Post Game Reactions: Orlando Magic vs San Antonio Spurs

The Orlando Magic are starting to turn heads in the NBA. After starting the season 3-1 with a convincing win over the Cleveland Cavaliers the Magic had an even more convincing win over the then-undefeated San Antonio Spurs. The Magic come out on top 114-87.

Coming into this game the Orlando Magic were playing great basketball by all standards. The team was moving the ball and making good decisions to get open shots. The San Antonio Spurs would be another test for Orlando to see if this was real or a mirage. The Magic showed that not only was it real, but it can be even better. From the start of the game, Orlando was the aggressor and never backed down from the Spurs. Orlando led the Spurs by as much as 36 points playing solid on both ends of the court.

Unlike last game where the ball movement was not emphasized, the Magic kept the offense flowing from tip-off. LaMarcus Aldridge was able to make some big contributions for the Spurs tallying 24 point and 11 rebounds. However, Aldridge also had the highest negative +/- in the game(-20). The efficiency that the Magic are playing with now makes them look like a sure playoff team and maybe even a championship contender. But again, it is early in the season.

 

Fournier

Evan Fournier has gotten off to a great start this season. Fournier is averaging 22.2 points per game while shooting 56% from deep. Fournier has been as consistent as anyone in the league. The Magic know what they will get from him on a daily basis and he showed it again. He started out the game hot and never really cooled down. The chemistry Fournier has with those in the starting lineup allows them to trust him taking the big shots or having the ball when they need a basket. There weren’t too many instances in this game where Orlando needed to stop a rally, but when the situation does occur, Fournier is the one to have the ball. The Magic are looking good and Evan Fournier is a big part of that.

 

Should The Orlando Magic Be Concerned About Their Ball Movement?

Defense

Coach Frank Vogel is known as a defensive-minded coach. The Magic look like they have finally bought into his philosophy and are playing harder on defense. The off-season acquisitions for the Magic were questioned by many in the media as it looked like Orlando did not get any help for their biggest flaw, shooting. Orlando signed free agents known more for defense and also drafted two players that were ready to play NBA defense. In this early portion of the season, it looks like Orlando made all the right moves. Orlando held the Spurs to their lowest point total of the season(Spurs also scored 87 in a win over Chicago). Orlando will only get better as the season progresses and the team gains more chemistry.

 

The Orlando Magic next game is Sunday at the Charlotte Hornets.

Pregame: What to Watch For, Orlando Magic vs San Antonio Spurs

The Orlando Magic welcome the undefeated San Antonio Spurs into town tonight. The Spurs are still without Kawhi Leonard. Can the Magic take advantage?

The San Antonio Spurs have not played a game with Kawhi Leonard in the lineup, yet they are undefeated. LaMarcus Aldridge has stepped his game up to supplement for Leonard’s production. Along with Aldridge, the rest of the Spurs roster has bought into Coach Greg Popovich’s system. The Orlando Magic have bought into an up-tempo system that coach Frank Vogel has implemented which counters the Spurs. As these two teams meet, the contrast in styles will be a focal point as Orlando tries to end San Antonio’s win streak.

Movement

A key aspect of all NBA teams recently is movement. The Orlando Magic are no different. That doesn’t just go for ball movement, but body movement as well. Action being done off the ball to set up a good look at the end is becoming more prevalent. The Orlando Magic while they have improved in this area, are still a work in progress. The San Antonio Spurs are one of the founding franchises implementing movement in the offense. They weren’t focused on getting a particular player the ball for the most part but more concerned with making the defense get out of place. The Magic have begun to trust one another so much more and not afraid to pass the ball for the next guy to take the shot. Look for Orlando and San Antonio to move a lot in this game. There will not be much isolation, outside of holding for the last shot of the quarter. Orlando knows they are better when pieces are moving and will look to get things going early.

100+

The Orlando Magic have 100+ points in every game this season. Tonight will be no different. While the Magic want to have a defensive identity putting points on the board is also a goal. With the pace the Magic play they will have a ton of possessions throughout the game. Giving up points here and there isn’t a huge concern of the wins keep coming. While the Spurs like to play more of a half-court game look for Orlando to keep their uptempo style and score over 100 points tonight.

Who Makes the All-Star Team First for the Orlando Magic?

Gordon VS Aldridge

The power forward matchup tonight may feature the two best players on the court. Aaron Gordon had a career night in his last game and is gaining more confidence as he plays. Facing LaMarcus Aldridge will be a big test for Gordon. On the defensive end, Gordon will have to take on Aldridge in the post. Keeping Aldridge out of the paint will be rough for the smaller Gordon and may lead to some adjustments. On the other end of the court, Gordon will have just as much of an advantage. Being able to handle the ball on the perimeter and pull Aldridge out of the lane will open up the offense for the Magic. Keep an eye on the back and forth between Aaron Gordon and LaMarcus Aldridge tonight.

 

 

Post Game Reactions: Orlando Magic at San Antonio Spurs Preseason

The Orlando Magic played the second game of a back to back last night. After getting out to a good start Orlando trailed at halftime. The Magic were able to pull together in the end and defeat the San Antonio Spurs 103-98.

On the second night of a back to back, the Orlando Magic flipped some of the players that played the previous night with players that rested. Having fresh legs surely played a role for Magic starters Elfrid Payton, Aaron Gordon and Bismack Biyombo. Jonathon Simmons, on the other hand, had the privilege of starting both games of the back to back. This one may have meant a little bit more as he faced the team he spent the last two season with. He did not disappoint in his return.

Pleasant Homecoming

Jonathon Simmons returned to San Antonio to face his former team for the first time. With Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross sitting out this game, Simmons got to start at shooting guard. Like all of his games so far in the preseason, Simmons showcased why he moved on from the Spurs to get more minutes.  He ended up with a double-double putting in 20 points and 10 assists in 33 minutes. Simmons definitely is not shy about having the ball. Prior to Simmons arrival, Evan Fournier was the most consistent at creating his own shot. Jonathon Simmons has the explosiveness to get around defenders and get to the rim. That same explosiveness puts defenders on their heels at times and leaves Simmons open for jump shots.

Go To Guy

The emergence of Aaron Gordon has been phenomenal. Yes, it’s just the preseason. However, Aaron Gordon has not looked this aggressive on the offensive end of the floor since he came into the league. Gordon put up 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds last night. He showed no hesitation when making moves to the basket or catching it in rhythm. Once Gordon had his defender on his heels he attacked. Aaron Gordon has realized that he is a superior athlete. Not many people even in the NBA possess the skills that he does. Giving his opponents time to evaluate the situation and prepare for the attack is much less beneficial than going at them immediately. He was able to post up smaller defenders, score in traffic and even made some nice fadeaways from the baseline. As the Magic embrace the fast pace offense Gordon will continue to be on the receiving end of many assists in transition.

More Than Defense

Going into the offseason the biggest hole for the Magic was scoring points. The additions made to the roster did little to improve the offense on paper. Last night the Orlando Magic were without the services of some major scoring threats. Fournier, Vucevic, and Ross will be fixtures of the Magic offense this season. In their absence, Orlando managed to find scoring from an unlikely source. Bismack Biyombo contributed 18 points on 8 of 11 from the field and 2 for 2 from the free throw line. Biyombo playing alongside a faster lineup was able to run the court and catch passes cleanly in transition. Rolling to the rim after screens is something Biyombo can be great at if he catches the ball cleanly. Scoring 18 points will not be a usual occurrence but it was great to see Biyombo finishing cleanly in the paint.

Orlando Magic Swingman Aaron Gordon is Hopeful to Make The All-Star Leap This Year

The Orlando Magic next game is Friday night against the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers.

Pregame: What to Watch For, Orlando Magic at San Antonio Spurs

The Orlando Magic are on a mini road trip. The team will play their first back to back game of the season in San Antonio. How will they respond to the second game in two nights?

Coach Frank Vogel elected to rest a few of his players last night against the Dallas Mavericks. The Magic played Dallas just five days prior so it was the perfect opportunity to rest some players. After taking the night off the Orlando Magic will have the four starters who rested last night available to play in San Antonio. The only starter not to rest last night was Nikola Vucevic. Vucevic will get a break tonight which will allow the Magic to get a look at Bismack Biyombo in the starting role.

Game Pace

The San Antonio Spurs have always been a half-court offensive team. They like to slow the game down find matchups to exploit. The Orlando Magic have found much success speeding up the pace of the game and winning in transition. On paper, the Magic outmatch the Spurs in athleticism and will do well to make this game a track meet. With Nikola Vucevic out of the lineup, it will be a little easier to run the court. The combination of Biyombo and Khem Birch at Center are better at being rim runners and getting out in transition. This game against the Spurs will test the will of the Magic. Whichever team can impose their style of play on the other should come away with the victory.

Welcome back

Jonathon Simmons will get an early opportunity to play against his former team tonight. Simmons had some spectacular performances with the Spurs in the post-season. When the time came to negotiate another contract both sides agreed that it was best for Simmons to move on. Simmons wanted a bigger role and a more flexible situation to showcase what he can do. With this being Simmons first game against his old squad we can expect him to go a little harder to let them know what they missed out on. Last night in Dallas Simmons played a great game and finished with 19 points. The second game of a back to back might be tough but Simmons has never backed down from a challenge.

Post Game Reactions: Orlando Magic at Dallas Mavericks Preseason

Fresh legs

Elfrid Payton, Aaron Gordon and Bismack Biyombo sat out last nights game in Dallas for rest, no injury concerns. Getting back on the court tonight these three will be fresh and ready to go. Gordon has been a standout this preseason and will look to continue that consistency. Gordon’s defense has been a staple of his game since he came into the league.  It looks like his offensive production has finally caught up. A highlight waiting to happen, Gordon will be fresh tonight flying down the court on transition and catching lobs in traffic. On the assisting end of those lobs will likely be Payton. The two have great chemistry as they have played many years together even prior to being drafted by Orlando. Many believe the key to unlocking Payton’s game is curing his jump shot. While having a respectable jump shot is a great idea in today’s game, it is more feasible to perfect the skills that are present. For Payton that is distributing the ball and playing defense. The night off gave Payton a full game to see things from the bench and take note of what could be better from him. Look for the fresh legs of the Magic to run like crazy.

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