By Dan Savage
January 18, 2012
TOUGH LOSS TO STOMACH


It’s deflating.

It stings.

It will keep you up at night.

Without question, Orlando’s nail-biting overtime loss to the Spurs will replay in slow motion in the Magic’s minds until they tip off their contest against the Lakers on Friday.

They’ll no doubt think about Von Wafer’s missed chance at completing a sensational hoop-and-harm play that would have tied the game with 16.3 seconds left in OT.

They’ll likely think about all the missed opportunities that go along with a 33 percent shooting night from the floor.

And they’ll surely relive J.J. Redick’s two-tenths-of-a-second-too-late potential game-winning 3-pointer.

In fact, the Magic’s shooting guard was already up in the film room watching a replay of his missed chance, moments after walking off the court, trying to figure out what he could have done differently.

“It was about 3.4, 3.5 when (Dwight) turned and threw the ball at me,” Redick explained. “I shot faked and it was 1.8. If I shot the ball right away, (the defender) was so high I wouldn’t have gotten off a good shot so I really had two options. One was to jump into him, which looking back, it was kind of at an angle so I would have had to lean in. Two-tenths of a second was basically what I needed. I could have rushed that escape dribble a little more. If I could do it again, that would probably be it.”

Redick wasn’t the only one second-guessing himself. Wafer took to Twitter to apologize to his teammates, the city and Magic fans.

“Sorry teammates sorry Orlando lord willing that won't ever happen u can depend on me,” he said via his @VonWafer13 handle.

Even Stan Van Gundy lamented about things he could have done differently down the stretch.

“Our guys made a great effort, played extremely hard, played very well defensively and, had I done a couple things differently, we might have walked out with a win,” the Magic’s head coach said.

Van Gundy expressed frustration with himself for not going to Howard as much in the fourth quarter, playing Nelson too many minutes and waiting too long to adjust to Tony Parker’s pick and rolls.

Yet, with all those missed opportunities, being without Hedo Turkoglu (back spasms) and Jason Richardson (left knee bone bruise) and playing on the third night of a back-to-back-to-back, the Magic still managed to force overtime with Spurs and fall less than a second shy of a victory.

“There’s another game coming up, (we’ve) got to get this one behind us,” Howard explained. “There are a lot of things that could have been better, but in the end we fought hard, we played a tough game tonight and there’s nothing more we can do about it.”

That’s why it’s probably best to find a way to let this one go. Even if that’s easier said than done.




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