Denton: Magic vs. Pelicans Analysis (1/26/14)


By John Denton
Jan. 26, 2014

NEW ORLEANS – Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic was back with his teammates for the first time in nearly three weeks on Sunday and from his seat on the bench he had a good look at exactly what his team lacked.

More than at any point over the past 11 games that Vucevic has missed because of a concussion, the Magic missed the 7-footer’s size at the rim. And most importantly, they missed his knack for gobbling up rebounds in bunches and keeping foes off the glass.

Orlando played well both offensively and defensively to win on Sunday night, but it could never quite get over the hump against budding star Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans. The Magic’s 48-32 deficit on the glass was the single biggest factor in a frustrating 100-92 loss at New Orleans Arena.

``Second-chance points, that was the name of the game for us,’’ said Magic forward Tobias Harris, who had 17 points and nine rebounds. ``That’s just as a team needing to have a collective effort to be focused on that (rebounding). … Every game that we play you can see that we need (Vucevic) because he’s a big part of our team. He’s one of the tallest guys we have, but Glen (Davis) tried to do a good job of guarding Anthony Davis. But it has to be a collective effort for us.’’


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