The Orlando Magic took the floor against the Detroit Pistons for the second time this season desperately seeking any sign of life on the offensively. Heading into the match up the Magic had gone 1-6 in their last seven games, shooting an atrocious 39.9 percent from the field and averaging a stagnant 77.3 points per contest. Their one win in that stint coming against the Pistons five days before 110-106.
Despite Detroit’s early dominance in the paint, they suffered a ten minute scoring drought in the third quarter which ultimately determined the outcome of the game. Orlando went on to outscore the Pistons 26-8 in the quarter, lead by a very balanced scoring attack and a notable effort by rookie Andrew Nicholson. The Magic bounced back from back-to-back losses in the 90-74 win.
But as always, what good is a win without me over-analyzing and overreacting to every players performance?
Still a win? Well, you’re stuck with me anyway. (players will not appear if they did not play at least 15 minutes*)
Maurice Harkless: B
Harkless notched his first professional start Wednesday evening and he didn’t disappoint. While nothing in his performance will necessarily jump off the stat sheet, he was patient within the flow of the offense and played some pretty stellar man defense. While he didn’t disrupt the passing lanes like we’d like to see, he still managed a block to go along with his 7 points on 3-7 shooting and four rebounds.
Glen Davis: B+
For a guy who was sparking quite a few grumbles here and there as a chucker in blogosphere, Davis was pretty solid model of efficiency in this one. He finished with 11 points on 4-9with a solid shot selection and 14 rebounds. Left a bit to be desired on defense at times, but I’m not going there. Solid showing for the big man.
Nikola Vucevic: D
Struggled to have any significant impact matched up against Greg Monroe. Not a terrible showing with six points and six boards in just over twenty minutes, but three turnovers is a little iffy against a sub-par defensive team.
Arron Afflalo: C+
Afflalo has been pretty streaky shooting the ball lately, but he still finished with 12 points on 5-13 shooting. On the other hand his performance on the boards was exceptional, as he hauled in seven on the night against a larger Detroit lineup.
Jameer Nelson: B+
What a relief, Nelson finally stopped shooting the ball. A sight for sore eyes as he’s shot an egregious 29 percent from the field and 21 percent from deep so far this season. He did, however, manage to finish with 50 percent shooting on his six attempts for the evening. He finished with 6 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists in 32 minutes.His defense on Brandon Knight was also worth noting, as he forced the young guard to go 3-11. Although I’m not entirely sure that doesn’t just happen to anyone within five feet of Nelson at this point.
Josh McRoberts: C
McRoberts flirted with relevance for a few minutes tonight as he recorded a immediate five point spark within thirty seconds of coming off the bench in the fourth quarter. They would be his only to baskets in the contest. 5 points on 2-5 shooting, 3 rebounds and a steal. It was basically your average McRoberts sighting.
Andrew Nicholson: A
15 points and 4 rebounds. I don’t care that he didn’t do anything else significant or that he has three turnovers. He had a career-high and game-high for the Magic in a win. Go get ‘em rook.
J.J. Redick: B
Yes, he shot 4-13 and 1-7 from deep, but he dished out seven assists. The Magic are is now 4-4 when Redick takes at least 11 field goal attempts, 3-0 when he shoots above 42 percent and 1-4 when he shoots below it.
Gustavo Ayon: B-
He we still exploited on defense by Greg Monroe more often than not, but put up 8 points, 5 rebounds and three assists in just under 18 minutes. I certainly wouldn’t complain about that on a nightly basis.