If the Orlando Magic’s first three video games of the NBA season had been film scripts, you’d must squint to see the distinction within the plot.
Their three losses to the Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics to open the season — by a mixed 20 factors — had related arcs on the floor.
The Magic (0-3) competed all the way down to the wire in all three defeats, both tying the sport or holding a lead at one level within the fourth quarter, however didn’t pull out the win. It’s the main points of how the Magic have misplaced that made them powerful to soak up whereas additionally offering glimpses of encouragement.
“The little issues matter,” rookie ahead Paolo Banchero mentioned after Saturday’s loss to the Celtics, with the Magic touring to New York to play the Knicks Monday. “Free throws, turnovers, fouls — all these issues. You may play your coronary heart out for 3 video games, however for those who don’t do the little belongings you’re not going to come back out with the win.”
The Magic put the items of the puzzle collectively from one recreation to the subsequent nevertheless it looks like as soon as they discovered one other piece, one other went lacking.
In opposition to the Pistons, it was reach-in fouls (23 fouls for twenty-four Detroit free throws) and poor defensive rebounding (12 offensive rebounds allowed) that undid them. They shored up the reaching and rebounding in opposition to the Hawks however stored turning the ball over (19 turnovers for twenty-four factors), giving Atlanta simpler scoring alternatives in transition (26 fastbreak factors).
Within the residence opener vs. the Celtics, the Magic outrebounded Boston offensively and defensively and took care of the ball (simply 9 turnovers). However a mixture of missed defensive rotations, tough-shot-making from Jayson Tatum (40 factors on 14-of-21 capturing, 4-of-10 on 3s) and missed offensive possibilities gave Boston the benefit.
Among the many missed alternatives had been free throws, with the Magic capturing 65.2% (15 of 23) on the line in comparison with Boston’s 82.1% (23 of 28). They made 3 of 6 free throws within the fourth, together with a pair of Cole Anthony misses with the sport tied at 109 that might’ve given the Magic a lead with 5:21 remaining. The Magic didn’t have a lead for the ultimate 5 minutes.
“We left some factors on the board,” coach Jamahl Mosley mentioned. “These are the degrees of focus we’re going to proceed to develop and get higher in — we are able to’t depart these factors on the board. The very fact we’re getting there — that’s a significant plus that we’re not afraid to proceed to assault the rim.”
The Magic falling brief isn’t nearly their late execution. Basketball isn’t performed in a vacuum and what occurs early can influence a workforce’s rhythm late.
Their poor transition protection early Saturday — 10 fastbreak factors allowed by means of the sport’s opening 7½ minutes — doubtless helped Boston set up a superb offensive rhythm. The Celtics shot 48.3% from the sphere and 40.4% on 3s.
“We have now to know the early elements of the sport influence the later elements of the sport,” Mosley mentioned. “Our guys registered that, so perhaps an early turnover impacts what occurs later. They did a very good job of bettering within the space we’ve requested them to.”
The Magic’s movie work has helped them not repeat the identical errors from recreation to recreation. Additionally they watch video games of different groups to raised perceive what’s required in late-game conditions. The Magic watched the ending of the Milwaukee Bucks’ win over the Philadelphia 76ers from Thursday at a workforce Friday morning earlier than taking part in the Hawks.
“Our guys do an amazing job of speaking again the issues they see inside the recreation,” Mosley mentioned. “We’ll watch different shut video games to assist perceive what we’d do in situations. They perceive what it’s we’re making an attempt to do — sure execution performs, when to name a timeout, when to not, the performs we are able to run — these guys are getting a maintain of that.”
Every recreation has been a studying lesson.
“It’s nice, as a lot because it hurts to lose a recreation,” veteran guard Terrence Ross mentioned. “The training expertise is superb. We’ve performed some actually good groups. All in all, it’s going to offer us confidence and tell us we are able to compete with anyone.”
Monday’s recreation will tip off at 7:30 from Madison Sq. Backyard and might be watched on Bally Sports activities Florida/Bally Sports activities+ or listened to on FM 96.9 The Sport.
Markelle Fultz (fractured left large toe), Gary Harris (left knee damage restoration), Jonathan Isaac (left knee damage restoration), Jalen Suggs (sprained proper ankle) and Moe Wagner (sprained proper midfoot) can be sidelined.
This text first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Electronic mail Khobi Worth at [email protected] or observe him on Twitter at @khobi_price.