Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Magic Destroyed By Knicks 108-86


The Orlando Magic got off to a pretty good start behind an aggressive Jameer Nelson and took an early seven point lead. In the second quarter, the Magic absolutely fell apart and were outscored 32-12. The Knicks pushed the lead to as large as 39 and cruised to a 22-point victory.

Jameer Nelson had 17 points and four assists to lead the Magic while Iman Shumpert and Carmelo Anthony each scored 25 for the Knicks.

Unless you include Nelson’s first quarter, there was nothing good about this game for the Magic. Their defense was awful. Carmelo Anthony got going early and as the Magic went to double him, their rotations and closeouts were horrible. This allowed a rather poor three-point shooting team in the Knicks to knock down 12 three-pointers. For the game, the Knicks posted an effective field goal percentage of 57.6%. The Magic tried to go to a zone, which they had some success with the first time they played the Knicks, but the New York shooters made quick work of the zone this time.

The Knicks had runs of both 21-0 and 12-0 in the first half, so clearly Orlando’s offense was just as bad.

With Amar’e Stoudemire and Jared Jeffries out, the Knicks started Carmelo Anthony at power forward, deciding to go small. You could have expected the Magic to have some trouble making adjustments and that can explain a few of the open jumpers, but for the Knicks to outrebound the Magic by 15 and grab 16 offensive rebounds is hard to grasp. After the game, Stan Van Gundy said the rebounding differential  had to do with Orlando’s poor effort. Both J.J. Redick and Jameer Nelson seemed visibly upset with Orlando’s effort in the game. Redick was especially angry, even saying “nothing surprises me with this group” when asked if he was surprised by the team’s lack of effort.

On offense, the Magic looked crisp early on with Jameer Nelson dominating the Knicks’ point guards. However, that didn’t last. The Magic couldn’t get anything going from the second quarter outside of a little run sparked by Redick once the game was already out of reach. Afterwards, Dwight Howard seemed somewhat upset with his shot attempts. Although he has somewhat of a point because the Magic did a poor job of getting him the ball (as they often do), he didn’t demand the ball like he should have, only got to the free throw line six times and turned the ball over six times. Plus, he clearly wasn’t the defensive presence he’s capable of being. For the night the Magic scored just 86 points, made only nine three-pointers, missed 11 free throws (57.7%) and turned the ball over 19 times, resulting in 22 Knicks’ points. You can’t beat anyone playing like that.

Next Up: The Magic will host the Dallas Mavericks Friday night.

Final Thought: That was pathetic and terrible, but it’s going to be funny to watch everyone overreact.

(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 on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HtD app here)

Tags: Amar'e Stoudemire Carmelo Anthony Chris Duhon Dwight Howard Glen Davis Hedo Turkoglu Iman Shumpert Ish Smith J.j. Redick Jameer Nelson Jason Richardson Landry Fields Larry Hughes Mike Dantoni Mike Woodson New York Knicks Orlando Magic Otis Smith Quentin Richardson Ryan Anderson Stan Van Gundy Toney Douglas Tyson Chandler Von Wafer