Orlando and three other things handled San Antonio their first defeat of the season
Rudy Gay played for 24 minutes but went 1 out of 6 from the field.
As if we, NBA fans, need more surprises to open the new season where super teams were defeated by small-market teams, this game between the Orlando Magic and the no-longer-undefeated San Antonio which resulted in a 114-87 win for the Magic. Given how big the gap was at the end of the game, many were surprised not because San Antonio snapped their 4-game winning but surprised at the fact that the Spurs to an Orlando Magic team that was led by the journeyman, Evan Fournier who had 25 points while making all four of his attempts from deep. So, how did the Magic kicked one of the West’s elite teams, in their rears?
These numbers will explain to you how the Spurs lost to the Magic who, like the Spurs, are opening the new season with 4-1 win-loss record:
61 Points in the First Half
In a game where the East-leading Orlando Magic led by as much as 36 points, they scored 32 points in the first quarter alone and never looked back. The Magic continued their offensive onslaught in the second canto when they outscored the Spurs, 29-16. Orlando had 61 huge points at the halftime break and that is big for a defensive-oriented team such as the Spurs. We can only imagine the frustrations of Coach Gregg Popovich because let’s face it, folks, not everybody can score 61 points in a half especially against a team like the Spurs. It only meant that Magic’s offense was clicking almost perfectly.
Orlando Shot 57% in the Field
Speaking of Orlando’s near perfect performance especially on the offensive end, the percentages don’t lie either. As a team, the Magic made 57% of their 84 shot attempts which included an 11 of 23 performance from long distance. Nikola Vucevic made all 3 of his attempts and folks he’s a center, to begin with. Aaron Gordon had 16 points including 2 shots from rainbow distance. If the Magic can shoot this GOOD on a more consistent basis, they going surprise to more teams in the games to come. Remember Orlando’s 114-93 victory against the defending Eastern Conference champions, Cleveland Cavaliers a week ago? That was a game where the Magic led as much as 37 points.
Jonathan Simmons’ 17 off the Bench
If there’s one team in the league who knows the capability of Jonathan Simmons, it’s none other than the Spurs themselves. Simons spent two seasons with the Spurs, mainly as one of Gregg Popovich’s reliable scorers off the bench. Last season, Simmons only averaged 6 points per game. Now with the Magic under Frank Vogel, Simmons is now averaging 14 points per night- all while coming off the bench. Against his former team, he scored 17 on 8 of 13 field goal shooting. If anything, Jonathan Simmons may be in the hunt for the Sixth Man of the Year award this year.
5 games. 4 wins and a defeat. While it’s still early to determine whether or not the Orlando Magic can sustain the success they are enjoying at the moment, one thing is certain at the moment: the rest of the NBA has been warned not to underestimate the Magic of Orlando. They will be either surprised or destroyed.