Orlando Magic Summer League: Day 2


The Orlando Magic got off to another terrible start, falling behind 24-6 in the first eight minutes of the game. After day one, we knew the Magic quite possibly had the worst team in the Air Tran Pro Summer League but I’m not sure anyone thought it was this bad. And turns out it wasn’t. The Magic cut the lead to 11 by halftime. The Magic dominated the third quarter, putting up 25 points (which would have been even better had they not given up 27 points in the opening quarter). Orlando even managed to take a 70-69 lead, their first of the game, on a Patrick Ewing Jr. 3-pointer. Kosta Koufos answered with two free throws and former Butler star Gordon Hayward put the game away on a 3-pointer with 30.4 seconds remaining.

Daniel Orton’s second consecutive disappointing day was the headline for the Magic but there were other storylines. After the jump, you can get my thoughts and read quotes from some of the players.

  • Patrick Ewing Sr. was very unhappy with his team’s defense and turnovers in the first half.
  • He also thought the Magic needed to “start driving so the defense has to close out and lanes” and to “stop taking those ridiculous shots” and instead make extra passes.
  • Orton’s disappointment was the talk of the day amongst the Orlando media and for good reason. Orton was awful. Again. He looks like he is almost new to the game of basketball.
  • Orton said he may have been thinking too much – “I’m just trying to grasp everything right now,” he said.
  • Ewing Sr. tried to diagnose Orton.
  • “He has to keep up his energy level in my opinion,” Ewing said. “He has to act like he wants the ball down there. He’s a big man, he has a big body, he has to demand it.”
  • After the game, Orton talked about his play.
  • “I’m just trying to enjoy myself,” Orton said. “I struggled again today. I shot a couple of air balls. I’m really struggling on offense right now. I’m just trying to pick it up on defense and hopefully that will carry me through.”
  • Here’s what David Thorpe had to say about Orton:
  • Orton starts off game 2 struggling. Really has no clue how to play. No plan, no purpose, no nothing. But those things can be learned.
  • At least Thorpe hasn’t given up at Orton.
  • Orton did show one flash of his potential – he blocked a shot off the backboard from behind.
  • Patrick Ewing Jr. was the leading scorer for the second consecutive game and he was much more efficient Tuesday. He scored 17 points on 12 shots. He didn’t take nearly as many bad shots as he did on Monday and made better decisions.
  • Donell Taylor showed some flashes and managed to score 12 points but it took him 17 shots to do it. Taylor drove into the lane and kicked the ball out to Ewing on his 3-pointer that put Orlando in front.
  • Paul Davis is a fundamental player. The former Michigan State star attempted just six shots but managed to get to the free throw line 11 times and finish with 13 points.
  • Jerome Randle seems to be the only Orlando player who can get his own shot but he’s just too small to be really effective. He had a rough shooting day, going 2-of-8.
  • Backup point guard Sean Singletary saw his first action of the summer. He played 13 minutes, went 2-of-5, finishing with 4 points. Its unlikely Singletary has a chance to make the team but he is intriguing because he was named to the All-ACC first team three times. That’s an impressive feat.
  • Neither Jeff Adrien nor Joe Crawford played Tuesday. I’m assuming Orlando has a set rotation for games and that’s why neither saw the floor.
  • Stanley Robinson was relatively quiet but I continue to like what I see. He only played 15 minutes Tuesday but was able to make a couple of buckets. I would have liked to have seen him bother Gordon Hayward on the defensive end more than he did but he still looks like a good defensive prospect.
  • Ben McCauley bounced back from a terrible debut Monday to finish 3-of-6 from the field. He had 7 points and 5 rebounds.
  • Yaroslav Korolev and Trey Gilder each saw their first action of the summer league and were both pretty quiet.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor on the Fansided Front Page. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Twitter to follow him daily and you can get the HTD app here).