Orlando Magic loses to the New York Knicks by the final score of 101-90. This game was about the Magic’s offense not being up to par tonight and it was the main reason why they lost to the Knickerbockers.
“I don’t think we played hard enough offensively,” Orlando Magic head coach Frank Vogel said. “I thought we played harder on the defensive end then the offensive end and we’re trying to be a running team and we really didn’t commit to that for 48 minutes.”
One thing to notice is the Magic had stretches where they were forcing some shots at the rim, and not taking the best shot available. The ball was sticking as the Magic only had 11 assists on the night and you can tell that coach Vogel was frustrated with the ball movement.
“Guys passing up on the open looks on the three because they want to attack the basket,” Vogel said. “Because there not knocking down perimeter jump shots which we struggled with all year. You got to be able to make teams pay from the weak side when you trust the pass and whatever that looks like. We just didn’t get enough second and third drive-in kicks. We’re playing with a small lineup that has good speed and we just didn’t get the ball to the second or the third side enough.”
It started in the first half, when the Magic got off to a slow start thanks to Knicks Star Carmelo Anthony who hit three straight three’s to get the Knicks on a 15-8 run in the first five minutes of the game. Anthony did finish the game with 17 points but on 4-16 shooting.
“Carmelo got hot early because we didn’t follow the plan well enough to take away his air space,” said Vogel. “Once we did that, I thought we did a good job. There penetration a lot of times was set up by Porzingis playing the five. Losing Gomez allowed them to slide Porzingis to the five and allowed them to play a smaller approach to themselves, a spread five look themselves and that’s a difficult coverage.”
Kristaps Porzingis came back from injury and had a nice game. He had 20 points and 9 rebounds and was one of the main reasons why the Knicks we’re able to move the ball offensively and like Vogel said earlier, gave the Magic a difficult coverage.
However, even though the Magic weren’t running enough, they still had 18 fast break points and it can be a positive thing to take away from this game moving forward.
“We still got 18 fast break points so kind of, little bit encouraged by that,” said Vogel.” It shows that what we can be when we put forth better effort to run the basketball and play with more pace.”
With the loss though, the Magic fall to 22-39 for the season and are three games away from having yet another losing season. They will now have a quick turnaround as they will be hosting there in state rival, Miami Heat on Friday March 3rd at 7:00 p.m. at the Amway Center.