The Orlando Magic have emerged as one of the NBA surprise teams of the year. After starting the season 4-1 with a convincing win over the San Antonio Spurs, the Magic showed a bit of weakness falling to the Charlotte Hornets 113-120.
Coming into this game the Orlando Magic were exceeding expectations. They were trending upwards as a top offense and improving on defense as a team. The Charlotte Hornets would be present a different challenge. The Magic matched up against a legit shotblocker in Dwight Howard. Howard is on a terrific start to the season and continued that trend on Sunday night. The Magic offense struggled often from deep but managed to remain within striking distance until the last few seconds of the fourth period.
Ball movement became a bit of an issue as they constantly found themselves in one on one situations. The Magic also failed to convert the easy buckets. They missed open transition layups and missed 22 of their 33 three-point attempts.
The Charlotte Hornets Kemba Walker made life tough for Magic guards. He seemed to be able to score at will tallying up 34 points on 15 of 25 field goals. Former Magic center, Dwight Howard, finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds.
The Magic were playing without rookie forward Jonathan Isaac and guard Elfrid Payton.are playing with now makes them look like a sure playoff team and maybe even a championship contender. But again, it is early in the season.
Orlando Magic forward, Jonathon Simmons is off to a great start in his third NBA season. Simmons is one of the better Magic defenders. He was called upon to defend Walker as the Magic attempted to mount a late game comeback. Simmons has proved to be a reliable scorer in his expanded role with the Magic and will continue to be a focal point of the Magic offense. He finished the contest with a career high 27 points and four rebounds.
The Orlando Magic next game is Monday night at the New Orleans Pelicans.