ORLANDO – The word that best describes NBA reaction to Jack Taylor’s 138-point outburst: wonderment.
Part admiration for the Grinnell College sophomore’s audacity, part curiosity over the system that enabled his feat, part skepticism about the engagement of rival Faith Baptist.
“I feel like that’s impossible,” Greg Monroe said after the Pistons’ Wednesday morning shootaround for tonight’s game with Orlando. “He played 35 minutes. How many shots per minute are you getting up? (The answer: three) That’s crazy.”
The Orlando Magic have been brutal offensively the last two weeks, with their lone win being the exception.
The Magic will try to replicate that offensive showing in Wednesday night's rematch with the Detroit Pistons, who have been inconsistent defensively.
After opening the season by averaging 108.5 points in a pair of wins and scoring 93 in a loss to a Chicago team known for being tough defensively, Orlando (3-7) has had virtually no luck scoring. The Magic have gone 1-6 in their last seven while averaging 77.3 points and 39.9 percent shooting in the defeats.
In step with the arc of his career, Greg Monroe has registered dramatically better numbers over his last three games than he put up in the season’s first three. Those first three games: 10.7 points. 7.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists. The last three: 20.7 points, 12.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists.
Throw out the first three games, in fact, and Monroe’s averages for the season would be 19.1 points. 10. 9 rebounds and 4.0 assists. He shot 40 percent in the first three games, 52.2 percent since and 61.5 percent over the last three.
Lawrence Frank hasn’t committed to making the move to Kyle Singler in the starting lineup and Rodney Stuckey to the bench permanent. The Pistons’ rotation has been in flux throughout the first 11 games and – chances are, Frank says – will be for quite some time.
The way Rajon Rondo has been creating for his teammates, a structured offense has been optional for the Boston Celtics.
Rondo will try to extend his streak of consecutive games with double-digit assists to 34 as the Celtics play for the fourth time in five days Sunday at the struggling Detroit Pistons.
After missing the team's loss to Brooklyn on Thursday because of a sprained right ankle, Rondo showed no ill effects Saturday, dishing out 20 assists in 32 minutes to lead Boston (6-4) to its biggest win of the season - 107-89 over Toronto.