The Orlando Magic are bad. They played a bad basketball game, badly. So bad, in fact, that it was the worst defeat they’ve suffered in their existence, a crushing 122-75 score that probably leaves all involved, fans, players, coaches, and management alike, looking forward to the end of a bad season. All five starters scored in double digits for the Bulls, who were decidedly not bad.
The first quarter was especially bad, led by bad offense and bad defense. Newcomer Terrence Ross was 0-3 in the first, which was bad, but that merely foreshadowed the overall level of bad which he would play with, on a night he would score just 3 points in 18 minutes. It would be unfair to single out his badness, however, when there is so much to share among the team.
Orlando bounced back from their very bad first quarter to be merely normal levels of bad throughout the second and third. Their version of stepping up on defense was to allow merely 28 points in the third quarter instead of the 30+ in the other three. On the bright side, the blowout loss did afford the Magic more time to see their two new players, Patricio Garino and Marcus Georges-Hunt. On the other hand, they were bad.
If there was one Bull in particular who went off, we might be inclined to call it a fluke, or at least to say “Man, that one guy was bad at defending tonight.” Instead, we get to say “Man, I don’t know if there was a guy who wasn’t bad at defending tonight.” Elfrid Payton shot 5-13, which is maybe not so bad, but was 1-4 from the line, which is definitely bad. As has often been the case throughout his career, his ability to navigate screens was, shall we say, bad, and has often been the case, that led to problems elsewhere, problems that Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon could not compensate for.
Orlando is bad at shooting, but tonight’s bad shooting was very bad, “less than 35% from the field” levels of bad. Don’t worry, though, because at least they were equally bad on all levels of offense: bad from distance (5-27), bad at getting to the line (just 16 attempts), and bad at controlling the ball (16 turnovers).
One more game.