Jameer Nelson drives against Joel Przybilla in the Magic's game against the Trail Blazers on Monday night. Despite his best efforts, Przybilla could not find a way to flop on the play.
Photo by Sam Forencich, NBAE/Getty Images
Despite trailing by 13 points early, the Orlando Magic were able to rally to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers to improve their record to 13-3. Here's the boxscore.
With their outside shots not falling, the Magic had to rely on their defense to get themselves back into the game. The Trail Blazers helped in that regard by forcing up awkward shots and by not moving the ball well offensively. Even when the Magic were able to score, it wasn't pretty. Sure, Hedo Turkoglu splashed in a few jumpers, but apart from that, there was very little flow on offense. Poor officiating on both sides made the game even less watchable.
The Magic are sure happy to leave Portland with a victory, but Stan Van Gundy can't be pleased with his team's execution; just a few days removed from scoring a season-high 120 points, the Magic were held to a season-low 85 points this evening, and Portland is not a great defensive team. At least the hustle was there, though; Maurice Evans and Adonal Foyle dove for loose balls and battled for offensive rebounds at every available opportunity. In fact, Foyle, with a game-high plus/minus of 15, had a better game than Dwight Howard, with a team-low plus/minus of -4, who was marred by foul trouble thanks to Przybilla's persistent flopping.
Overall, this win was not impressive by any means, but we'll take it. We're the first NBA team to reach 13 wins and we're 10 games over .500 for the first time since 1999/2000. And we did it on a night during which our franchise player couldn't get anything going. That said, we really didn't play well enough to win, and we can't expect to give the same poor performance on each subsequent game of this road trip and hope to break even.