For the second year in a row, the Orlando Magic's Blue team can't get anything going at the Orlando Pro Summer League.
After taking just one point in their first two games of the week, the Magic Blue came out strong against the Miami Heat, the best team in Orlando this week, stealing the first quarter before ultimately falling 84-68. The Blue team now sits in ninth place overall with two total points, positioning themselves for the final game of the week on Friday.
Leading by as many as five early on, the Blue side looked poised to put together their best performance of the week, staying active on defense while knocking down shots on the other end. That quickly turned, with the Heat turning it up on both ends in the second quarter, slowly, but surely, pulling away from the Magic's Blue team.
Chad Forcier, the Magic Blue's acting head coach, agreed when asked about his teams good start, but was clearly disappointed they weren't able to keep it going. "It's a long basketball game," he said. "Hopefully one day this week we can find our way to a win and play more than 10 minutes of good basketball offensively."
Led by the triumvirate of Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson and Briante Weber, the three roster players the Heat have playing in Summer League, the Heat clamped down defensively, effectively ending any chance the Blue side had of stealing more points, or even a victory.
Winslow and Richardson combined to score 37 points, 22 of which came from the hot shooting Richardson who knocked down 6-of-9 shots from the field, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Webber, who broke into the league with the injury plagued Memphis Grizzlies last season, signed a multi-year deal with the Heat in April. The second year man from Virginia Commonwealth put together an all-around performance, finishing with nine points, 10 rebounds, six assists and six steals, capping the victory off with a alley-oop off the backboard from Winslow.
Orlando Blue was led by second rounder Stephen Zimmerman, who showed off his multi-dimensional game, scoring 10 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking a pair of shots. Zimmerman showed his soft touch around the rim, as well as ability to step out and knock down the 10-to-17 foot jumper.
Despite struggling from the field, Nick Johnson continued his good overall play for the Magic, finishing the afternoon with 10 points and eight assists.
Following the teams loss on Monday, the third-year combo guard said he was trying to showcase his ability to play the point guard spot. "It's been my goal for the last year or so to show I can that more consistently," said the Arizona product. Johnson also added he was trying to show off his all-around game in hopes of finding his way onto an NBA roster for the first time since his rookie campaign.
Orlando Blue will have the day off on Wednesday before taking on the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday at 1:00 PM Eastern.