub is turning into a walking double-double for the Magic this season. He’s recorded 5 of them in 8 games this season, so I have a really this kid might be for real. If you don’t believe me, I can let his 11 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks do the talking.
J.J. Redick: A+
I don’t know if Redick is having Duke flashbacks or is just trying to impress his absurdly attractive wife, but it’s working. It’s working in a really big way. Redick went into the game already averaging 14.7 points and 5.6 assists, and then he proceeded to drop a whopping 23 points and 5 assists on Detroit. Oh, and I think he might have hit a big shot or something?
Jameer Nelson: A
You’re 30 years old, Nelson. You were just randomly signed to a three-year, $25 million dollar contract by a franchise that’s supposedly trying to get younger. And you missed 7 of the Magic’s first 8 games to start the season. So right when I start thinking you’re Hedo Turkoglu 2.0, what do you do? 13 points, 10 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 4-11FG. Welcome back Jameer, we missed you.
E’Twaun Moore: B-
Moore played respectably in only 18 minutes, exactly half of the floor time he’s averaged per game this season. So obviously his production was essentially going to be cut in half. 6 points, 4 assists, 3-6FG. Nothing to special to see here, but I have a feeling there will soon enough.
Gustavo Ayon: B-
6 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. He didn’t exactly light up the stat sheet, but at least he showed an ability to play within the flow of the game with increased minutes.
The Magic will now look to build on their momentum against the Toronto Raptors Nov. 17th.