Orlando Pro Summer League: Orlando Magic 85, Boston Celtics 82

In a surprisingly well-played game on both sides, the Orlando Magic defeated the Boston Celtics, 85-82, thanks in large part to Ryan Anderson's 33 points and 14 boards. The Magic trailed by 6 at the end of three periods but rallied to win in the fourth. It wasn't easy, as Boston's J.R. Giddens had a chance to send the game to overtime at the buzzer, after the Celtics stole an Orlando inbounds pass, but his trey rattled around and out. In what may have been a mock show of frustration, he screamed and fell to the floor as the other players exited the floor.

Clearly, Orlando played much better today than it did yesterday, albeit against less impressive competition. Better ball movement, better focus, better shooting... really, the Magic didn't do anything worse than they did yesterday. They're building some momentum, which is encouraging. Also encouraging? Anderson. There's some concern--perhaps not in the Magic organization, but among the fans--that he's little more than a standstill shooter. I'd like to go ahead and refute that right now. Anderson aggressively took the ball to the basket today, and finished strong inside once he got to the rim. 9-of-13 on two-pointers for Anderson, who sank both of his three-point attempts.

Rebounds? Split evenly, 7 on either side of the ball. His tip-in after Darian Townes missed two free throws gave the Magic a 78-72 lead late in the game. That play seemed to energize the team, to some extent.

After the jump, an assessment of every other Magic player.

  • Maurice Ager continued his active, aggressive play on both ends of the court. The difference? Today, he was simply more effective. In 17 minutes off the bench, he contributed 10 points and 4 assists, and showed a willingness to keep the ball moving. Now this is a guy who made a name for himself as a scorer in college, but who hasn't earned a consistent job in the NBA precisely because he can't score. So it was interesting to see him work as a facilitator of sorts.

  • Lance Allred again played sparingly--just 4:37--so his chances of making the team don't look great at this point. With that said, he made his only shot of the day, an 18-footer from near the top of the key, Tony Battie-style.

  • Courtney Fells, who did not play in the first game, saw 16 minutes of action today. Unfortunately, he didn't do much with it. The 6'06" shooting guard looked for his offense early and often. He might still be looking for it. No points on 0-of-8 shooting, with 4 boards, for Fells. That's a summer-league linescore if I've ever seen one.

  • Levance Fields, who also did not play yesterday, saw 9 minutes of the court today. 2 points, 1 assist, and 1-of-4 shooting. Not much to see here.

  • Stevan Milosevic started at center after being ruled out of yesterday's contest due to a FIBA paperwork problem. Unfortunately, he didn't look too great today. He fits the stereotype of most European stiffs: big, not especially quick, and robotic on both ends of the court. 5 fouls and 5 turnovers for the 7-footer, who also contributed 4 points and 2 boards.

  • Kasib Powell looked like end-of-an-NBA-bench material today, and I mean that as a compliment. He probably belongs in the league. No minutes yesterday. Today? Starting at the 3, and playing nearly the entire game. He's the prototypical small forward, in my mind: he can shoot, he can create off the dribble, he can defend, and he's unselfish. 15 points, 2 boards, 2 assists. Not bad.

  • Jeremy Richardson managed only 9:07 on the court today, and was apparently injured early in the game, visibly limping when he left in the second period. He returned to the bench sometime during the third period wearing street clothes. He managed to take 5 shots in those 9 minutes though. A trooper, he is.

  • Russell Robinson impressed most people in attendance with his ability to run the team. The 23-year-old point guard takes what the defense gives him, makes good passes, and generally knows what the heck he's doing. It's not hard to imagine him as the Magic's third-string point guard this year. His defense is good, too. Applies pressure to the ball without gambling, pesters people, and draws offensive fouls. He's well-schooled in the Allen Iverson Method of Drawing Moving Screens, by running into the screener and taking a bit of a dive. Twice today, he did that, and he also flopped a bit on a Magic inbounds pass near the end of the game which drew an away-from-the-ball foul on Celtics rookie Lester Hudson. If you're watching the rest of this week's games at home, keep an eye on this man. You may be impressed.

  • Darian Townes had another quietly effective game, with 10 points and 7 rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench.

  • DNP - CDs: Brian Chase, C.J. Giles, Richard Hendrix, Jeremy Pargo, and Milovan Rakovic

That last name may surprise some people, and to be honest, I have no idea why Rakovic was once again in street clothes today. If Milosevic's paperwork got sorted out, why didn't Rakovic's? That's something I'll try to look into tomorrow. After the game, Rakovic had changed into his workout gear and could be seen in the Magic's weight room overlooking the floor.

Overall, a solid day for the Magic. They'll try to build on it tomorrow against the New Jersey/Philadelphia split squad at 7 PM.

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