Magic's Top Performers vs. Cavs
By Josh Cohen
Jan. 18, 2018
Frank Vogel wants Payton to be ultra-aggressive when he attacks the basket. When he is, Payton usually has an efficient night. An example of this was on Thursday against the Cavs when he scored 19 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the field. Nearly all of his made baskets came in the paint, where he was able to capitalize on his good footwork and body control. Payton wasn’t able to convert on a potential game-winning driving shot in the final seconds, however.
Gordon shook off a 2-for-8 shooting first half by knocking down a pair of 3-pointers and finishing a Payton-fed alley-oop dunk in a Magic-dominated third quarter. He posted 17 points, 11 rebounds and three steals in the game, and played marvelous defense on LeBron James, who shot just 7-of-16 from the field and missed all four of his 3-point attempts.
Mack got some added playing time on Thursday after news came out earlier in the evening that Arron Afflalo would be suspended for two games. He made the most of his opportunity in Cleveland by making all five of his shot attempts, including a go-ahead floater with 31.5 seconds left. He finished with 10 points.
Coming into the year, the belief was that Simmons, who embraces physical play, would lead the Magic in free throw attempts. While Gordon currently holds a slight edge in this category, Simmons is second on the team in trips to the line. He shot 6-of-8 from the stripe in Thursday’s loss and scored 16 points.