Post Game Reactions: Orlando Magic at New Orleans Pelicans

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.

Bench Contribution

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.

Efficiency

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 Power Shift Their Way Up in Week 2 of Latest ESPN Power Rankings

Rebounds

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.

Pregame: What to Watch For, Orlando Magic at New Orleans Pelicans

The Orlando Magic are entering the second night of a back to back. Orlando suffered their second loss of the season to a scrappy Charlotte Hornets team. Can they bounce back?

The Orlando Magic will face off against the New Orleans Pelicans tonight in the second game of their three-game road trip. Orlando has gotten some national spotlight and will need this win to keep that momentum going. This road trip will be a bit of a measuring stick for the Magic to evaluate where they are as a team. After getting blowout wins over two perennial powerhouses, the Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs, these three games will prove if that was all a fluke. The Magic played a tough game versus Charlotte but could not slow down Kemba Walker. Tonight, Orlando will be tested in the frontcourt by Anthony Davis and Demarcus Cousins. They have to respond in this game to validate the previous blowout wins.

Secure Rebounds

In last nights loss, the Orlando Magic got manhandled on the glass. The Hornets outhustled the Magic picking up 59 rebounds to Orlando’s 40. Those rebounds often led to points. The Magic must do a better job of ending possessions if they want to win tonight.

Double trouble

The New Orleans Pelicans feature two of the leagues premier big men in Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. Davis and Cousins tend to have great games when facing the Magic. So far this season Cousins is averaging 32.3 points and 13.8 rebounds per game. Davis is averaging 25.4 points and 13 rebounds per game. Keeping these two under control will be quite a task for the Orlando Magic.

Look for the Magic to possibly go with a quicker lineup to coral Davis and Cousins. Rookie Jonathan Isaac will play an important role covering Davis with his length and athleticism. Khem Birch also has the agility to add a little more size than Isaac to possibly matchup with Cousins. The traditional bigs on the Magic roster(Vucevic and Biyombo) are just a tad bit slower than the Pelican duo and that might cause a problem on the defensive end. They are also a little bigger than Aaron Gordon and could cause him to get into foul trouble. Birch and Isaac should see plenty of game time tonight.

The Orlando Magic Power Shift Their Way Up in Week 2 of Latest ESPN Power Rankings

Points in the Paint

The New Orleans Pelicans are ranked second in the league in points in the paint with 52.3 points per game. To add on to that stat, the Pelicans score 47.6 % of their points in the painted area. New Orleans will look to get the ball near the rim to say the least. The Orlando Magic have allowed the most points in the paint in the league at 53.3 points per game. Look for the Pelicans to go to the paint early and often. How will Orlando adjust to cover up their biggest weakness against New Orleans biggest strength?

 

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