If you wanted more of the same mediocrity and lethargy that you saw Sunday night, the first half would be your lesson for that. The Magic opened the game missing their first 12 shots and were down 12-0 midway through the first quarter. It was the same frustrating play. There were lots of missed open shots, but little ball movement or penetration.
The aggression level was low and the team seemed happy to settle for jumpers rather than attack the glass. You could blame it on tired legs from a few hard days at practice or you could blame it on whatever. In their second public display before the regular season, the Magic looked as lethargic and unprepared for “real games” as ever.
Then it all clicked. At halftime, Jameer Nelson found his legs and found his energy and aggression. It permeated throughout the entire roster and became infectious.
A team that was playing well and with energy, according to Stan Van Gundy, but was not making shots suddenly put that final piece of the puzzle together. A team that looked unprepared for the regular season mere moments ago seemed ready to take on the world and take down the defending Eastern Conference champions. This was the kind of inconsistency the team featured throughout the disappointing 2010-11 campaign.
They needed a jolt to find themselves and look like the team they can be in a 104-100 win over the Heat at Amway Center on Wednesday.
|Score||Time Left||Off. Rtg.||eFG%||O.Reb.%||TOR||FTR|