Denton: Magic-76ers Postgame Analysis

By John Denton
April 11, 2011


  • Nelson’s potential game-tying 3-pointer on Sunday was waived off because it was released just a fraction of a second after time had expired. But the Magic point guard picked up on Monday where he left off on Sunday, burying the Sixers early on.

    Nelson made four 3-pointers in the first quarter to get the Magic off to a 34-25 start. For the game, Nelson made five of eight 3-pointers and had several drive-and-kick plays to set up others for open shots. Nelson seems to be hitting his stride and is poised for another strong showing in the playoffs.

  • Howard was understandably embarrassed and frustrated by having to miss Sunday’s nationally televised game because of a suspension, and he took out that anger on the Sixers.

    The superstar center was at his do-everything best on Monday night with 19 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, three blocked shots and two steals in 34 minutes. And he set the tone in the third quarter by twice swatting shots out of bounds and twice converting thunderous dunks.

    Van Gundy left him in the game down to the final minutes to get him some extra work after having some time off due to the Magic’s schedule and the NBA-mandated suspension for picking up his 18th technical foul.

    ``He’s pretty good. He’s had three of the last four nights off and I just wanted to keep running post-ups for him,’’ Van Gundy said. ``He only played 34 minutes. You couldn’t have more rest than he’s had the last four days. He played one game, had two days off, practiced, sat out a game he was suspended for and he’s got (Tuesday) off. Now, he’ll have four of six days off and that’s plenty of rest.’’

  • Anderson continued to give opposing forwards fits with his ability to both stretch the floor to the 3-point line and also crash the offensive glass.

    Anderson had 14 rebounds, seven of which came on the offensive boards. It’s the second time in as many games that he had seven offensive boards. He also made seven of 11 shots and three of five 3-pointers in 22 minutes of action.

    ``He’s put a lot into these games with his effort and focus. Back-to-back games with seven offensive rebounds,’’ Van Gundy said of Anderson. ``His energy level is real high and he’s playing very well right no. (Sunday), he was trying to draw charges. (Monday), I thought he worked hard to try to guard (Philadelphia forward) Thaddeus Young, who is a lot quicker than he is. I just like what he’s putting into the games right now.’’


  • Turnovers continue to be a problem for a Magic team that too often tries for the spectacular play instead of the simple one. The Magic turned the ball over 13 times in the first half, the primary reason that they led just 50-47 at the half despite dominating most of the statistical categories.

    The Magic cleaned up some of the mistakes after halftime, turning the ball over just three times in the third and fourth periods.

  • Gilbert Arenas, who has battled pain in his surgically repaired left knee for weeks, did not play on the second night of the back-to-back. With the Magic already missing J.J. Redick (lower abdominal strain) and Quentin Richardson (NBA suspension), the bench consisted only of Anderson, Chris Duhon (five points and four assists) and Earl Clark (seven points and five rebounds).


  • In case you missed Howard’s spectacular play in the third quarter you can likely catch it again and again on the highlight shows for the next few days.

    Howard stripped the ball out of Andres Nocioni’s hands, outsprinted Philadelphia’s Spencer Hawes down the floor and caught a lob pass from Nelson for a thunderous dunk. For good measure, Howard dunked on the head of Philadelphia point guard Jrue Holiday on the play.

    Seconds later, Howard corralled a Hedo Turkoglu missed 3-pointer and followed it up with another big-time dunk. The scowling look on Howard’s face gave the impression that the superstar center was taking out some frustration from being suspended a day earlier.

  • The Magic remarkably had a 32-9 edge on the boards in the first half against Philadelphia’s finesse frontline of Elton Brand, Young and Hawes. The Magic had a 56-31 edge on the glass in the game and grabbed a whopping 19 offensive rebounds.

    ``I’ve never looked on a stat sheet at halftime and seen 32-9 on the boards. And we were only up three because we turned it over 13 times. We had some bizarre turnovers,’’ Van Gundy said. ``But I thought we had good energy in the first and third quarters. They took the lead in the third and we opened it up and played well.’’


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