Led by rookie Andrew Nicholson’s 24 points and 12 rebounds, the Orlando Magic defeated the Brooklyn Nets 92-88.
- The Magic started Andrew Nicholson, Kyle O’Quinn, Justin Harper, DeAndre Liggins and Maalik Wayns.
- Ish Smith, who was slated to be Orlando’s starting point guard left the team for an opportunity in Houston. You can’t blame Smith, Houston is in desperate need of a point guard. Wayns filled in for him and did a pretty nice job. He was aggressive and got himself into the lane, often finding one of the Magic bigs around basket. He shot just 2-of-7 from the field, but managed to score 11 points and dish out 10 assists.
- Justin Harper is making the transition from the four to the three. With Orlando stockpiled at the four, this is Harper’s best chance to make some kind of impact with the Magic this season. Harper looked noticeably bigger and told reported he’d put on 15 pounds since he was drafted a little over a year ago. Harper showed decent athleticism, which he’ll need to guard other three’s in the league. Harper had a very efficient 15 points on nine shots.
- DeAndre Liggins didn’t fill up the box score, but Orlando’s summer league coach, Mark Price, raved about him after the game. Price was extremely happy with the way Liggins defended Brooklyn guard MarShon Brooks. Brooks, who averaged over 12 points per game as a rookie last season, scored just three points and was 0-of-10 from the field. If Liggins is going to make it in the league, his defense is going to be the reason why.
- Orlando’s second round pick, Kyle O’Quinn looked very good in his first professional action. O’Quinn battled down low and showed great patience when he got the ball in the post. O’Quinn utilized the pump fake and got himself a couple of easy looks. O’Quinn had 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting and pulled down four rebounds.
- The star of the day was first round pick Andrew Nicholson. Nicholson scored 24 points on 8-of-16 shooting, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked two shots. With the game tied, Nicholson got the ball in the post, hit a hook shot, was fouled and completed a three-point late. Nicholson’s called his hook his “go-to” shot after the game.
- The Magic will take on the Detroit Pistons Tuesday at 3:00 pm EST.
- You can watch postgame video of head coach Mark Price, Justin Harper, Andrew Nicholson and Kyle O’Quinn here.
(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)