The Orlando Magic dipped to 5-9 on the season following their 110-89 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, their second consecutive loss and already their second defeat of 20-plus points at Amway Center. As Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel reports, some of the Magic's veterans were upset with their teammates due to their effort in the loss:
Publicly, each later talked about unnamed teammates, experienced or not, sticking to their roles and knowing their jobs, questions that never dog the Spurs of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
The issue veterans like Arron Afflalo and Glen Davis have isn't simply losing: it's the way in which the Magic lost. Orlando surrendered 50 points in the paint and 11 three-pointers, failing to get the job done defensively inside and out. Moreover, the Magic never put up much of a fight, as the Spurs outscored them in each quarter.
According to Schmitz, "Afflalo even brought up the fact that apparently one player had a towel over his face during the game." The UCLA product said, "We have to develop a winning mentality and winning habits."
No team, especially not a rebuilding one like the Magic, has an easy time against the Spurs, who own the second-best record in the West and employ three future Hall-of-Fame players. Still, Orlando could have put forth a more honest effort than it did.
The Magic's schedule doesn't get easier from here: they host the Brooklyn Nets on Friday, the same Brooklyn team which dealt them a 39-point loss in its earlier visit to Amway. The Magic follow Friday's game with their first West Coast trip of the season. If they hope to stay competitive--something they had done even in some of their losses--they'll need to rebound quickly from Wednesday's loss. That means playing more intelligently on both sides of the ball and approaching the game with a better attitude.