The Orlando Magic closed their 2010/11 regular season with a sloppy 92-74 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night. Orlando committed a season-high 28 turnovers, resulting in 27 Pacers points. Electing to rest Danny Granger, the team's leading scorer, cost Indiana any chance to keep the game competitive and resulted in the Pacers shooting 30.7 percent from the field. Save for a third-quarter outburst from Mike Dunleavy, the Pacers simply had no offense to speak of. None of their wing players dared challenge Dwight Howard inside; the same went for their post players. Roy Hibbert, among the few young, back-to-basket center prospects in the league, loafed his way through an embarrassing performance, tallying five fouls in 10 minutes.
Orlando's offense wasn't exactly a sight to behold either. The Magic struggled with turnovers from start to finish, and while the team has ranked near the bottom of the league in turnover rate for most of the season, we really ought to regard a performance this shoddy as surprising. Four players had at least four turnovers, with reserve combo forward Earl Clark leading the way with six miscues in just 17 minutes.
All told, the teams combined to miss 102 shots and turn the ball over 46 times. The Magic dubbed the game "Fan Appreciation Night," but a performance like that is enough to make you think they've got a funny way of showing their love.
|Team||Pace||Efficiency||eFG%||FT Rate||OReb%||TO Rate|
|Green denotes a stat better than the team's season average;|
red denotes a stat worse than the team's season average.
Given that it's the last game of the regular season, with nothing at all at stake, one can expect a certain level of sloppiness from the team. I'm not going to get on the Magic for being so awful offensively, because it'd be unfair to do that while ignoring the work they did shutting down the Pacers. To a degree, Indy shut itself down by sitting Granger, and Lord knows Hibbert wanted nothing to do with playing tonight. Still, limiting any team, no matter how shorthanded, to 75.5 points per 100 possessions is not something to overlook.
And, really, from my vantage point? I think the Magic did play hard. They didn't look quite like they were dogging it. Were they as focused or sharp as ever? Of course not, no. But--and I'm sorry if this analysis is too facile--you don't luck into winning by 18 points on your home court.
It was encouraging to see Brandon Bass snap out of his mini slump, as he went 5-of-8 from the floor for 12 points. His backup, Ryan Anderson, scored 11 points in the final five minutes of the first quarter before cooling down considerably, but he nonetheless finished with an impressive 14-point, 7-rebound line.
Apart from those two? Not a lot to be impressed with, though it seemed to me Hedo Turkoglu (five rebounds in 25 minutes) pursued the boards more aggressively than usual. Howard, who didn't have to contend with the 7-foot-3 Hibbert for very long, shot just 3-of-7 from the floor.
But it's hard to take anything from this game, if we're honest. We'll obviously have a much better idea of where the Magic stand on Saturday night, when they host the Atlanta Hawks to kick off their first-round playoff series.