Magic Destroy Hornets In Amway Center Opener


The Orlando Magic absolutely dominated the New Orleans Hornets from start to finish, earning a 135-81 victory.

Orlando’s offense was virtually unstoppable as they shot a blistering 64.8% from the floor, went 15-of-27 from downtown and posted an effective field goal percentage of 75.3%.

The Hornets, on the other hand, settled for bad shot after bad shot and made a habit of taking difficult, contested jumpers. If you take away Peja Stojakovic’s 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting, New Orleans shot 28% from the field. The Hornets scored just 81points on 85 shots (!) as a team. They also had 19 turnovers, which led to 29 Orlando points.

There’s not a whole lot to say about this game – Orlando was absolutely fantastic and New Orleans was absolutely terrible. That’s the only way an NBA team can beat another by 54 points. Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy tried to give the Hornets a couple breaks saying they were without former All-Star David West and citing the fact the Hornets had played the night before.

Yes, West was out with a sprained right wrist and New Orleans played Saturday night but there is no excuse for losing any game by 54 points, even if it is the preseason.

Pointing out who did their job well for Orlando Sunday night is easy – everyone played well. J.J. Redick (23 points), Ryan Anderson (23), Rashard Lewis (23) and Marcin Gortat (15) were the stars but everyone played well. Anderson’s stat-line stood out because he scored those 23 points on only 8 shots – he hit four 3-pointers and was 7-of-7 from the line. Rashard Lewis was nearly as effective, scoring his 23 on 9-of-11 shooting, but he added 6 rebounds to his night.

Chris Duhon scored just 4 points, but dished out 7 assists and had some very impressive passes, including a beautiful pass to Lewis, which was slammed home, a good outlet to Gortat on a fast break and a lob to the athletic Stanley Robinson, who slammed the ball home (and said he would by Duhon dinner for the pass).

Speaking of Robinson, he played just 8 minutes, but still managed to score 5 points and grab 4 rebounds. Robinson is a freak athlete and has a chance to be a good defender in this league. I won’t heap too much praise on Robinson but the Magic may have gotten a steal with the 59th overall pick in this year’s draft.

Van Gundy said he planned to give Dwight Howard (12 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 blocks in 22 minutes) and Jameer Nelson (10 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds in 24 minutes) but couldn’t put them back in with that big of a lead.

Howard hit two early jumpers that got huge ovations from the crowd. Gortat also hit an impressive turnaround jumper which brought the sold-out crowd to their feet. Both players got into some foul trouble.

Van Gundy tinkered with the lineups again, playing Lewis and Anderson together, giving Gortat minutes at Power Forward and playing Redick and Vince Carter (10 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds) together. Van Gundy said he’d wish he’d done each more, but couldn’t bring himself to bring Howard back in to split minutes with Gortat.

Carter’s effort has been fantastic – he’s making plays on defense in the preseason.

The Magic continue to make an effort to posting up, running plays for several different players down low.

Game Notes:

  • Neither Brandon Bass nor Mickael Pietrus played but that was the plan going into the game.
  • The Magic dominated every facet of the game, outrebounding the Hornets 44-31, hitting 8 more 3-pointers, and 10 more free throws.

Next Up: The Magic will host the Charlotte Bobcats Thursday night. Orlando swept the Bobcats out of the first round of the 2010 playoffs.

Final Thought: The Amway opener couldn’t have gone any better.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, a contributor on the Fansided Front Page, and co-host of CB Sports Radio from 5-7 pm week days ( Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).