Connect with us

Orlando Magic

Orlando’s Up-And-Down Stretch Continues With Loss To Trail Blazers

Cedric Donaldson

Published

on

©sportsclubflorida.com | Kevyn Bryant II

On February 5th, the Magic traveled to Charlotte and beat the Hornets. This marked back-to-back victories for Orlando, following a win at Minnesota two days prior. Since those consecutive wins though, the Magic have been on an unusual up-and-down journey utterly devoid of consistency in results. The team has neither won nor lost two games in a row since that early February back-to-back, instead alternating wins and losses each time out. True to this pattern, Orlando followed another win at Charlotte last Friday with a loss to Portland on Sunday evening.

Following an 8-2 start for Portland, the first quarter was a back-and-forth affair, though perhaps not in the way fans might have expected. The Trail Blazers have a bit of a different look to them of late, and accordingly a big chunk of their first-quarter scoring came from the likes of Nassir Little and Drew Eubanks (both primarily bench players for much of their careers), as well as trade deadline acquisition Cam Reddish. This trio largely led Portland to a 31-27 lead after the first period of play.

The second quarter looked perhaps more like what fans might have expected, with Damian Lillard and Jerami Grant carrying the load for Portland and the Magic countering with strong minutes from Paolo Banchero and the Wagner brothers. It was Bol Bol who gave Orlando an edge off the bench, however. Having cooled off somewhat since the All-Star Break, Bol was in tremendous form in this second quarter, notching seven points and three rebounds in two relatively brief spurts of play. Thanks to these contributions, the Magic cut the Blazers’ lead to two at the half.

Neither team could gain separation in the third quarter, which was arguably the best-played period of the game. It was a back-and-forth battle between starting rotations –– a blur of back-and-forth buckets during which Lillard, Grant, Banchero, Markelle Fultz, and Jalen Suggs did most of the damage. The Magic briefly held a lead when a Franz Wagner triple put them up 66-63; after surrendering that lead, they drew even again when a Banchero three made it 76-76. It was Portland that closed the quarter strongest, however, with consecutive threes by Lillard (twice) and Sharpe providing an edge. A pair of Suggs free throws and a three by Caleb Houstan kept the Magic close, but Portland entered the fourth leading 92-88.

Advertisement

By and large, the Magic played an excellent final quarter. Goga Bitadze and Cole Anthony made contributions off the bench, and consecutive baskets by Suggs and Bol around the eight-minute mark brought Orlando to within two. From that point forward however, the game largely became a free-throw competition, with both teams spending the bulk of the final six minutes or so at the line. It was a somewhat bizarre way for a well-played, competitive contest to wind down, and it kept the Magic from making the run they needed. And despite Banchero, Fultz, and Franz Wagner all hitting multiple free throws in the final minutes, the Blazers were just a little more productive with their own trips to the line.

Intentionally fouled with 4.1 seconds remaining and the Blazers up by one, Lillard hit the final two foul shots of the game, and the 122-119 lead held when a Banchero heave missed at the buzzer.

With the loss, the Magic’s bizarre streak of alternating wins and losses continued. On the plus side, if the trend continues, Orlando could be in for a nice upset win against Milwaukee on Tuesday!

Advertisement

Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic Linked to Career 38.5 3PT Shooter Player

Avatar

Published

on

Malik Beasley

The Orlando Magic are one of the teams expected to pursue Malik Beasley once he hits the free agency market this July.

The Magic, who have already been linked to several incoming free agents with respectable shooting acumen, are reportedly among the teams showing some level of interest in Beasley.

Other teams linked to the sweet-shooting veterans are the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors.

“Houston has identified floor spacing and shooting as an area of need this offseason privately and publicly and have an interest in veteran sharpshooter Malik Beasley,” a source close to the situation told the New York Times.

Advertisement

Beasley started 77 games for the Milwaukee Bucks this past season, converting 41.3 percent of his shots from 3-point distance. He’s a career 38.5 percent three-point shooter.

Continue Reading

Orlando Magic

Magic Have Interest in Sweet-Shooting Point Guard

Avatar

Published

on

D'Angelo Russell

The Orlando Magic has reportedly shown interest in potential free agent guard D’Angelo Russell, the Athletic reported on Wednesday, May 21.

Russell, who can opt out of his $18.7 million player option with the Los Angeles Lakers, is expected to draw interest from teams looking to shore up their shooting in their backcourt.

The 28-year-old point guard averaged 18.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists in 32.7 minutes per game while shooting 45.6 FG% and 41.5 3PT% during the 2023-24 season.

His numbers dipped in the playoffs as he averaged 14.2 points on 38.4 FG% and 31.8 3PT% in the five-game series with the Denver Nuggets.

Advertisement

The Magic direly need some reliable shooting in their lineup for next season after shooting 35.2% from deep in the regular-season.

Aside from Russell, the Magic are also rumored as a potential destination for Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic Linked to Big-Time Scorer in Free Agency

According to reputable NBA insider Ramona Shelburne, the Magic are one of the teams eyeing the service of NBA All-Star Paul George.

Avatar

Published

on

Paul George

The offseason officially started for the Orlando Magic seconds after the final buzzer of their 94-106 Game 7 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. According to reputable NBA insider Ramona Shelburne, the Magic are one of the teams eyeing incoming free agent Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers.

“There’s two teams that are paying very close attention to Paul George: the Orlando Magic and the Philadelphia 76ers, because both of them have the money to throw at him and need a wing just like him, a veteran guy,” Shelburne said on “the Brian Windhorst & the Hoops Collective” podcast on May 1.

Sportrac projected the Magic to have a practical cap space of $19 million, but their maximum possible cap space could balloon to as high as $58 million if they forego their team options on Jonathan Isaac, Joe Ingles, and Moritz Wagner.

Despite turning 34 once the free agency window opens, George is expected to be a hot commodity on the market because of his reputation as a flat-out scorer and above-average wing defender. He’ll be looking for his final max-level deal of at least $45 million per year before he enters the twilight years of his career.

George averaged 22.6 points on 47.1 FG%, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game during the regular season with the Clippers. His scoring production dipped a bit during the six-game series against the Mavericks, putting up 19.5 points on 41.1 FG% and 36.7 3PT%.

NBA experts expect the Magic to bring over either a legitimate shooter or a scorer who will help address the lack of shooting on their roster. George, a career 38.5 3PT% shooter, would be a solid addition to a resurging team like the Magic.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending