Magic White cruises against Mavericks
Through two games of Summer League, it has been the B squad that's looked more complete. The Orlando Magic White improved to 2-0 with a 92-85 win against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday. The home team White won two of four quarters to take six points (one per quarter, and four for the win) and come within one point of the Miami Heat in the standings.
This short order team has quickly found an identity, relying on the inside presence of center Arinze Onuaku, who led the team with nine rebounds, the scoring prowess of shooting guard Kevin Murphy, was leaned on through the first three quarters, and the multi-talented Patricio Garino, who filled the stat sheet with 12 points, six rebounds, five assists, and a pair of steals – roving around the floor and disrupting the Mavs offense.
This one was a route from the onset, featuring only two lead changes. The ball-sharing Magic White compiled 19 assists and finished with six players in double figures.
Magic White assistant coach Anthony Goldwire lauded this approach, saying "[Balance] is what we're about, sharing the basketball, ball movement... It's about balance with us. We don't have any super stars on the team, all these guys are trying to grind, trying to make it to the NBA. They know they won't be stars or starters."
Because of this style of play there was no breakout star, but Kevin Murphy turned in an efficient performance. He nailed four of his five two-point shots, and was impossible to cover for spurts. The Tennessee Tech product has found success at every step of his career, but come up just short of the league. He made first team All-OVC twice in college, then an All-NBA D-League First Team in 2014, before spending last season in Japan with the Hitachi SunRockets.
This game saw the first minutes of Eerie BayHawks guard Jordan Sibert, who netted just under seven after sitting through Saturday's game against the Hornets. Sibert, a highly coveted recruit out of high school, joined Ohio State but struggled to find playing time. Most fans known him through his historic run through the NCAA Tournament as the leader of the Dayton Flyers, who made the Elite Eight and the Sweet Sixteen in his final two years.
Sibert, who joined the Magic during last year's summer league, said that since then he's learned a lot about poise and the speed of the game. "Going from college to this level I was a lot faster, I sped myself up a lot, but now I know that the professional level is about being poised, being able to handle yourself, and being able to understand team concepts."
The Magic White will look to stay hot on Wednesday as they take on the New York Knicks Summer League team at 1 P.M.
Magic blue's rally falls short against Pistons
After falling behind by as many as nine points in the first half, the Orlando Magic's blue team scratched and clawed their way back into it against the Detroit Pistons, taking a lead multiple times throughout the second half. However, despite an improved energy level and better all-around play, the Blue team was unable to overcome the Pistons late, falling 73-68.
Nick Johnson led the way for the Blue team, finishing with a game-high tying 19 points. Lorenzo Brown also scored 19 to lead the way for the victorious Pistons.
Following their blowout loss to the Indiana Pacers on Saturday, a game which saw the Pacers score the most points in a game thus far in Orlando Pro Summer League, the Magic's blue team had a walk through on Sunday working out some of their issues. Many of those defensive issues were solved heading into Monday, with the team playing much better on that end of the floor.
Johnson, who played last season with the NBA D-League's Austin Spurs, was pleased with the improved level of play from his teammates on Monday. "We wanted to show better than we did Saturday, and we did that," said the high flying guard. "We were right there, just a few plays didn't go our way. A couple rebounds at the end, but we had a good effort."
Chad Forcier, the Magic's lead assistant who has been leading the Blue team this week, echoed some of what Johnson said, also adding he and his fellow coaches were pleased with the improved play defensively. "We were a lot better on that end today," said Forcier, who said the plan is for the team to hang their hat on that defensive end, something the Magic will undoubtedly do come the regular season.
Despite the loss, the Magic Blue side was able to earn their first point of the week, taking the third quarter from the Pistons. Nevertheless, they find themselves in the basement with the New York Knicks as they get set for day three action.
The Magic's Blue team will play their third game of the week Tuesday at 1:00 PM against the Miami Heat.