Magic fans were treated to a dazzling display of offense in Wednesday’s 126-117 race with the Milwaukee Bucks.
On Friday against a depleted Boston Celtics squad without Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Kyrie Irving, the Magic looked more like the team who faced the Spurs then the one who conquered the Bucks.
The Orlando Magic were a Shelvin Mack buzzer beater away from a 13-point first quarter and managed but 31 points in the first half in this slog fest on just 33 percent shooting (13 of 40).
Shooting just seven for 22 in the first quarter, and led by D.J. Augustin with five points (gasp!), the Magic faithful had to be holding their collective chests in horror.
Is this what tanking looks like?
Frank Vogel’s response: Sleep deprivation?
.@OrlandoMagic coach Frank Vogel breaks down the home loss to the Boston Celtics on Friday night, saying the team wasn't able to finish possessions enough and it cost them. #PureMagic #NBA pic.twitter.com/p318x4uEnn— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) March 17, 2018
“We didn’t finish possessions, and didn’t collect rebounds defensively, because the ball bounced over our heads from three-point attempts.”
He also pointed to rebounding as a contributing factor as the Celtics led by a wide margin, 55-40, including 16 offensive boards.
Yes the Magic also had their own share of maladies heading into this one. Promising rookie Jonathan Isaac is battling a respiratory infection, Aaron Gordon was held out yet again due to concussion protocols, and Evan Fournier is likely done for the season with a sprained left MCL.
But this was a team who had been sensational just two days prior. A team whom shot 51 percent from the floor and 53 percent from three, with a franchise record 18 makes, with the very same roster against a competitive Bucks squad in an Eastern Conference fight for survival.
The Boston Celtics do hold the third ranked defense in the NBA at just 100.5 points per game, and the Magic held them to low numbers as well, keeping them at just 35.3 percent through the first half and just 48 points.
It just wasn’t the Magic’s night as they could only put in 41 points through 31 minutes, before exploding(?) for 41 in the remaining 17 minutes on their way to a 92-83 defeat.
Greg Monroe and Terry Rozier led the Celtics with 17 points a piece, while the Magic had five players in double digits, led by Shelvin Mack with just 16, and this hilarious turnover.
what in the hell kinda magnetic force just stole this ball from shelvin mack pic.twitter.com/WUn7Tew6TN— Whitney Medworth (@its_whitney) March 16, 2018