Bench Propels Orlando to Easy Win over Washington
Philip Rossman-Reich of Orlando Magic Daily credits the Orlando Magic's bench, particularly J.J. Redick and Mickael Pietrus, for coming up big against the Washington Wizards on a night "Orlando lacked an edge the team will need in two weeks."
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Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel also focuses on the Magic's second unit, because "[t]here are going to be some playoff nights where the cavalry will be needed." He passes on this bit of information on which reserves may see increased roles in the postseason:
Coach Stan Van Gundy has the most trust in Redick, [Jason] Williams and Pietrus.
MAGIC: Denton: Magic-Wizards Postgame Analysis (Full)
Though the bench's great play of late is encouraging, Van Gundy isn't pleased with his team's defense, reports John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com. Van Gundy stressed defense during the Magic's two off days prior to last night's game.
"I would've hoped I would've seen better (defensive) numbers," Van Gundy said. "We couldn't guard their wing players. I don't think we gave them much easy stuff, but it was just jump shots over the top. I don't think it's a lack of effort, but it's concerning to me. I'm not mad at anybody, but it's concerning to me that we can't limit those good perimeter players better than that."
He's probably referring to Nick Young and Mike Miller, who combined for 37 points on 70.6% True Shooting.
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Andrew Melnick of Howard the Dunk notes that Van Gundy was indeed pleased with Orlando's defense on Andray Blatche, who's averaged 22.8 points per game since the Wizards' mid-season trades made room for him to become the team's focal point on offense. "We did do a very good job on Blatche," Van Gundy said.