In the final weeks of the regular season, Orlando Magic coach Jacque Vaughn has nothing else to do but dramatically switch around his defensive tactics.
The Magic are killing themselves with defense. They’re letting their opponents have too much of a field day. Opponents smile when they see Orlando on the schedule because it gives their players a chance to improve their stats.
For instance, each of the Orlando’s last three foes has shot 53 percent or better, made 10 or more 3-pointers, and netted 60 points or more in the first half.
The Magic’s defense is so bad that not even the home-court advantage makes a difference anymore – at least not for Orlando. Consider this factor: Orlando is the fourth NBA team in the last 28 seasons to lose six games at home by 24 points or more, but its hard for the fans to get excited about a team 28 games under 500.
The Magic became only the fourth NBA team in the last 28 seasons to lose six home games by 24 points or more – small wonder why the Magic is 16-44.
The Memphis Grizzlies have one of the best NBA teams at 39-19, and beat the Magic 108-82 on Sunday. One would have hoped that Orlando could’ve given a better defensive effort at home, regardless of who they’re playing. The Grizzlies hit 9-of-their last 10 shots of the first half, increasing an 11-point lead to 25.
Memphis led in field-goal shooting percentage 53-39 and 3-point shooting accuracy 46-13. At least Orlando shot 84.6 percent in free throws, but that obviously doesn’t cut it.
Vaughn needs a defense that is more aggressive and takes more chances. He has nothing to lose by changing his tactics.