(Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP)
Despite the home team coming out on the short end of Friday night’s 117-113 loss to the L.A. Lakers, there was a lot to like about the way the Magic played. Orlando executed their offense well, didn’t panic when they were behind, and staged a fourth quarter surge that erased an 11 point Lakers advantage. We are now going to examine what went well for Orlando.
1. Great three-point shooting- The Magic hit on 15 of 32 three’s on the night for nearly 47%. Four out of the five Orlando starters connected from long distance, and Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu, Keith Bogans, and Brian Cook made three a piece.
2. Point guard play- Jameer Nelson returned to the Orlando starting lineup and played at a very high level. Nelson finished with 17 points, 9 assists, and two rebounds, and outplayed Lakers point guard Derek Fisher.
3. Free throw shooting- The Magic hit on 18 of 21 free throws for 85.7%. Free throw shooting was a strength for the team instead of the usual Achilles heel.
4. Great start- Orlando didn’t come out flat for the first time on this home stand as they scored a franchise record 44 first quarter points. Orlando was shooting a lights out 75% from the field after one period of play.
5. Great offense overall- The Magic did enough offensively to win. They nearly shot 50% (40-81 from the field), hit on nearly 47% of their 32 three point attempts, and shot well from the line. 113 points is usually enough to get the job done.
6. Ball control- Orlando had just 10 turnovers on the evening which led to 14 Los Angeles points. Orlando forced just 9 turnovers, but scored 16 points off those miscues.
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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