Nov 29, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic shooting guard Victor Oladipo (5) drives to the basket as San Antonio Spurs point guard Cory Joseph (5) looks on during the first half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando Magic: Three Takeaways From Loss to the San Antonio Spurs

The Orlando Magic (6-10) were unable to contend with the fundamental style of play that the San Antonio Spurs (14-2) play with on a nightly basis, losing 109-91 on Friday. The Magic were coming off of a two-game winning streak, but struggled to get anything going on the offensive end of the court. Let’s take an in-depth look at how the veteran Spurs squad were able to impose its will against the young Magic team.

Magic struggle on offense

The Spurs were able to shut down the Magic on the defensive end of the court. They forced the Magic to shoot only 43.6 percent from the floor and were able to keep the Magic out of the paint for the majority of the game. The only player for the Magic that was somewhat successful was Victor Oladipo who was able to navigate around the Spurs defense and get to the basket on a few occasions. Oladipo finished the game with 15 points.

Nikola Vucevic struggles big time

Anybody who just looked at the stat sheet for Vucevic and saw that he had scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds would come to the conclusion that Vucevic played a solid, if unspectacular game. However, throughout the majority of the game, Vucevic looked completely out of it. Not only could he do nothing to stop the 37-year-old Tim Duncan, who scored 19 points, but his usually smooth offensive game performed a disappearing act. In fact, Vucevic had a shockingly awful 30 second sequence in the 3rd quarter that perfectly encapsulated Vucevic’s performance on Friday.

The potential is there

Before the game became a blowout, both teams played beautiful basketball in the 1st quarter that saw the teams trade baskets against each other. The Spurs were able to win the 1st quarter with a 29-24 advantage. However, the Magic showcased a dynamic offense that was predicated on Oladipo’s ability to penetrate the Spurs perimeter defense. The momentum turned in the 2nd quarter as Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich made adjustments to take away the easy penetration. In order for the Magic to take the next step as a team, they will have to do a better job of anticipating the adjustments that the opposing team makes.

Game Notes

  • Arron Afflalo finished with a team-high 17 points
  • Jameer Nelson did not play due to a sprained left foot.
  • Maurice Harkless had a solid game as he scored 11 points off the bench. He was also 3-of-4 from the 3-point line.
  • The Spurs scored 44 points in the paint.
  • The Orlando Magic will begin a six-game road trip on Monday when they head to Charlotte to take on the Bobcats. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.


Tags: Nikola Vucevic Orlando Magic Victor Oladipo