Orlando Magic Grades: Indiana Pacers 109, Orlando Magic 102

Malcolm Brogdon had free reign into the paint in the Indiana Pacers' pick-and-roll attack against the Orlando Magic. (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
Malcolm Brogdon had free reign into the paint in the Indiana Pacers' pick-and-roll attack against the Orlando Magic. (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Orlando Magic gave up a halftime lead and a smooth offense in the second half as the even-keeled Indiana Pacers raced to a victory.

109. 100. 102. 38. Final

The same thing kept happening as the Orlando Magic were trying to stop the bleeding defensively.

Their offense, which had put up 60 points in the first half and built a nine-point lead with ball movement and inside-out play, had suddenly become stuck again. Players were probing without much purpose and shots were not falling. They were not nearly as open either.

The team needed the defense to step up. And continually, it was easy going for the Indiana Pacers.

A pick and roll set up, a clean break, a center dropping and a mid-range jumper falling. When the Pacers were able to get all the way to the basket, they then could whip the ball out to the 3-point line.

The bench was just as effective as the starters. Everyone seemed to be stuck in the mud, unable to recapture any kind of defensive attention.

Orlando snapped its offense back after a 17-point third quarter, but the defense never came to place. Every Magic run was met with the Pacers’ consistent attack and willingness to take and make mid-range jumpers.

The Pacers eventually started to pull away and won 109-102 at Amway Center on Sunday. Orlando again was left questioning things that id did not do and habits it did not maintain in another loss that felt like it slipped through its fingers.

The Magic hit plenty of 3-pointers. Their outside shooting was not the problem for a change. They made 15 of 36 from beyond the arc. A 41.7-percent 3-point percentage is the best the team has shot all year.

But Orlando still struggled to generate good offense. The team struggled to keep the ball moving after a stellar first half on that end. They did not run their pick and rolls effectively and were left doing probing dribbles with a stagnant offense around them. Orlando was able to get the ball moving again, but it was too late.

Especially with the Pacers expertly tearing apart the Magic’s defense. They used a lot of pick and rolls and defenders seemed to go right into their chest and envelop them. Malcolm Brogdon, T.J. McConnell and T.J. Warren seemingly had free reign to get into the paint and create or finish from mid-range.

Orlando failed to adjust the defense or increase their physicality. They never brought their effort or energy back up to the level that carried them through the first half. And the defense was not carrying its weight uncharacteristically.

C+. <a href=. G/F. Orlando Magic. EVAN FOURNIER

C+. <a href=. C. Orlando Magic. NIKOLA VUCEVIC

C-. <a href=. G. Orlando Magic. MICHAEL CARTER-WILLIAMS

G/F. Orlando Magic. TERRENCE ROSS. B+. <a href=

B+. The one thing everyone can say about the Indiana Pacers is they are just solid. There is a good tempo and rhythm to their game. They are solid defensively and know exactly who they are and how they have to play. This is not a 3-point shooting team and they can wreak havoc in transition and from the mid-range. The Indiana Pacers found a formula to break the Orlando Magic down and just kept going to it.<p>Orlando certainly lacks this confidence in their way to play at this point. And the records absolutely reflect this. Malcolm Brogdon was happy to take the jump shots the Magic gave him for 19 points. <a rel=. 6-4. 6th East. INDIANA PACERS

Aaron Gordon has a problem with charges. dark. Next

The Orlando Magic continue their homestand Wednesday against the Philadelphia 76ers.