(Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP)
The Magic bounced back from Monday's defeat at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks, and took care of business against a struggling New Jersey Nets bunch at the Amway Arena. Orlando looked good on both ends of the court and following a sluggish start, outscored the Nets 96-69 over the final 42 minutes for a convincing 100-84 victory.
Lets look at what went right for Orlando Wednesday evening.
1. Orlando's big three were much better than New Jersey's big three- The trio of Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis, and Hedo Turkoglu combined for 59 points, 22 rebounds, 11 assists, 5 steals, and 3 blocks for the Magic. The Nets big three of Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson, and Vince Carter tallied just 42 points, 11 rebounds, and 14 assists.
2. Return of Jameer Nelson- Nelson was inserted into the Orlando lineup with approximately six minutes left in the first half and made an immediate impact. Nelson finished the game with 11 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds, and played solid defense giving Magic fans hope that their point guard situation can get better. With Nelson on the court, the Magic were +14 on the scoreboard.
3. Free throw shooting- Orlando hit on 22 of 28 free throws (78.6%). That number isn't fantastic, but it's better than their average.
4. Turnovers were at a minimum- The Magic protected the ball well, committing just 12 turnovers which led to just 11 New Jersey points. Dwight Howard committed just one turnover, and the point guard combo of Jameer Nelson and Keyon Dooling made just two miscues.
5. Good defense- Or maybe it was bad New Jersey offense. Either way, the Nets shot just 41.8% from the field (33/79), and most shots were contested. The 84 points allowed by Orlando was the least since November.Every cloud has it's silver lining. That phrase doesn't often apply to sports, and it really didn't when he look back on the effort by the Orlando Magic Monday evening. We did manage to find a few things that went right for the team.
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of MagicIllustrated.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius Radio, MySpace Sports and Sportsillustrated.com. Charlie is also a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.
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