Jameer Nelson loses control of his dribble against the defense of the Milwaukee Bucks in the Magic's loss Wednesday night.
Photo by Gary Dineen, NBAE/Getty Images
The Magic played an uninspired, amateur, embarrassing game Wednesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks and fell by a final score of 100-86. Here's the boxscore. And here's a Bucks-centered recap from Frank of Brew Hoop.
I'll be brief: the Bucks wanted this game more than we did. They were quicker to every loose ball, sharper on offense, and outplayed the Magic in every phase of the game. Even when the Magic pulled to within 2 early in the fourth quarter, I never got the sense they were going to win. They had a chance, though: Hedo Turkoglu had a wide-open layup that would have tied the score, but he missed it short, and the Bucks never really looked back.
Here's how bad the game was: the Magic did not make a field goal for the final 9:22 of the third quarter. They even resorted to intentionally fouling Dan Gadzuric, a career 50% foul shooter, hoping to rebound his misses to create offense. I'm not an old guy or anything, but I have seen a lot of basketball games, and I've never seen a team intentionally foul in the third quarter. It was incredible... for all the wrong reasons.
I don't understand why the Magic don't go to Dwight Howard more. It seemed like they were content to jack three-pointers all game, which has to be a concern. One poster at MagicMadness, I don't remember who, noted in the open game thread that even when the Magic made their runs, it wasn't due to any offensive creativity or inspired play; instead, their shots just went in. It's like we have no Plan B. If the three-pointers aren't falling, we're a mediocre team -- or worse. The only solution I can think of is to give Dwight 20 shots a game. Pound the ball inside. See what happens.
I'd like to commend Keith Bogans and Jameer Nelson for their remarkably awful play tonight. Really, they went above and beyond the call of duty (doodie?), combining for 7 points on 3-of-14 shooting. How?! How does a starting NBA backcourt play so horribly against the Milwaukee Bucks, of all teams?!
It wasn't all bad, though. I mean, at least Rashard Lewis warmed up in the fourth quarter, hitting four three-pointers in the period. And Keyon Dooling was sharp off the bench, with 13 points. But overall, this game was a big stinker, and I think it's officially time to start worrying about this team. Really. At this point, I don't see how we're any better than last year's squad.
What a disgusting game. Our putridity will be on display on national TV Saturday night, as we'll take on the Bobcats in Charlotte on ESPN.