The Magic have lost their third straight game by getting trounced by the Detroit Pistons 115-89. This follows an 104-79 embarrassment against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday and a 103-91 loss to the Washington Wizards on Friday. The Magic could also consider themselves lucky to sneak by with a win over the Brooklyn Nets on December 30th.
There are two themes to these losses. One, starting point guard Elfrid Peyton has been injured and either missed or played limited time in these games. The second and most alarming theme is the lack of energy the team has shown in these games.
The boys in blue & black are showing little energy and little defensive intensity in this last string of games. Teams are walking over them with little resistance. Teams that they should beat, such as Detroit, have had little trouble against them.
Coach Scott Skiles tried inserting Victor Oladipo into the starting line up but to no avail. Oladipo has been the team’s best defender, but the team still has no energy. It’s like the young team has hit a wall. It’s like they are tired.
“I’m not tired,” 32-year-old power forward Channing Frye said. “I’m the oldest dude on the team. If I’m not tired, these young fellas better not be tired. We ain’t done nothing. We’ve played 34 [actually, 35] games. Goodness gracious. I don’t want to say it’s new for them that teams actually want to beat the [daylights] out of us. We’re a tough team. I think we can be very good.”
The cause of the tired looking performances ha no been identified, and Scott Skiles and his staff had better find a cure fast. The surging Indiana Pacers visit the Amway Center this Wednesday and another lackluster performance would put them further down the Eastern conference standings.