Despite his team's best defensive performance of the preseason, Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy can't be happy with the Magic's overall effort. For the second time in four preseason games, Orlando committed 23 turnovers. But that might have been all that went wrong for the Magic tonight, as they cruised to a 102-83 win over the Memphis Grizzlies with three potential opening-night starters--Jameer Nelson, Vince Carter, and Brandon Bass--getting a routine game off.
|Team||Pace||Efficiency||eFG%||FT Rate||OReb%||TO Rate|
Perhaps no one had a rougher go of it than backup point guard Anthony Johnson, who led his team with 4 turnovers. He committed 3 of them in a 4-possession stretch late in the third period, which can't bode well for his chances of holding off the newcomer Jason Williams for the Magic's second-string point guard job. In addition to his 4 turnovers, Johnson added 1 point, 1 rebound, and 2 assists in 20 minutes. Williams? A slightly better 4 points, 3 reounds, 6 assists, and 2 turnovers in 27 minutes.
Ryan Anderson regressed after two impressive performances prior to tonight, missing 8 of his 10 shots (2 of them blocked) and posting only 6 points and 4 boards in 16 minutes. Anderson is guaranteed minutes during Rashard Lewis' 10-game suspension at the start of the year, but he'll have to do more in the preseason, and during his 10-game audition, to prove he's worth a spot in the rotation upon Lewis' return.
Finally, on a more positive note, Matt Barnes continued to make his case for starting at small forward with a 14-point, 9-rebound, 3-assist outing.
The Magic have no time to waste now, as they're off to Wichita to take on the New Orleans Hornets tomorrow night. I can't help but think that the looming matchup against the speedy Chris Paul (and his fleet-of-foot rookie backup, Darren Collison) prompted Van Gundy's decision to rest Nelson this evening.