Poor Shooting Magic Fall to Bulls


The Orlando Magic did not have much energy on Saturday night. The Magic were playing their second game in two days and it showed – the Magic looked tired. The Bulls got to more loose balls, outrebounded the Magic and held the Magic to just 35.9 % shooting from the field. Derrick Rose finished with 30 points, seven assists and six rebounds to lead the Bulls to the 101-93 victory. The Magic fell to 24-9. The Bulls won their fourth consecutive game and improved to 14-17.

Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy had a simple response when asked about the loss.

"“They just played a lot harder than us.”"

The first quarter was back and forth. Orlando was 12-of-25 from the field and 5-of-7 from downtown, giving them an effective field goal percentage of 58%. Dwight Howard had 6 points and 5 rebounds. The Magic had a 20-16 first quarter lead, but the Bulls went on a 10-3 run before Rashard Lewis and J.J. Redick hit back-to-back three-pointers to give the Magic the lead. It was all downhill from there.

The Magic made just six field goals in the second half while the Bulls shot 12-of-22 in the second quarter. Both teams got good production from their bench, but the Bulls just shot the ball much better and took a 52-48 lead into the half. How bad did it get for the Magic on offense in the second quarter? Outside of Dwight Howard’s two free throws, Ryan Anderson and Mickael Pietrus were the only Magic players to score.

After only two players made field goals in the second quarter, just three hit shots in the third quarter. Jameer Nelson and Matt Barnes did most of the damage. The third and final player to make a shot, Marcin Gorat, made just one. Derrick Rose took over the game, scoring 16 points in the period. It looked like the Bulls had a chance to run away with the game but Matt Barnes nearly matched Rose’s output and scored 15 third quarter points, keeping the Magic within 12 points at the end of the quarter.

The Magic buckled down on defense in the fourth quarter, but they could not buy a bucket in the first half of the final period. The Magic did not make a field goal until J.J. Redick hit a three-pointer with 5:52 to play. Vince Carter went down with an ankle injury on a drive with the Magic trailing 90-75 with 5:54 to go. The Magic made a run after his exit, led by three-pointers by Anderson, Barnes and Redick. Redick’s final shot cut the lead to 96-93 but the Bulls hit their free throws and came away with an eight-point victory.

For the second consecutive game, Matt Barnes was very good. After scoring most of his points around the basket on Friday night, Barnes was just 2-of-7 on shots at the rim Saturday, but he was 5-of-6 from beyond the arc and finished with 23 points. Barnes also had 4 rebounds and 3 assists. He has played with a lot of energy since Van Gundy inserted him into the starting lineup. Unfortunately, the rest of the team has not followed suit.

Besides Barnes, J.J. Redick was the only player that did not shoot less than 50% from the field. He shot exactly 50% (4-of-8) and made two huge fourth quarter three-pointers that got Orlando back into the game. Redick finished with 11 points in just 15 minutes.

Before his injury midway through the fourth quarter, Vince Carter was having a night to forget. Carter was 3-of-15 from the field and had just eight points. He only had three rebounds and two assists. Carter didn’t go a good job of getting his teammates involved, held the ball too long on several possessions and had a terrible shooting night. He finished the game with a +/- of -17.

Dwight Howard still isn’t getting the ball enough. On Satuday night, foul trouble was partially to blame.  Howard needs to get himself into better possession down low and his teammates need to do a much better job of getting him the ball. Howard went just 3-of-7 from the field. Howard did a decent job of getting to the free throw line, but once he got there, he couldn’t finish. He was 3-of-8 from the stripe. Howard finished the game with nine points and 12 rebounds.

Ryan Anderson had some shooting problems again (he was just 4-of-11 from the field), but he really kept the Magic afloat in the second quarter. If Barnes had the most energy on the team tonight, Ryan Anderson was second. At one point, Anderson blocked a shot, hustled down the court and drew a foul. He also had a put-back dunk. He did an excellent job rebounding the ball, grabbing nine boards in just 19 minutes and finished with an excellent rebounding percentage of 22.3%. Anderson also blocked two shots and hit some timely shots.

Jameer Nelson struggled with shot, going just 5-of-13 from the field and 0-of-3 from downtown, but he did a good job getting his teammates involved. Nelson had just 10 points, 10 assists and just two turnovers. That’s a very good offensive performance for a Point Guard. Unfortunately, Nelson couldn’t match this on the defensive end. The Magic were torched by the opposing team’s Point Guard. Again. Derrick Rose had 30 points, seven assists, and six rebounds.

For the rest of the Magic, it was a nightmare. Rashard Lewis scored just seven points on 2-of-9 shooting and was benched in favor of Ryan Anderson down the stretch. Like Lewis, the rest of the Magic for the most part, were ineffective.


Not surprisingly, the Magic did not lead the Bulls in any of the four factors.

It’s very hard to win a game when you shoot 35.9% from the field. Orlando did manage to make 14 three-pointers, but still had an eFG% of just 43.4%. The most strange part of Orlando’s poor shooting night is that they went just 14-of-35 on shots at the rim (Thanks to Hoopdata for these numbers). The Magic shot just 40.8% on two-pointers overall. The Bulls shot 67.3% on two-pointers.The Magic could not get to the free throw line. They went just 13-of-20 from the stripe and Dwight Howard had eight of those attempts.The Bulls thrived at the line, going 24-of-27.

Stan Van Gundy pointed out that the Magic did hold the Bulls to just 42.5% shooting and three three-pointers, which is usually a recipe for success, but in this case, it wasn’t because the Magic were outworked. The Bulls got to the loose balls and won the battle of the boards.

Game Notes:

  • Chicago’s efficiency was 105.2 while Orlando’s was just 96.9%.
  • The Magic had just 12 turnovers, which isn’t bad for them.
  • The teams had identical turnover percentages of 12.5%.
  • The Bulls had five players in double figures.
  • Rose’s 10 free throw attempts were a career-high.
  • Taj Gibson was just 4-of-11 from the field but had 12 rebounds.
  • The Bulls scored 100 points for just the fifth time this season.

Next Up: The Magic get two days off before finishing their three game road trip in Indiana against the Pacers on Tuesday.

Final Thought: Stan Van Gundy said that you can’t use the second game of a back-to-back as an excuse, but the Magic looked tired on Saturday night.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor at NFL Mocks Subscribe to his RSS feed and add him on Twitter to follow him daily.)