By Mike FagerPosted Mar 06, 2018 07:58:25A lot of NBA teams have tried to take advantage of the new TV deal by making big plays on the court, but the team in Orlando has been far from successful in that regard.
The Magic have struggled to get out to a consistent rhythm on the offensive end, averaging just over 29 points per game this season.
That hasn’t helped Orlando fans believe in their team, who have had to rely on their defense to get points off in close games in order to survive in this era of digital hoops.
The Magic’s most recent effort came on March 1, when the team scored a whopping 32 points on 10-of-12 shooting in a 99-93 win over the Detroit Pistons.
The game was all about the defense, and it was a testament to the team’s offensive prowess, but when the game got out of hand, it looked like the Magic would fall to the Pistons.
After taking the lead for good in the first quarter, the Magic went on a 13-0 run to take the lead back.
That seemed like it would be enough to keep things close, but Orlando missed nine of its final 12 shots to fall behind by as many as 26.
Then, things got ugly for Orlando.
The Pistons put together a quick rally, only for the Magic to hit five of its last six 3-pointers to take a 51-44 lead into the break.
Then came the clutch.
The Orlando bench got a big break, leading to an easy layup from Joe Johnson with 3:42 left.
The team had a chance to take it into halftime, but Johnson made a free throw that gave Orlando a 52-50 lead.
With the Pistons up to 35-30, the Orlando bench made the game-winning 3 with 10 seconds left to tie the game at 53-all.
With that, the Lions were back on track and led by as much as 27 points in the final two minutes to force overtime.
It looked like this would be a perfect way for Orlando to stay alive in the playoffs, but they had to make some key decisions.
The Pistons, for instance, went for a jumper with 3 seconds left.
Orlando took it and went on to win 94-84.
In terms of the team on the floor, it was the most successful game of the season so far, with Orlando shooting 50 percent from the field and scoring 40 points on 11-of–17 shooting.
This will be a very good test for Orlando’s young roster going into next season.
It will be important to see if they can translate this success into playoff success, as the Pistons are currently in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference standings.
As for Orlando, this was just the first game of a new five-game trip, starting with a home game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night.
The Lions have yet to play another team during the regular season, so this is the first time in years that the team has played at home.
Orlando’s home court advantage is due in part to its proximity to the Magic’s arena in downtown Orlando, which is about a mile and a half from the team.