The Orlando Magic were definitely affected by the defense of the Chicago Bulls on Monday night as the two teams faced off. The Magic shot just 39.8 percent from the floor, though they did hit five of their 12 threes and commit only 11 turnovers as a team. Despite their inefficiency, though, Orlando was able to escape with an 83-82 victory.
Chicago’s offense without Derrick Rose was a big factor in the Magic’s success. While you have to give a bit of credit to the Magic for playing solid defense, the Bulls’ offense did a good job of looking pretty awful on their own as they finished the night shooting 34.6 percent from the field as a team and hitting just five of their 18 attempts from distance.
While the inefficiency made this an ugly and grinding NBA game, that’s actually a good thing for this young Magic team. One of the things that has been clear about the Magic all season is that they have a talented squad, but are still growing as a collective, youthful whole. Much of this team doesn’t have the experience that’s really necessary to have success in this league.
Playing in a game like the one against Chicago on Monday is a good experience for a young Orlando team. One of the most underrated things that teams can do in this league is win games when they aren’t necessarily clicking and have to weather storms for a night. The Magic’s ability to keep fighting, step up defensively late in the game, and put in the dirty work was a real positive for this team.
The Magic aren’t going to have a great deal of success this season, which is pretty obvious at this point. However, this season is largely about this team melding and growing together as the Magic rebuild their franchise in an ongoing process. Games like the ones against the Bulls are part of that process and, though they may just be a bit on the radar, can be a step in this Magic team’s development.