This week the Magic went 1-2 and found their offense a little bit. I review this past week's games in this week's podcast:
And since it was so garbled (I will be sure to fix that for next week), here are the Cliff's Notes version of what I said after the jump:
--The Magic began to find their offense some in the game against the Knicks. While they failed to score 90 points, New York had to grind out a victory against Orlando and it felt like Orlando found its offensive footing.
--A very solid win in Detroit on Friday as the Magic executed at the end and pulled out the victory. Orlando got its offense moving thanks to some solid work from Jameer Nelson who had 10 assists in the game. His presence was clearly pretty important for the Magic and he helped get the ball moving.
--The offense was better against Toronto but the team struggled to move the ball and had issues getting the ball inside. Jonas Valanciunas and even Andrea Bargnani did a good job blocking shots and protecting the rim. What happened against Detroit was Orlando was able to secure rebounds and get out on the break. With the team struggling to create offense, fast break opportunities are incredibly important. Orlando did not get that against Toronto with Nelson accounting for nine of the team's 18 assists. Those are not numbers that will create wins.
--Maurice Harkless broke out this week with a fine performance against the Knicks. A lot of fans are pushing for him to start, but it still seems like he is getting up to speed with the NBA game. He still looks a little lost offensively and is still looking to figure out his role offensively. DeQuan Jones is a little bit ahead. But I suspect that when Hedo Turkoglu returns, Harkless' minutes off the bench will remain unchanged.
--This week the Magic are busy with a trip to face the Hawks and three home games -- the Pistons, Cavaliers and Celtics. Covering Josh Smith tonight will be intriguing as Orlando lacks a very athletic power forward if he plays that position. The Pistons and Cavaliers present opportunities for wins if the Magic can lock down the boards. And the Celtics game should be a good little measuring stick.