Orlando Magic 100, Cleveland Cavaliers 84

Dwight Howard grabs a rebound
Dwight Howard grabs one of his three boards on the night, this one in front of the Cavaliers' Dwayne Jones.
Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein, NBAE/Getty Images

After an ugly first half, the Orlando Magic's offense woke up in the second as they rolled to a 16-point victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Here's the box score, courtesy of NBA.com.

Balance was key in our win tonight. Six players were in double-figures for us, but nobody had more than 17. The three-point shot was also huge for us. Color commentator Hubie Brown said the Magic would be dangerous because they have guys "who can make that three like it's a layup." It's true: The team shot 9-of-15 from long-range, with four players hitting at least two. Much of those threes came as a result of great ball movement. That much is encouraging.

That said, we shouldn't pat ourselves on the back too hard. Cleveland just looked miserable when its second unit was on the floor, but that should surprise no one. Come October 31st, Noel Felix, Darius Rice, and Hassan Adams will likely be in the D-League, not in a Cleveland uniform as they were tonight. There isn't anything to be said about defeating the defending conference champions in an exhibition game in which their best players sat out for much of the second half. So while it's great to see Adonal Foyle dive for loose balls, Pat Garrity sprint to the corner to break up a pass, and Carlos Arroyo thread impossible needles to find open teammates, it'll be even greater to see them do it in games that actually matter.

Final thoughts:

  • Hedo needs some sleep or something. His beard is even more unkempt than normal, he committed 7 turnovers, and looked lost for much of the first half.
  • Adonal Foyle has great hands defensively, but has real trouble finishing around the basket. I was impressed with one hook shot he hit late, though: he caught the ball in the deep post -- probably off a brilliant feed from Arroyo -- and threw up a wild hook over Dwayne Jones... and it banked in for two points. I had to rewind the DVR to make sure I wasn't hallucinating.
  • This pertains more to the first half, but it's still worth mentioning: as hard as J.J. tries on defense, no amount of effort is going to make him taller. Opposing two-guards are just going to shoot over him, which is exactly what Larry Hughes did tonight.
  • Jameer came out strong in the second half, going aggressively to the basket and splitting double-teams without losing control of the ball. I wish he'd get to the foul line more in the regular season.
  • What is it going to take for Marcin Gortat and Kevin Kruger to get some freaking playing time? There was a timeout called with two minutes to play and the Magic up fifteen, yet Gortat and Kruger were not summoned. I guess it's just as well, though. Judging by the rotations we've seen so far, Gortat is going to be the last big off the bench -- even after Garrity and Augustine -- and Kruger isn't going to be on the team at all. Still, I'd like to see them play more.
  • I am really. Really. Really tired.


Preseason play concludes next Thursday evening at home against the San Antonio Spurs. Good things happened the last time they were in town.

Enjoy your weekends, friends.

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