The Free Fall Continues: 76ers 74, Magic 69

Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

The Orlando Magic were an absolute disaster on the offensive end again and were defeated by the Philadelphia 76ers 74-69. Despite padding their stats in garbage time late in the fourth quarter, the Magic shot just 26-of-78 from the field, 7-of-22 from beyond the arc and 10-of-22 from the free throw line.

Ryan Anderson scored 17 points and grabbed 20 rebounds to lead the Magic while Andre Iguodala had 14 points, 11 rebounds and six assists for the 76ers.

The third quarter is when things things really fell apart for the Magic. The offense was bad from the get-go. The Magic scored only 33 points in the opening half, but they just trailed by just four, 37-33, at the break. In the third quarter, the Magic could only muster nine points on 3-of-17 shooting. They were 0-of-6 from beyond the arc and 3-of-7 from the free throw line.

The pick-and-roll game continues to be non-existent. After the game, Stan Van Gundy pointed out the struggles of Hedo Turkoglu and the injuries to Jameer Nelson have a lot to do with that. Although that’s true, there is still no excuse for putting together performances like this.

Everything surrounding Dwight Howard (17 points on 6-of-17 shooting, 11 rebounds) and his situation has clearly gotten to the entire team. He looked disinterested throughout a lot of the game tonight and it is clearly in the heads of the rest of the Magic. There were times where he looked almost overmatched against Tony Battie and Elton Brand – that should never happen. With respect to Brand and Battie, they shouldn’t even be able to compete with Howard. Orlando, who sat Jason Richardson out to rest, got 13 points on 4-of-22 shooting from their starting wings, Hedo Turkoglu and J.J. Redick, Monday night.

  • Orlando wound up posting an effective field goal percentage of 37.8%. That number is terrible and also deceiving – Orlando’s offense was even worse. They scored 27 points on 11-of-25 shooting mostly during garbage time in the fourth quarter. Through three quarters, Orlando had 42 points with an effective field goal percentage of 32.1%.
  • Orlando did a better job with turnovers, but still gave the ball away 15 times resulting in 17 76ers points.
  • Andre Iguodala isn’t a go-to scorer, but he has a very impressive all-around game. He’s a good creator and a big time defender. He had another well-rounded line – 14 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.
  • If you want to find any positives, look to Ryan Anderson, who shot poorly, but still managed to score 17 points and grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds. Orlando’s defense also wasn’t to blame – the 76ers entered with the fifth-most efficient offense and shot just 30-of-80 (37.5%) against the Magic.

Next Up: The Magic host the lowly Washington Wizards Wednesday night.

Final Thought: Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse…

(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: Andre Iguodala, Chris Duhon, Doug Collins, Dwight Howard, Elton Brand, Glen Davis, Hedo Turkoglu, J.j. Redick, Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, Jodie Meeks, Jrue Holiday, Larry Hughes, Lou Williams, Orlando Magic, Otis Smith, Philadelphia 76ers, Quentin Richardson, Ryan Anderson, Spencer Hawes, Stan Van Gundy, Thaddeus Young, Tony Battie, Von Wafer

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