Orlando Magic head coach Steve Clifford was not happy as he entered the post game press conference after the Magic lost to the Detroit pistons 103-96.
“We’re not a team that can compete when only five guys play well. We need everybody”. Said Clifford. “The starters were good, but the bench was like whoa. I mean they were really bad, not even competitive in either half. So it makes it hard to win. Guys have to be professional, get ready to play and that’s it.The bench wasn’t ready to play. Not ready to compete. Not getting back on defense, disorganized on offense.” he said.
I will say that Terrence Ross gave us a great game tonight, But the bench play was embarrassing, that’s it. Embarrassing!” Clifford said before abruptly ending the press conference.
The Magic starters were carried by a great game by Evan Fournier with 12 of 19 shooting and led the Magic with 27 points, including three 3-point shots. Normal Magic scoring machine Nicola Vucevic was held in check for most of the night by Detroit Center Andre Drummond, but Vucevic managed 14 points. Emerging star Aaron Gordon scored 15 points, 10 rebounds with some exciting and timely dunks in the 3rd and 4th quarter,
But Clifford made it clear, the bench wasn’t there. The magic bench has been a source of energy for the Magic this season, but Jonathan Simmons wrist injury might have slowed him down. Mo Bama got caught with some silly fouls and is definitely learning the ropes of the NBA and still needs to build muscle and get more time on the NBA floor.
Detroit’s bench outscored Orlando 32-20. Langston Galloway and Stanley Johnson torched the Magic with 7 3-point shots combined. The disorganized Magic defense chased the Pistons passes and chased after open men who were open all night.
Drummond led Detroit’s scoring with 23 points and 19 rebounds, followed by Blake Griffen with 20 points.
The Magic missed forward Jonathan Issac, who is down with another ankle injury. Detroit seemed to focus on Orlando’s defense in the paint and attacked in the paint all night.
The Magic next face the Washington Wizards on Friday at the Amway Center.