Success gratifying for White Team
With a spot in Friday's championship game on the line, the Orlando Magic's White team once again defied the odds, beating the Brooklyn Nets 65-58 on Thursday afternoon. While the team didn't have their best stuff, they were able to dig deep and take home the key victory.
Coming into the week, very little was expected out of the Magic's second team. The group, chalked full of D-Leaguers and players from various leagues across the world, has been impressive, playing team basketball from the start. Their play has been surprising to many, and is extremely gratifying to everyone involved.
As coach Anthony Goldwire said, it's "definitely gratifying" citing the fact the team wasn't expected to win any games coming into the week. "We have no NBA players from previous rosters except for Chris Singleton. All these guys are hungry from either the D-League, or free agency, so it's definitely gratifying for these guys, [but] also for the staff too."
Former Florida Gator standout Scottie Wilbekin echoed what coach Goldwire said. "Yeah, we take pride in it," he said. "I think we just play the right way. You see us out there, there's just a flow to the way we play, on defensive everyone is talking, and helping each other, so it looks good."
The aforementioned Singleton, one of only two players on the roster with any NBA experience, felt the same. "Obviously when you come to a tournament, you just want to be the best team out there," said the veteran. "We just want to play the right way; playing defense, playing together. We're just giving it our all and it's turning into wins."
The Magic's white team is a great success story. With guys who are playing for their lively hood, the team has come out and played their butts off, showing off their ability to play the game the right way in hopes of securing an invite from a team for training camp.
They still have some work to do with the Championship game on Friday afternoon, but no matter what happens then, the group has been impressive, and should be pleased with how they've performed from top-to-bottom.
Harvey and Marble shine in loss
With the likes of Aaron Gordon, Mario Hezonja and Elfird Payton sitting out, it was a chance for Devyn Marble and Tyler Harvey to show off what they have. Marble and Harvey, both second round picks, are not guaranteed a spot on the Magic's roster this coming season, and anything they do could go a long way in their attempt of securing a spot on the 15-man roster.
Marble who the team selected in the second round last season, had his best game of the week, finishing with 22 points, seven rebounds, four steals and three assists. Harvey, getting his first start of the week, finished with a team high 24 points, knocking down 8-of-13 from the field. Harvey added five assists, two rebounds and a steal to his line as well.
The two guards were given the reigns with the "Big Three" out. Marble, who played sparingly for the team in his first season, showed off an improved jumper, while being a menace defensively. Marble has played passing lanes extremely well this week, ranking second in steals per game coming into Thursday.
In his first three games, Harvey struggled to get anything going consistently. While he was able to knock down a few shots, he wasn't given an opportunity to do so consistently, leading to overall underwhelming performances for the NCAA's reigning scoring leader. Against the Pacers, however, Harvey showed off just how talented of a scorer he was, knocking down shots from all over the floor, with defenders in his face, and wide open.
Both guards are facing a slightly uphill battle to make the roster. With the likes of Payton, Hezonja, Victor Oladipo, Evan Fournier and now C.J. Watson in the fold, there's few minutes to go around.
Their performances against the Pacers might not mean much in the grand scheme of things, but it shows the team just what they're potentially capable of doing. They can both have an impact the game in different ways, and could be nice additions on the end of the bench, should they impress enough going forward.