Post Game Reactions: Orlando Magic at Dallas Mavericks Preseason

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.

 

On Fire

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.

 

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.

Early Orlando Magic Individual Awards Predictions

 

Backup Battle

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.

Pregame: What to Watch For, Orlando Magic at Dallas Mavericks

 

The Orlando Magic are set to take on the Dallas Mavericks for the second time in 5 nights. This time around Dallas won’t be as short-handed. Let’s see how the Magic come out against the same team with a revamped lineup.

The Dallas Mavericks came to Orlando last Thursday missing a few players notably, Dirk Nowitzki, Harrison Barnes, and Nerlens Noel. The absence of those three players is enough to overlook the Dallas Mavericks. However, the Orlando Magic came out and played a solid all-around game and grabbed a 112-89 victory. Aaron Gordon had a stellar night with 17 points and 10 rebounds, but tonight is different. There will be more shooting on the floor and a lot more length. The Orlando Magic have the length to defend against Dallas no matter who is on the court. It will be interesting to see how Jonathan Isaac holds up against the Mavericks big three, he most likely will match-up with all of them.

Home Cooking

Both Jonathon Simmons and Wesley Iwundu will be excited to play their first Magic game in their home state of Texas. Simmons and Iwundu are from the Houston area and will surely look to put on a show for friends and family in attendance. Simmons has already shown that he will be a key factor in the success of the Magic. His athleticism has been featured in every Magic game highlight footage so far in the preseason. Look for more of the same from Simmons tonight.

Wesley Iwundu is still pretty raw on the offensive side but his length has served him well on defense. Iwundu came into the ready to contribute on defense. Tonight look for  Iwundu to cause problems on defense that lead to easy transition buckets. He may not get credit for a deflection or disrupting passes on the stat sheet, but his hustle will be noted by the team.

Fully Loaded

The Dallas Mavericks will play their projected starting 5 heavy minutes tonight. This is a complete reverse from last weeks meeting in Orlando. Dallas had 8 players that did not travel to Orlando on Thursday including 3 starters and Head coach Rick Carlisle. The Magic held Dallas to 33 percent shooting and will try to replicate that great defensive effort. Solid performances tonight will raise the confidence of a Magic squad who is already seeing what they are capable of. After a rough outing in the first preseason game of the year, Orlando has figured it out. They have tightened up on their defense and have started to play faster on offense. An identity is starting to form.  A third consecutive game of stellar defense and fast offense will give Orlando a good look at themselves.

Post Game Reactions: Orlando Magic VS Dallas Mavericks Preseason

Going Deep

While the Magic are getting into a rhythm and learning each other, Coach Vogel does not want to overwork anyone. Vogel plans to rest some of his players tonight and use the bench a little more. With only three preseason games remaining after tonight Vogel has to make a final roster soon. The starting lineup looks to be set and so does the second five. What has to be figured out in the coming preseason games is who occupies those last few roster spots and how the minutes will be distributed. Arron Afflalo came into Saturday nights game against the Miami Heat and lit it up.

Afflalo has been dealing with some back pain early in the preseason. After Saturday’s performance its safe to say Arron is ready to play. With so much depth for the Magic at the wing positions many thought of Afflalo as just a mentor. He is more than just a mentor to the young players, he can still put the ball in the hoop. Look for Arron Afflalo to get a bump in minutes for the Magic tonight and be a featured part of the offense.

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