For the second time in just over a week, the Orlando Magic were blown out by the New York Knicks. This time, the Knicks defeated the Magic 96-80 in a game where the final result was never really in question after the first quarter.
Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 19 points while Jason Richardson had 16 points to lead the Magic.
Orlando had no answer for the New York’s three-point barrage. The Knicks, who aren’t one of the better three-point shooting teams in the league, went 13-of-25 from beyond the arc (52.0%). At one point during the first half, I noted that twice the Magic missed layups that resulted in poor defense and Knicks’ three-pointers. That’s a 10-point swing. The score at the time? 51-41 Knicks. Head Coach Stan Van Gundy thought the three’s by the Knicks relly changed the game.
“It broke the game wide open,” said Van Gundy. “Two of the threes were off missed layups.”
Speaking of layups, the Magic missed several other easy buckets around the rim.
“I don’t know how many layups we missed,” Van Gundy said. “I’m going to say seven or eight at the rim layups.”
The second quarter was especially bad. the Knicks shot 75.0% from the field and went 6-of-9 from beyond the arc, scoring 33 points – that’s an effective field goal percentage of 93.8%! The Magic made four three-pointers themselves, but hit just five two-pointers and one free throw, mustering only 23 points.
Van Gundy wasn’t upset with his team’s effort and instead played the loss on injuries and matchup issues with the Knicks. With Carmelo Anthony starting at the Four and the likes of younger players like Iman Shumpert and Landry Fields surrounding him, the quickness of the Knicks gives Orlando’s defense a lot of trouble. The Magic again had trouble just getting into defensive sets against the Knicks as the Knicks raced down the court (New York plays at the league’s third-fastest pace).
The Knicks posted an effective field goal percentage of 57.1% and outrebounded the Magic 41-35.
Offensively, the Magic again struggled against the league’s fourth-best defense. The Knicks, much like the Atlanta Hawks, switch on every screeen and the Magic have always had a difficult time dealing with that defense. The Magic posted an effective field goal percentage of just 47.9% and in typical Magic fashion, shot just 68.8% from the free throw line.
- Dwight Howard again struggled against Tyson Chandler and the Knicks. The big man scored just eight points on eight shots, grabbed only eight rebounds and turned the ball over five times. For the season, Howard averaged just 9.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in three meetings witht he Knicks. Tyson Chandler told reporters the Knicks “take him out of his comfort zone.”
- Jason Richardson had 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting in the first half, but disappeared in the second half, hitting just one bucket on seven shots.
- Glen Davis also had just two points in the second half after scoring 13 points in the first half.
- Von Wafer got some burn and made it count offensively, scoring 13 points on eight shots. Defensively, it was rough for Wafer and he said as much, telling reporters that giving up both a dunk and a three-pointer show why he doesn’t play.
- Heod Turkoglu did not return to the game after being cut open in the first half.
Next Up: The Magic will be in Philadelphia to take on the 76ers Saturday night.
Final Thought: Five losses in a row. Things couldn’t be going much 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 on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)
Topics: 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