After the Orlando Magic defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder, 109-92, last night, I thought about recapping the game simply by posting Dwight Howard's stats. I didn't get around to it, which left the door wide open for Kelly Dwyer to do something similar in his Behind the Box Score feature this morning:
Dwight Howard had 30 points, 19 rebounds, and 10 blocks in this game. Mentioning anything else would be doing you a disservice.
Of course, he's right, so now I'm left scrambling to find something else to say about the game. Curse you, Dwyer!
|Team||Pace||Efficiency||eFG%||FT Rate||OReb%||TO Rate|
If nothing else, we should note that Jameer Nelson and Mickael Pietrus' contributions mitigated the lack of production from Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis. Turk finished with 15 points and a team-high 7 assists, but shot just 3-of-13 from the field. Meanwhile, Lewis continued to struggle with 13 points on 6-of-15 shooting, and once again failed to attempt a free throw. The fact that it took a positively Olajuwonian effort from Howard, as well as strong performances from Nelson and Pietrus, to defeat a cellar-dwelling team without its best player speaks volumes to Lewis' value to Orlando. The margin of victory in this one could have been 40+ points if Rashard was hitting from the outside.
Although Oklahoma City's bench outscored Orlando's, it overall performed worse. Russell Westbrook, the 4th overall selection in the 2008 NBA Draft, attempted 19 shots in 30 minutes... and made just 3 of them. At least Orlando's Anthony Johnson (3 assists, 2 steals), Tony Battie (4 points, 7 rebounds), and Courtney Lee (4 points, 3 steals) were more efficient.
An intriguing subplot: J.J. Redick's prolonged shooting slump. Redick played 4 minutes of garbage time--as the team's sixth guard--and missed both his shot attempts, brining him to 0-for-10 on the young season. Earlier in the day, he groused to the media about his slipping in the rotation, believing he should have a longer leash after working so hard to improve his strength and quickness over the summer. My feeling is that his Magic career will end sooner rather than later, as Lee's defense appears to have cemented him as the Magic's sixth-man of the future, and his shot will come around soon enough. Disappointing.