Denton: Magic Happy to Return Home

By John Denton
November 20, 2012

ORLANDO -- Home for the Thanksgiving holiday and for the longest Amway Center stand of the season, the Orlando Magic are hoping to use the next two weeks to feast on foes and get themselves out of an offensive rut.

After making three roadtrips already in this young NBA season, the Magic are looking forward to being in Orlando for most of the next two weeks. Starting with Wednesday’s home game against the Detroit Pistons, the Magic will play five consecutive games at the Amway Center over the next 10 days.

The home stand starts with a couple of lesser foes sandwiched around Thanksgiving Day – Detroit (2-9) on Wednesday and Cleveland (2-8) on Friday – and gets progressively tougher with home games coming against Boston (6-5) on Sunday, San Antonio (8-3) on Nov. 28 and Brooklyn (6-2) on Nov. 30.

The Magic (3-7) defeated the Pistons 110-106 last Friday for their only win in the last eight games. Orlando thrived down the stretch against the Pistons, executing a play design by head coach Jacque Vaughn to perfection for a game-winning 3-pointer.

The Magic dropped their next two games in Toronto and Atlanta, and the hope now is that they can return home and return to their winning ways. Two of Orlando’s best games of the season came at home to start the season with wins against Denver and Phoenix. Magic shooting guard J.J. Redick is hoping the Magic can begin a similar winning streak at home starting Wednesday night.

``I think it’s a time for us to not necessarily reset, but restore ourselves health-wise, group-wise and restore the things that we’ve been good at and correct the things that need correcting,’’ Redick said. ``It’s a good opportunity for us to get better at this point in the season.’’

Of the utmost importance is fixing the sputtering offense. The Magic shot just 37.8 percent and had 19 turnovers Monday night in Atlanta for an 81-72 defeat. It was the fourth time this season that the Magic have failed to score at least 75 points.

Orlando ranks 29th in the NBA in scoring (88.4 ppg.) and 21st in field goal percentage (43.1 percent). Attaining 100 points seems to be the magic number as the Magic are 3-0 this season when they hit triple digits.

The Magic are doing plenty of others things quite well to keep themselves in games. Orlando ranks eighth in the NBA in assists (22.1 a game) and rebounds (43.4 a game), while ranking 11th in the league in 3-point shooting (35.6 percent).

The rebounding was a big concern coming into the season and Vaughn has been happy with the way his team has collaborated to make up for the shortcomings on the glass. The Magic dominated the Pistons on the glass last week and held a 55-48 edge on the glass Monday night in Atlanta.

``We’ve done a reasonable job on the boards lately, which is good,’’ Vaughn said. ``It starts with guards helping out. … The margin for error is small and we have to take care of things like (rebounding).’’

Vaughn is happy that his team is heading home for an extended period of time, but he said the Magic must not get lulled into a false sense of security. The Magic will be successful only if they play better and not simply because they are at home for five games over the next 10 days.

``It’s a chance for us to get better and play another game,’’ Vaughn said of the upcoming stretch of home games. ``It just so happens that we have a home stand, but we have to be smart about the way that we approach that. A lot of teams would love to come into our place and get wins. That’s what this league is all about.’’

Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Orlando Magic. All opinions expressed by John Denton are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Orlando Magic or their Basketball Operations staff, partners or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Magic and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.



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