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Game Recap: Orlando Magic vs Chicago Bulls


October 16, 2010

The Magic extended the most meaningless winning streak in sports tonight to 19 games (preseason wins) with their 105-67 victory over the Chicago Bulls.  The Magic started the game on a 9-0 run spurred by Vince Carter who had 7 of the 9 and finished with a team high 21 points.  The game was never close at any point and the 38 point final margin isn’t even truly telling of the absolute blowout this game was.  Coming off an overtime loss the night before, Chicago was clearly on a mission to rest their starters as Derrick Rose played a mere 12 minutes.  When Brian Scalibrine and Kurt Thomas both play 30 minutes in the game, you can’t expect a strong effort.  The good news is that despite the soft opponent tonight, the Magic didn’t let up and played hard and aggressive all night.  J.J. Redick shot the ball extremely well from the field going 7-8 and finished with 16 points and Brandon Bass continued his strong play this preseason posting a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.  Stan again praised Brandon’s aggressiveness in his post game press conference and it will be very interesting to see how the rotations play out once the regular season starts.  For more thoughts and tidbits from tonight’s game continue reading “after the jump”.

  • The Magic went with another different starting lineup tonight as Rashard Lewis started at the SF position and Brandon Bass started at the PF spot.  The lineup clearly worked well this evening and both players played strong defensively as well as offensively.
  • At the beginning of the second half, Marcin Gortat started at PF with Rashard still at SF.  The team ran what I’m dubbing as the Twin Tower Pick-n-Roll several times.  The TTPnR features Jameer with the ball in his hands and Marcin and Dwight simultaneously “picking” the defender.  Jameer then has the option to go either way and it seemed to confuse the Bulls and led to a few easy baskets.  Expect to see this set a lot more if Dwight and Marcin are out there together.
  • Joakim Noah made the same amount of field goals tonight as University of Florida Kicker Chas Henry.  Zero.
  • Dwight Howard continued to show his expanded offensive arsenal.  He was scoring at will against both Noah, Omer Asik and Kurt Thomas and was doing so with sweeping left handed hooks and baby hook shots with his right hand.   He took a few jump shots as well and although they didn’t fall, the simple fact that he has the confidence to take them is a great sign.
  • Dwight Howard also can dunk the ball very well.  In case anyone forgot.
  • Chris Duhon had several “woah” passes during his 23 minutes of play and led the team with 7 assists.  However, Duhon also had 6 turnovers and seems far too hesitant to shoot the ball when he is open.  Hopefully as he gets more comfortable with his teammates the confidence will appear.
  • Ryan Anderson, Quentin Richardson and Mickael Pietrus all had the night off tonight for the Magic.
  • While Marcin Gortat had a few Polish Hammertime-esque dunks tonight, for the second straight game he had a dunk blocked at the rim.  Clearly his Air Jordan leg tattoo isn’t fully working at all times.
  • With the game a blowout in the fourth quarter, Stan turned to rookie Stanley Robinson and veteran Malik Allen to close out the game.  I only hope that the big money fans sitting courtside enjoyed the epic battle between Malik Allen and Brian Scalibrine as much as I did.

Final thought:  While this game was clearly never close and the team that played for Chicago tonight will look drastically different come April, the Magic continued to work hard the entire game.  While the 19 game preseason streak means little to the players and coaching staff, it’s important that this team never wants to lose and that they continue to breed the mantra of winning.

The next Magic game is in the ATL on Monday night against another Magic sweep victim, the Atlanta Hawks.  Game time is at 7PM and will be televised locally on FSN Florida and nationally on NBA TV.

Brian Serra is a contributing blogger at Howard the Dunk and the founder of MagicBasketballOnline.com.  You can follow/add him on Twitter and on Facebook.