There aren't many positives the Orlando Magic can take away from Monday's 120-105 loss to the Boston Celtics, a performance in which they yielded 60 percent shooting from the field, but one play from the first quarter at least stands out.
Leading by a point, Arron Afflalo takes a missed shot up the right side of the floor, back to the middle, and then to the right again using a series of screens from Nik Vučević. After stopping at the right elbow, he finds Maurice Harkless on the left wing, and the second-year forward immediately drives to the middle around another Vučević screen. Recognizing an opening, Harkless picks up his dribble at the foul line hits the rolling Vučević inside, but Boston meets him with a double-team. Vučević finds Jameer Nelson on the weak side, and the veteran point guard astutely swings the ball back to Afflalo near the top of the arc. Afflalo dishes to a wide-open Harkless on the left wing for the first of his two triples on the night.
The unselfish passing kept Boston's defense scrambling and created an open look for the St. John's product, who finished the night shooting 8-of-15 (53.3 percent) from the outside in 2013/14, a marked improvement over his 27.4 percent mark as a rookie.
Had Harkless missed this shot, Jason Maxiell--the only Magic player not to touch the ball on this trip--had great position for an offensive rebound and a putback.
The Magic had 27 assists on their 39 baskets on Monday, so selfishness wasn't a concern. Turnovers were the real culprit, as Boston converted the Magic's 19 into 22 points.