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Orlando Magic News & Notes: Bench Offers Nothing

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The Orlando Magic blew an 11-point third quarter lead, hit a terrible dry spell in the fourth quarter and fell to the Dallas Mavericks 95-85.

The Magic got no help from their bench on Friday night.

"The Orlando Magic arguably have their deepest team in franchise history, but the bench offered no help in a 95-85 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night at Amway Arena.Here’s all you need to know: Mavericks guard Jason Terry outscored the Magic’s bench by his lonesome — 16-6.Dallas’ reserves tallied 27 points on 10-of-18 shooting. You had to dust the arena to even determine if Orlando’s reserves showed up. They missed 16 of 19 shots, with J.J. Redick, Ryan Anderson and Mickael Pietrus going a combined 1-of-15.“Probably should have stuck with the starters [longer],” Van Gundy said, tongue not so firmly in cheek. “Our bench has been pretty good. That’s not typical.”"

Brian Schmitz has the story here.

Van Gundy said he had to look at “reigning in” guys who take quick shots but did not get any more specific than that.

"Van Gundy’s comment sounded a little bit like he thought there were specific guys he didn’t want shooting as much anymore.I asked him to clarify. He said it wasn’t about individuals.“We have some shots where we’ve got one guy on the break,” Van Gundy said. “I’ve let that go because we’ve made some big shots doing that. The guys who are doing it now just aren’t making. I’m not talking about telling certain guys not to shoot the ball. Certain types of shots where we don’t have anybody down the floor I think we’ve gotta talk about.”"

Tania Ganguli has more on the subject here.

The Magic had maybe their worst stretch of play of the season when Dallas went on a 19-0 run late in the third quarter into the fourth quarter Friday.

"Orlando (37-19) made just four of 25 3-pointers and shot a season-low 12 free throws, but might have still won had they not gone through a head-scratching 19-0 stretch by the Mavericks. Once down 69-58, Dallas scored the last seven points of the third quarter and the first 12 points of the fourth period.How hideous was that stretch for the Magic? They missed all five of their shots and turned the ball over four times during the 5-minute, four-second scoreless drought.“They made shots and we made none,” Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. “We just made none. We had a couple of really bad turnovers and we just missed a lot of shots. Our shooting was obviously horrendous.”"

John Denton has more in his postgame analysis here.

Jameer Nelson has put together back-to-back solid games.

"After missing 17 games earlier this season because of left-knee problems, Nelson arguably is playing his most efficient basketball of the season. He tallied six assists and just two turnovers against the Mavericks.“I could’ve made a couple different decisions in the lane, but that’s in the past,” Nelson said. “I attack the basket to go to score, and if they come, I throw to the big fella [Dwight Howard].”Nelson now is averaging 2.8 assists for every turnover this February — his best assist-to-turnover ratio for any month this season.His scoring touch also has started to return. Nelson now has scored in double figures in six of his last seven games. He says he’s regained his stamina since he returned Dec. 21 from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee."

Josh Robbins has that story here.

Tim Povtak wonders if the Magic take too many three-pointers.

"“Our shooting, obviously, was horrendous,” said Magic coach Stan Van Gundy. “We had too many times of just coming up and shooting the ball. We need to maybe look at reigning in a few guys who just are consistently not making shots.”It’s a criticism the Magic heard last season, too, yet they shot their way into the NBA Finals. It is likely to hang over the rest of this season, too.“It’s just who we are. It’s the team we’ve assembled,” said Magic guard J.J. Redick, normally one of the best shooters in the league. “I was bad tonight. You just hope guys don’t follow your lead.”"

You can find that story here.

Jay Macguire of The Smoking Cuban thought balance was the key for the Mavericks.

Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas thinks Brendan Haywood made a huge difference in the game.

"It’s not as if Haywood, whom Dwight Howard recently proclaimed the NBA’s best defensive center, shut down Orlando’s Superman. Far from it. Howard had 29 points (11-of-19 shooting) and 16 rebounds.Haywood just made the rest of the Mavs’ jobs much easier. Haywood’s presence around the rim and ability to battle Howard without a whole lot of help let his teammates stay close to the Magic’s plethora of perimeter shooters. Orlando, which leads the league in 3-pointers made by a wide margin, made only four of 25 attempts from behind the arc.“When you have a guy 7-1 in there, it’s going to change the geometry of the game defensively,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “Guys are going to go in there and have to change their shots. They’re going to see long arms up over the rim.”"

"You can find that story here.Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News thinks the Mavs are playing with a new energy and attitude.“This team expects to win every night,” center Brendan Haywood said. “That team [his former team] hoped to win every night.”The Washington Wizards indeed weren’t very good. And he and Caron Butler, as well as DeShawn Stevenson are renewed, no doubts there. Coach Rick Carlisle said the trade deadline can have that impact on an entire team.“A lot of times guys see their names mentioned, and you don’t know if you’re going to be there or not,” he said. “Once the deadline passes, that’s always the thing that helps.”You can find that story here.The Mavs have been a resilient team all season long.For the twelfth time this season the Mavs won a game in which they trailed by 10 points or more. The Mavs showed resiliency and rode a hot fourth quarter to a 10 point victory.To be considered a legitimate contender, a team must go on the road and win some tough games against some teams no matter the circumstances.The Mavs are playing two players that have yet to participate in a full practice with the team. But that cannot be an excuse for losing a game…any game. For a squad that looked tired and sluggish in the first game post All-Star break, energy has not been an issue the past two games.You can find that story here.(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor at NFL Mocks Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Twitter to follow him daily and you can get the HTD app here.)Published on 02/20/2010 at 6:43 AM EDTLast updated on 10/14/2015 at 2:53 PM EDT “This team expects to win every night,” center Brendan Haywood said. “That team [his former team] hoped to win every night.”The Washington Wizards indeed weren’t very good. And he and Caron Butler, as well as DeShawn Stevenson are renewed, no doubts there. Coach Rick Carlisle said the trade deadline can have that impact on an entire team.“A lot of times guys see their names mentioned, and you don’t know if you’re going to be there or not,” he said. “Once the deadline passes, that’s always the thing that helps.”For the twelfth time this season the Mavs won a game in which they trailed by 10 points or more. The Mavs showed resiliency and rode a hot fourth quarter to a 10 point victory.To be considered a legitimate contender, a team must go on the road and win some tough games against some teams no matter the circumstances.The Mavs are playing two players that have yet to participate in a full practice with the team. But that cannot be an excuse for losing a game…any game. For a squad that looked tired and sluggish in the first game post All-Star break, energy has not been an issue the past two games."