ORLANDO – Orlando Magic Head Coach Steve Clifford said to not even look at the stat sheets. The Magic were dominated by the Pelicans 135-100 in another step down the road to evaluating young players for the future but coming aeway with little positive to evaluate.
Thursday night was Orlando’s first time facing the phenomenon that is Zion Williamson. Williamson is the 6 ft 7 inch wonder that has a 284 pound body that can do all things on the court. He didn’t play in any of the two meetings between the Pelicans and Magic during his rookie campaign and then was unavailable earlier this year when Orlando was in Louisiana.
He gave Orlando a taste last night, however, since the Magic players went rogue instead of following the plan, the resulting blowout resulted in a short night for Zion.
“Chaisson Randle was the only guy I was impressed with tonight.” Said Clifford. “He came into the game, knew the game plan that we worked on. He was the only guy that defended on every trip down the floor. That’s what I told the team.”
When it comes to the stats, the biggest standout is New Orleans’ scoring. Brandan Ingraham had an easy time scoring against the Magic with 29 points on 11 of 17 shooting, adding to the Pelicans’ dominant 56% shooting as a team. Williamson followed with a sneaky 23 points which he scored with little difficulty in the 23 minutes that he played.
Eric Bledsoe torched the Magic, hitting five of his 7 3-point shots for 15 points, and even though Lonza Ball only scored 6 points, he had 12 assists, showing his great court awareness in the game.
The Magic found out just before the game that they would be without Terrence Ross, James Ennis, and suddenly Wendell Carter, Jr, leaving a huge hole in the paint, which the Pelicans easily took advantage of, with Steven Adams scoring 12 points and 9 rebounds in his 16 minutes in the game.
Cole Anthony appears to improve game by game in his control of the game, looking more and more in control on the court. He scored 14 points but did not appear to try to take over the game as in the past.
Mo Bamba started out cold as ice in the game, going just one for seven in the first quarter, including coming up empty on his first four shots from deep.
RJ Hampton did prove his exceptional speed on fast breaks for the Magic , and scored 10 points.
In his post game remarks, Bamba mentioned the passing of promising University of Kentucky player Terrance Clark, who died in a car crash last night. Clark was an up and coming player who was definitely on track to be picked in this year’s NBA draft. Bamba was definitely effected by that loss, as were many across the NBA.
The Magic next face the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, April24th at the Amway Center.