The Orlando Magic went to battle against the number one team in the NBA. After a bone-crushing loss in their previous game, Orlando surely would be more prepared, right? Sadly, the Magic were just as ill-equipped and fell to the Boston Celtics 104-88.
The Orlando Magic suffered a huge loss at the hands of the lowly Chicago Bulls on Friday night. They took to the Amway Center again Sunday to get back on track against the league-leading Boson Celtics. Still down their first and second string point guards, Orlando opted to play Jonathon Simmons as the starting point guard and keep Shelvin Mack running the second unit. While the intent was good the results remained the same as the previous game. Orlando failed to get into a rhythm on offense. A lot of the offensive ineptitude stems from Jonathon Simmons getting into early foul trouble. Simmons picked up his third foul with a little under 5 minutes remaining in the second quarter. Without Simmons steady defensive pressure on Kyrie Irving, the Celtics offense opened up and allowed their lead to grow. The Orlando Magic were out of the game by halftime.
The Orlando Magic had another off night shooting ball. In particular, Evan Fournier had a bad night. Fournier was an abysmal 2 of 14 from the field and 2 of 9 from behind the arch. Fournier has been Orlando’s steady hand consistently contributing about 20 points per game. He just could not get anything going in the paint tonight and was even held without a free throw attempt. As a team, the Magic shot 36.3 percent from the field and 20.7 percent from three-point range which is even worse than their previous night versus Chicago.
The Magic were on an abnormal tear in terms of their shooting percentages before DJ Augustin went down. A decline was expected to take place at some point but this drop off has been unbelievable. Finally, the Magic had figured out how to get good, open, high percentage shot with ball movement in the first seven games. It seems as if they have forgotten what got them to this place in the standings. They have to get back to moving the ball and trusting each other no matter who the point guard is.
After clawing their way back within 8 points at the end of the third quarter the Orlando Magic fell apart. The 4th quarter was not kind to the Magic and they did not take it well. When the team needed to desperately close out this game the Magic gave up 27 points while only scoring 19 points on the other end. A deficit that was manageable at the start of the quarter quickly got out of reach and the team looked like they threw in the towel. However, the Magic live to fight another day but they will have to regroup and put forth a much better effort to finish games.
The Orlando Magic next game is Wednesday versus the New York Knicks.