Kim Klement/USA TODAY
When you listen to Jacque Vaughn or Rob Hennigan talk about this Magic team, inevitably the phrases "hard work," "tough," "resilient" and "defensive-minded" will come up. Not all of these character traits have attached to the team quite yet as it goes through this long haul of a rebuild. Glimpses and flashes will present themselves during the course of a game.
And then sometimes you get a big burst.
Friday, the Magic's home opener, was one of those big bursts. A veritable spasm of what this team could become and one day will be.
There was the team operating in the open court, transitioning off turnovers and and moving the ball quickly around the perimeter and inside out. There was the team attacking the basket to create offense for themselves and for others, ending with a trip to the foul line, a made basket or an open 3-pointer. There was the team defense forcing turnovers and suffocating a team into an abysmal shooting percentage. There was the team fighting back to cover up a flaw in the gameplan and never backing down.
To say the Pelicans were out of this game a short way into the second quarter would be complete fact. New Orleans never challenged Orlando and never made a run until there was too little time for the team to come back in any serious matter. The Magic led by as much as 30 points, winning their home opener 110-90 at Amway Center on Friday.
"Tonight just shows, New Orleans is a good team, we came out and played the way we wanted to," Maurice Harkless said. "We played well defensively and that really got us out to a big lead. We just got to be able to put games like this together on a nightly basis."
There certainly was no hangover from a disappointing overtime loss to Minnesota on Wednesday. Orlando bounced back in a big way shooting 55.7 percent from the floor, making 11 of 22 3-point attempts, 21 of 27 free throw attempts (just one fewer free throw attempt than the previous two games combined) and 22 assists on the team's 39 field goal makes.no comments