Denton: Magic-Warriors Postgame Analysis

By John Denton
January 3, 2011


  • Trailing 53-44 after a sluggish, uninspired first half, the Magic outscored Golden State (13-21) 35-18 in the third period and 31-19 in the fourth quarter for the easy victory.

    The Magic shot 59 percent after halftime, while holding Golden State to 33.3 percent. Orlando made 12 of its 15 3-pointers in the second half and it held a 25-18 edge on the boards after getting hammered in the first half.

    ``In the first half I was upset with our effort and our energy,’’ Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. ``I just didn’t think we put much into the game, and that’s why the score was what it was. And in the second half we played very hard with good energy and good ball movement and played great.’’

  • Turkoglu was the cog that made the magic motor purr after halftime, contributing 10 rebounds, seven assists and five points in the final two quarters.

    Here’s how good Turkoglu was at sucking the Golden State in with his drive-and-kick plays: Five of his seven second half assists resulted in 3-pointers for the Magic.

    ``The system is still the same here and the way that we play here is still the same,’’ Turkoglu said. ``The hardest part for me is that I’m playing with a lot of new guys. I know Dwight, Jameer and J.J. (Redick), but there are a lot of new guys that I have to learn more about and get comfortable with.’’

  • Arenas ended the third period with a 3-point shot officially ruled to be from 29 feet, but it seemed to be much closer to 35 feet because of his proximity to the Magic’s half-court logo.

    While some will assuredly deem the shot to simply be a lucky one, you should know that Arenas regularly practices the long heaves in practice. Following Sunday’s workout, Arenas took 20 shots from the just inside the half-court stripe and remarkably made 11 of them, including five in a row at one point.
    Arenas’ deep 3-point shot over Monta Ellis gave the Magic a 79-71 lead going into the fourth quarter.

    Said Arenas: ``I can’t leave the gym without hitting at least 10 out of 20 on those shots. I can make that shot.’’


  • Van Gundy said early in the day on Monday that he was far from comfortable with his team’s defense and its understanding of the schemes. Then, Orlando proceeded to show why there’s concern with a poor defensive performance in the first half.

    Golden State shot 47.8 percent in the first half, many of them coming on layups that allowed the smallish Warriors to hold a 26-16 edge on points in the paint. Golden State also made five first-half 3-pointers, allowing it to lead by as many as 11 points in the first half.

    In addition to their defensive woes, the Magic also had troubles handling the ball. Orlando kicked the ball away 10 times in the first two quarters, leading to eight points for the Warriors.

    ``As I told (the team) after the game, that’s a simple lesson that when we play hard and with energy we have a chance to be very good,’’ Van Gundy said. ``And when we don’t, like every other team in the league, you’re going to play poorly. You’re not going to just walk out there and think that you’re good. Everybody’s too good. Every night you’re up against teams that can beat you, and if we play like we did in the first half we’ll get beat. But in the second half we turned it around.’’


  • Ryan Anderson, arguably the Magic’s second-best rebounder behind Howard, made a head’s up play early in the fourth period to grow the Magic’s lead.

    Anderson missed a 3-point shot from the corner short, but wisely followed his shot. He beat Golden State’s Stephen Curry to the rebound along the baseline and when he felt contact, Anderson shot again. The 15-footer found nothing but net and Anderson got the call, putting him in position for a nifty three-point play.

    Anderson finished with 13 points and two 3-pointers in 19 minutes.

  • Turkoglu drew some light applause when he continued a fastbreak after a stoppage in play and then bounced the ball hard off the floor and into the basket for a trick shot. Turkoglu often begins his post-practice shooting sessions with the trick shot and can make it with shocking regularity.
  • Here’s a look at how effective some of the Magic’s top players were on Monday night: Howard was plus-24 in his 42 minutes, Richardson was plus-19 in 39 minutes, Turkoglu was plus-15 in 38 minutes, Arenas was plus-14 in 26 minutes and Redick was plus-13 in 26 minutes.

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