Watching the Magic games over the last few weeks has been like watching the movie Signs over and over again. Each go-around is awesome until the end when someone says “Swing away” and then everything goes awry. The Magic (12-23) held the lead for most of the game until the 4th quarter, when they allowed the Nuggets (21-16) to outscore them 38-28 leading to a final score of 105-108. Kenneth Faried roared to life in the final quarter, finishing with an impressive 19 points and 19 rebounds. As a team, the Magic notched 27 fouls, while the Nuggets had a mere 7 throughout the game. On paper that may seem unfair, but watching the game, the fouls weren’t totally unwarranted. The Magic were caught with their pants down too often and had to make clumsy fouls in order to try to stop easy baskets. This resulted in quite a few and-ones, as well.
Based on the post-game reactions on Twitter, fans were not particularly happy with Arron Afflalo’s performance last night. He had 12 points on 4/14 shooting and had no other major stats. He did, however, spend a large chunk of the game in foul trouble, culminating in him eventually fouling out of the game in the final minutes. He also took a couple of ill-advised hero-ball shots in the final minutes that had Magic fans pulling their hair out. J.J. Redick and Jameer Nelson hit a couple of big shots to keep the Magic in the game, but finished with an unimpressive 13/31 combined shooting from the field. Vucevic continued to show that he is one of the best second-year players in the league with a 10 point/14 rebound double-double.
The Nuggets best second-year player, Kenneth Faried, was undoubtedly the player of the game. He was the only big man playing well on the Nuggets, and he single-handedly made up for lackluster performances from Koufos and Javale McGee. Corey Brewer had a red-hot first half with 15 points, but then went on to miss a half a dozen shots in the 2nd half, finishing with 16 points. André Miller and Ty Lawson continued to show Jameer’s biggest weakness: defense.
The Magic’s next game is on the road against the team with the number one record in the league: the LA Clippers (28-8). It is a matinée game and will be the toughest opponent the Magic have faced throughout their 0-10 stretch. The good news: their following game is against the Wizards. The bad news: even the Wizards beat us already during this current league-worst streak. Stay tuned for another round of the Crystal Ball predictions game, which should be posted sometime on Friday and congratulations to Davor and Jables for winning last night’s contest!