ORLANDO,FL – The Orlando Magic are slowly regaining members of their roster after 20+ games of having to work a rotation of waking wounded. That did not prove to be enough to beat the Atlanta Hawks who pretty much lead from beginning to end for a 125-108 win at the Amway Center.
Markelle Fultz returned to the floor for Orlando after being sidelined with a broken big toe. It Fultz first action of the season, he was playing with minute restrictions, and managed 8 points and 4 assists.
Cole Anthony Joined Fultz back on the floor after nursing a torn oblique muscle, and came off of the Bech to contribute 11 points 4 assists and 4 rebounds. They join the recent returns of Moritz Wagner, and Gary Harris, helping the team to try to put together its puzzle pieces for a solid roster this year.
But since losing Wendell Carter Jr, as well as Chuma Okeke to injury, the Magic have been unable to hold other teams a bay.
For example, the Atlanta Hawks came to town and shot 54% from the field. They got 22 points off of 18 Orlando turnovers, and out scored them in the paint 62-46.
Orlando put up a fight, but never could stop Atlanta, trailing by at least 10+ points for most of the second half.
To addd insult to injury, Gary Harris left the game after 16 minutes of play with hamstring soreness.
For the Magic to even touch being relevant, they need Wendell Carter Jr back to be a presence in the paint. Mo Bamba (Also injures, with back Spasms) and Bol Bol are not going to cut it. Okeke is usually the key player who guards thee best player on the opposite team, and you can definitely tell when he is out of the lineup.
Also, another key cog to the Orlando defense is Jonathan Isaac, whom we have;t seen on the floor in years.
Magic Head Coach Jamahl Mosley see injuries as inevitable, and cannot be an excuse in the NBA.
“I think it falls down to effort and focus,” coach Jamahl Mosley said after Wednesday’s loss. “Regardless of whether Wendell is in the game, there is a level of finding a man, putting a body on him, boxing out and going to get the rebound. You can’t be watching the ball go up and not hitting someone when the ball goes up. It’s effort and focus.”
On the bright side, Franz Wagner is still Franz Wager, scoring 22 points followed by rookie Paolo Banchero, who also remains a solid player, with 20 points on the night.
Atlanta blasted Orlando with its expected high performers. Tre Young scored 30 points, even though he made 11 attempts from deep and made only two shots, he went 12 for 23 from the floor, but he dished out 14 assists in the game.
Clint Capela grabbed 12 rebounds, taking advantage of Orlando’s weakness in the paint. Atlanta ou rebounded Orlando 49-33 on the night.