Magic-Timberwolves Reactions


The Orlando Magic easily handled the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night, bouncing back from their loss to the Miami Heat Friday.

After having Tuesday night’s game in New York postponed, the Magic were happy just to be back on the court Wednesday night.

"Fresh from four days off – one a result of Tuesday’s bizarre cancellation in New York – and still steamed by last Friday’s loss in Miami, the Magic came out and hung 78 points of pent-up frustration on Minnesota in the first half en route to a one-sided 128-86 victory at the Amway Center.“We’re just happy to play a real game again,’’ said Magic center Dwight Howard who almost assuredly would have had a triple-double had he played more than 23 minutes. “We were all looking forward to playing in New York, but we had a good one (Wednesday) and we’ve got to keep it rolling. Guys were aggressive and after the game I told the guys that we have to do this every time if we want to be a championship team. We have to bring this same type of intensity, energy and focus every night. We can’t take any nights off in order to be that team.’’The Magic (2-1) set a franchise record with their 78-point first-half outburst, eclipsing the previous mark of 75 set Jan. 13, 2009 in Sacramento, the night the Magic set the NBA record for 3-pointers in a game with 23. Orlando even had a shot at 80 in the first half on Wednesday, but Jameer Nelson’s runner rimmed out at the buzzer."

John Denton of has that story here.

Rashard Lewis made a little bit of a surprise start at the 3.

"Lewis finished with 11 points and six boards, although the uncertainty about him playing small forward isn’t on offense. The big question mark is on the defensive side of the ball.He’s been defending power forwards for the past three years with the Magic, mostly within 20 feet of the basket. When he’s defending small forwards, he’s tasked with staying in front of smaller, quicker players on the perimeter.So how’d he do Wednesday night?“I felt pretty good,” Lewis said. “I got Dwight Howard behind me blocking shots, so he’s going to help. But at the same time just playing my defensive roles, I thought I did a pretty good job. I messed up a couple times, but I thought I did a pretty good job.”"

Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel has that story here.

By changing the lineup, Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy isn’t sticking to his guns.

Dwight Howard thought the Magic were more aggressive against the Timberwolves.

"Employing a starting lineup that featured Ryan Anderson at power forward and Rashard Lewis at small forward, the Magic handed the Timberwolves the most lopsided loss in their franchise’s history, a 128-86 drubbing at Amway Center.“I think guys were aggressive,” said Magic center Dwight Howard, who finished with 18 points, 16 rebounds and eight blocks in just 23 minutes. “After the game, I told the guys we have to do this every night if we want to be a championship team. We have to bring this same type of intensity and effort and energy every night.”The Magic received contributions up and down their roster, with six other players scoring in double figures, led by Vince Carter, who scored 20 points."

Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel has that story here.

Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post takes a look at just how great Howard was Wednesday night.

"Howard’s influence showed up everywhere tonight. Using Pick and Scroll’s Advanced Stats Calculator, for example, I figured he blocked 24.6 percent of Minnesota’s two-point attempts when he was on the court. And according to Hoopdata’s boxscore, the Timberwolves shot 11-of-20 at the rim this evening, which means they went 17-of-64 (26.6 percent) away from it. His outstanding defense covered for his below-average offense; due to his 4-of-11 showing at the foul line, he recorded a 50.4 percent True Shooting mark for the game, well below average for anyone, but especially a center."

You can read that story here.

Josh Cohen and Dan Savage take a look at several of Wednesday night’s storylines.

The Wolves were no match for the Magic.

"Beasley and Flynn watched a Magic team that played without Dwight Howard (two quick fouls) for most of the first quarter and still built leads of 30-14, 50-20 and 64-29, all well before halftime. It did so thanks to 15 three-pointers made, one night after the Heat made a dozen against them.“We were clearly overmatched,” Wolves coach Kurt Rambis. “They’ve got better players and a better team.”"

Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has that story here.

(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 Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).