Denton: Magic-Pacers Postgame Analysis

By John Denton
January 26, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS – This beating that the Indiana Pacers took Wednesday night at the hands of the Orlando Magic was the equivalent of a prize fight where the punches were coming from all directions.

First, Dwight Howard worked over the body with his muscle and power on the inside. Later, the Magic landed one haymaker after another in the form of 3-pointers than rained in from all corners of Conseco Fieldhouse. And finally, the Magic finished off the teetering Pacers with a knockout punch in the fourth quarter.

And with the Magic’s 111-96 demolition of Indiana complete, there was finally some time for levity when head coach Stan Van Gundy took an errant Pacers’ pass off the forehead and he briefly faked being woozy. It was the only shot to the noggin’ the Magic took all night.

The victory was the 200th for Van Gundy since he became the Magic’s coach before the 2007-08 season. He’s 200-92 in three-plus seasons, giving him the best winning percentage (.685) in franchise history. Van Gundy was more eager to talk about the pass that hit him in the head than notching a landmark victory.

``It’s a basketball and not a baseball, so I think I’ll be OK,’’ Van Gundy said with a chuckle. ``I think (the Pacers) thought that I was a 3-point shooter open in the corner and tried to pass the ball to me.’’

The NBA leaders in 3-pointers made connected on 16 trifectas and got 19 points, 16 rebounds and three blocked shots from Howard on the inside to bury the reeling Pacers. It allowed the Magic (30-16) to bounce back from a frustrating loss against Detroit on Monday night and start this two-game roadtrip with a bang.

Hedo Turkoglu (18 points) and Jason Richardson (19 points) finished strong and Ryan Anderson (14 points) got the Magic off to a strong start with more torrid shooting. The Magic’s defense, an issue in Monday’s loss, left something to be desired at times Wednesday night, but they covered up with it with their stellar shooting from the outside.

The 16 3-pointers were the most the Magic have made since pouring in 19 back on Dec. 28 in a rout of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Orlando leads the NBA in 3-pointers made (439) and attempted (1,170). The Magic have made 152 more 3-pointers than their competition this season.

``I think it’s our shooting that makes us so hard to guard,’’ said Anderson, who has scored in double digits in 11 straight games now. ``With our four-out, one-in style, so much of what we do is around Dwight on the inside and rolling to the rim. It’s pick your poison with us. If Dwight has it going inside it’s hard to get out on all of the shooters that we can put out on the floor.’’

Here’s a look back at what went right, what went wrong and some final observations from the Magic’s bounce-back win in Indianapolis:


John Denton writes for E-mail John at Submit a question to John for his mailbag segment at