After falling behind 36-23 after the first quarter, the Orlando Magic, led by Arron Afflalo, outscored the Milwaukee Bucks in the last three quarters, winning 94-91. Here are three takeaways from Wednesday’s game.
Arron Afflalo’s career night
Afflalo went absolutely nuts from deep tonight scoring a career-high 36 points. He also had a career high eight three-pointers on 73 percent shooting from behind the three-point line. This just continues his upward trend (at least offensively) to begin the season. Through nine games Afflalo is putting up career numbers in 3p% and points per game.
Magic go small
Down by nine at half, coach Jacque Vaughn went small in the second half, electing to play Moe Harkless at the four. There was even a point where Vaughn used a four guard lineup, going with Moore-Afflalo-Oladipo-Price-Vučević. It obviously paid dividends, spacing the floor and creating penetration off the dribble and kick-outs for open threes. Both Jason Maxiell (4 minutes) and Andrew Nicholson (3 minutes) had season lows in playing time and neither saw any time in the second half.
Vučević struggling to defend pick-and-roll
Opponents keep exploiting Vuc on pick-and-rolls. The Magic coaching staff is coaching him to play conservative when he’s guarding the pick-and-roll ball handler mostly because he lacks the athleticism and foot speed to keep up with guards coming around the screen. However, Vuc is also a poor rim protector so guys like O.J. Mayo and Nate Wolters (yes, Nate Wolters) and dribbling right at the big man and putting in easy floaters. Jacque Vaughn is going to have to find a new PnR strategy soon.
The small ball lineup made sense tonight. Milwaukee was playing with only 8 healthy guys and playing their second game of a back-to-back.
Reserve guard Ronnie Price played a season high 25 minutes. Provided a great spark off the bench and moved the ball quickly.
The Magic held the Bucks to 36 points in the paint, much closer to their average than the 50+ points they gave up to the Celtics on Monday.
Next game: Saturday, Nov 16 vs. Dallas Mavericks @ 7 pm.