On the first night of a home back-to-back the Magic were mauled by the Grizzlies 135-115. As Orlando struggled Ja Morant took control of the game and never let go, finishing with 33 points
Memphis Coach Taylor Jenkins has his team playing to a level greater than the sum of its individual parts. The pace, rebounding, ball movement, defensive aggression and determination displayed by Memphis was hugely impressive. Orlando were unable to match that intensity and only able to watch as the Grizzlies lead ballooned. By the close seven Memphis players had scored double figures and two had recorded a double-double.
Truth be told Orlando seemed to lack focus and be lethargic at times. Areas that the team have been playing well in were absent. Rebounding was a case in point, surprisingly taking down 24 less boards than Memphis. The Magic were not as effective in attacking the paint.
Top Magic Performers
Cole Anthony produced a better offensive game than of late. He was far more efficient scoring his 22 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Jalen Suggs could have got more than the 17 points he tallied but missed a highlight reel dunk. He also added 5 assists. Franz Wagner had 15 points, for his 46th double-digit scoring game in 54 played this season. Wendell Carter Jr produced another double-double, his 22nd of the season. Ignas Brazdeikis came from the bench to produce a strong 13 point contribution.
Up Next After The Magic Were Mauled By The Grizzlies
After the Magic were mauled by the Grizzlies it is time to move on to the second night of this hime back-to-back. Orlando now face the Boston Celtics tonight (Sunday 6th February). The game tips here in the U.K. at 11pm (6pm Eastern).
Orlando now has a record of 12 wins and 43 losses. The Magic are at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and hold the worst record in the NBA. In the last 10 games played the Magic have won 4. The home record stands at 5 wins of 24 games played, whilst on the road it is 7 wins in 30 played. In points per game the Magic are scoring 103.3 whilst conceding 111.3. The efficiency rating for the Magic remains 28th on offence but dropped to 22nd defensively.
The Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics have record of 29 wins and 25 losses, seeing them 8th in the Eastern Conference. Of the last 10 games played Boston have won 7, including the last 4 straight. On the road Boston have a losing record, winning 11 of 26 games played. The Celtics score 108 points per game and concede 104.4.
This is a patient team offensively but shooting effectively is where the season difficulties have come from. However on defence the Celtics remain a hard-nosed elite. Defence of the paint is where they build from, playing with grit and determination we all associate with the team. Rim protection is an are of huge efficiency, being a league leader for both rebounding and shot blocking.
Playing last on Friday (February 4th), the Celtics secured a win on the road in Detroit by 102-93. Jayson Tatum led the C’s with 24 points. The remainder of the scoring was spread across the team, as everyone contributed.
Starting Unit – Jaylen Brown (PG), Marcus Smart (SG), Al Horford (PF), Jayson Tatum (SF), Robert Williams III (C)
Bench Unit – Dennis Schroeder, Josh Richardson, Grant Williams, Aaron Nesmith, Romeo Langford, Payton Pritchard, Bruno Fernando, Enes Freedom
For Boston Bol Bol is out injured long term, as is PJ Dozier.
Josh Cohen’s game reviews are available on the Orlando Magic website.