Magic Not Elite?
“Quite simply, we’re not on that level right now,” Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy told reporters following the Orlando Magic’s 97-83 loss to the Chicago Bulls Friday night.
The Bulls, who advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, made that clear when they ended the game on a 17-6 run after Orlando cut their lead down to just three halfway through the fourth quarter.
“They just played hard,” Dwight Howard explained. “Everybody knew what they had to do.”
Chicago, who was the league’s top rebounding and defensive team last season, forced the Magic to commit 18 turnovers and beat up Orlando on the glass, grabbing 46 rebounds to Orlando’s 37 (55.4%), including 14 offensive rebounds that led to 18 second chance points.
“Rebounding was a major issue and the turnovers were a major issue,” Van Gundy said.
On several occasions, the Magic defended the Bulls extremely well for a majority of the possession, but allowed the Bulls to get the rebound. Two of those offensive possessions led to Kyle Korver three-pointers, which were momentum killers for the Magic.
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(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him onTwitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)
Topics: C.j. Watson, Carlos Boozer, Chicago Bulls, Chris Duhon, Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard, Glen Davis, Hedo Turkoglu, J.j. Redick, Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, Joakim Noah, Larry Hughes, Luol Deng, Omer Asik, Orlando Magic, Otis Smith, Quentin Richardson, Richardson Hamilton, Ryan Anderson, Stan Van Gundy, Taj Gibson, Von Wafer