On the second night of a back to back, the Orlando Magic came out firing on all cylinders. The Magic picked up a big victory in New Orleans over the Pelicans 115-99.
The Orlando Magic have gotten off to a monster start to the season. They scored over 110 points in every game so far this year. Last nights victory placed this year’s team in the Magic record bookend for total points scored through the first 7 games. Going into this game the biggest concern for the Magic was holding All-Stars Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins to sub-par games. In the end, the Magic were able to get half the job done.
DeMarcus Cousins who was named the Western Conference player of the week was held well below his averages. Cousins who is averaging 33.3 points and 13.3 rebounds per game was held to 12 points and 12 rebounds. Opposite Cousins, Davis still had a good night tallying 39 points and 10 rebounds. Orlando was able to get past the big night from Davis with team ball and get the win.
Orlando got some great minutes out of their bench. The Magic bench scored 44 points while New Orleans benched recorded 21 points. A lot of the bench production can be attributed to Jonathon Simmons. Simmons heads up that second unit and gets things started on the defensive end. Outside of the starting five, Simmons is the most consistent scorer the Magic have. Hence, him tieing for the leading scorer for Orlando in this game with 20 points to keep Orlando afloat. Aside from Simmons, Marreese Speights exploded from 3point range. As a result, Speights shot 6 of 10 from deep five of those baskets coming within a 5-minute span. Speights dropped dagger after dagger as New Orleans tried to stay in the game. The barrage of threes electrified the Orlando Magic and helped them seal the game.
The Magic have been a stellar team in terms of efficiency this season. As a result, last night Orlando shot 50.6 % from the field and 46.1 % from behind the arch. Not having a true go-to guy makes this efficient work so much more impressive. Consequently, the Magic are not leaning on one guy to have a big night while others fill in. Furthermore, everyone on the roster is capable of having a big night and Orlando has done a good job of feeding the hot hand.
The Orlando Magic have not been the best rebounding teams in the league. Finally, on this night, Orlando was able to put rebound the Pelicans 50-47. Securing rebounds helped the Magic end possessions and limit second-chance points. Orlando rebounded well as a team. Most noteworthy, Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 8 rebounds while Jonathan Isaac and Aaron Gordon grabbed 7 each. Orlando needs these type of numbers consistently to keep their up-tempo pace by getting rebounds and going up court quickly. Rebounding helps Orlando to get into their offense and should be a focus for this team.
The next Orlando Magic game is at the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday night at 8pm.