In their second meeting in five nights, it was the Orlando Magic who decided to rest some players this time around. Down a few players, the Magic couldn’t pull out the win as they were defeated by the Dallas Mavericks 99-96.
The Dallas Mavericks visited the Orlando Magic on Thursday night and they were a little short-handed. The Mavericks left 8 players back in Dallas while the rest of the team traveled to Orlando. The result of that game was 112-89 thumping with the Magic coming out on top. With the Magic coming into Dallas this time the tables would be turned as Orlando sat 4 starters and a key reserve. The results, however, were not as lopsided. The Magic were able to keep the game competitive from start to finish thanks to some great play by veterans. In the end, it was Mario Hezonja looking to tie the game with the team down by 3 points. With a contested look from the top of the arch, Hezonja’s shot bounced off the rim giving Dallas the victory.
DJ Augustin was the standout player of the night for the Orlando Magic. Augustin shot a 6 of 10 from behind the arch and 9 of 14 from the field to tally 24 points to lead all scorers. Augustin’s hot performance is what the Magic were looking for when they signed him last off-season. The shots did not fall as much as Augustin or the Magic would have liked last season. This summer Augustin has worked tirelessly on his shooting and it showed in this game.
The Magic desperately need shooting from deep. It was great to see Augustin get into a rhythm and keep the Magic close in this game almost single-handedly. The Magic also got a big contribution from Marreese Speights off the bench. Speights poured in 15 points on 4 of 7 from deep in only 18 minutes. Speights loves to shoot it and when he is feeling it you have to get him the ball.
D.J. Augustin knocked down 6 triples and led Orlando with 24 points against Dallas. pic.twitter.com/GIPqWM7KkA
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) October 10, 2017
First Start Jitters
Magic rookie Jonathan Isaac got his first start of the NBA preseason. Isaac admitted in a post-game interview with John Denton of Orlandomagic.com that he had a lot of emotions going through him before his first start. Isaac finished the game with 5 points on 2 of 5 from the field. He also pulled in 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks.
While the stats may not be eye-popping, Isaac did finish with the highest +/- for the Magic (6). In simple terms that means the Magic were at there best when Isaac was on the court. He does many things that will not show up in stats that affect the game. His length forces opponents to adjust their shot or get rid of the ball rather than having it blocked. The Magic always intended to bring Isaac along slowly so getting these first start jitters under his belt in the preseason are a good thing.
The Magic signed Shelvin Mack this off-season to fortify the Point Guard position. If last night was any indication, DJ Augustin has taken control of the backup point guard duties. Mack went 0 of 4 from the field last night in 22 minutes of play. He also recorded 2 rebounds and 3 assist on the night. The biggest negative from Mack’s outing last night was his plus-minus (-12). Mack had the least positive effect on the game for the Magic when on the court.
Shelvin Mack was not brought in to put the team on his back by any means. He simply needs to keep the ship afloat while the starting unit gets a breather. Mack will not be judged on one less than stellar game. He still is a great option to have coming off the bench and as a mentor to this young team. At the moment he looks to be behind DJ Augustin as far as minutes are concerned. Hopefully, Mack can get into a groove before the regular season kicks off.
The Orlando Magic next game is tonight at the San Antonio Spurs.