Magic Unable to Pull Rabbit Out of Hat

20 Dec

Arenas rocking #1 for Orlando

by Chris McCoy

The NBA certified the trades less than an hour before tipoff. The revamped Magic had not practiced together, matter fact, Van Gundy even had to cancel the shootaround because the four new players had to get physicals – which they all passed according to Van Gundy.

So we weren’t supposed to expect much from the Magic versus Atlanta who sits behind the Heat atop the Southeast Division, right?


Orlando fell to Atlanta 91-81. Richardson and Turkoglu started at shooting guard and small forward, respectively, while Arenas came off the bench. Ironically, Arenas (10 points, 3 assists) scored more than both Richardson (nine points, three assists) and Turkoglu (eight points, six rebounds) all while getting less minutes.

“We’re starting from scratch,” said Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy. “We would have all liked it to have been better but it wasn’t.”

“For being together a couple hours, we did all right,” Arenas said after the loss.

Orlando was inept on offense, scoring 14 points in the first quarter and going the first eight minutes of the fourth quarter without a field goal. All things considered though, it wasn’t so bad: they were facing a playoff team in Atlanta, haven’t been able to develop any type of chemistry as a unit yet, and were just being thrown into the mix. This was more like a preseason team facing a team in quarter season form. You can’t expect a win in that situation.

“Look, they’re out there trying hard, just none of them played well. Nobody could shoot the ball. … I’m sure they had a lot of emotions and stuff going on. It was a long night.”

It’s difficult to win games when you shoot 25 percent in the first quarter and 35.2 percent in the game as a whole. Everyone seems optimistic, though, including Dwight Howard who wanted it to be known that, “Once we get going we’ll be fine.”

Arenas was just happy for a fresh start. “Anywhere would have been a fresh start for me,” Arenas said. “I lucked out coming here.”

It took Miami about 18 games to get it together. Let’s see how long it takes the Magic. Stay tuned. Orlando host the Mavericks tomorrow at 7pm EST.


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