Orlando Magic Grades: Miami Heat 113, Orlando Magic 92

Miami Heat forward Bam Adebayo had his way with the Orlando Magic all night. (David Santiago/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Miami Heat forward Bam Adebayo had his way with the Orlando Magic all night. (David Santiago/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images) /

The Orlando Magic came to the end of their January with a thud as the Miami Heat outclassed them and ripped apart a disengaged team.

Final. 92. 38. 113. 110

The Orlando Magic had saved themselves for a moment against the Miami Heat. Halftime momentum was on their side and they had righted the ship after their defense looked shaky for much of the first half. They erased a 16-point deficit and gave themselves a chance at a six-point margin.

All Orlando had to do was lock in and play with some energy. The team could use its defense to feed its offense. It would come down to making shots, of course. But the Magic had put themselves back in the fight.

Very early into the third quarter, it was abundantly clear the Magic were not going to take that step. Just like the start of the first quarter that put the Magic into that early hole, they played with low energy and struggled to play with any physicality. The Heat got where they wanted and moved the ball where they wanted.

Things only got worse from there. The Magic could not score at all. They forced their offense and could not find a way through. And the Heat feasted for a 113-92 win at the AmericanAirlines Arena on Monday.

Once again, the Magic’s best players failed to play with any force or intention. They struggled to create for each other and move the ball. They just struggled to find any rhythm or good shots.

And the defense, which is supposed to be there to save them, was not there at all. The Heat shot 53.2 percent from the floor and made 14 of 28 3-pointers. The Magic gave little resistance to them, arriving late over screens and hanging too far back to protect the paint on drives.

In the second half, at least, the Magic seemed like they allowed their offensive struggles to overcome them. Their defensive intensity went completely away and the Heat turned a manageable deficit into a runaway very quickly. Everything else was pro forma. And nobody for the Magic stepped up.

Orlando again struggled to shoot, making just 37.1 percent of its shots. A poor shooting night would be fine if it came off good ball movement. But instead, the Magic allowed the ball to stick to one side against the zone defense and they forced the ball into difficult spots. The Magic’s shot selection was poor far too often and the Heat continually made them pay.

Orlando finished a stretch of nine games in 15 days and 18 games in 33 days. Fatigue is a real factor for this team. But that does not explain everything. Orlando was not playing like itself and not holding true to its identity.

The Magic took the result it deserved for it.

In some respects, the Orlando Magic are trying. Players are taking personal responsibility and trying to make good things happen. That is both a good sign that players are trying to solve some of the big problems this team is facing. But it is a bad sign as that often means they are forcing things and breaking the offense the Magic need to find success.<p><a href=. G/F. Orlando Magic. EVAN FOURNIER. C-

<a href=. F. Orlando Magic. AARON GORDON. C

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

B. One of the few bright spots coming out of this game was the second straight solid performance from <a href=. C. Orlando Magic. MOHAMED BAMBA

A-. The Miami Heat dictated the tempo of the game and really got wherever they wanted. They defended well and took advantage of the Orlando Magic’s poor offensive execution. This was just a team making plays and being aggressive and feeding off the lack of will from their opponent.<p>Bam Adebayo set the tone with a couple of open short jumpers early. That got him going and then he got everyone else going, recording a triple-double with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Miami worked the ball well around the horn to the 3-point line, getting 21 points from <a rel=. 32-14. 2nd East. MIAMI HEAT

The Orlando Magic are now 21-27, one-half game ahead of the Brooklyn Nets for seventh in the East and 2.5 games ahead of the Chicago Bulls for the final playoff spot.

Next. Orlando Magic must be more diverse late in games. dark

The Magic return to action Saturday at the Amway Center against the Miami Heat.