One of the main things we’ve learned about this young Orlando Magic team is that if they aren’t completely locked in defensively, their offense will suffer. That’s precisely what happened Saturday against the Washington Wizards in their 104-92 loss at Amway Center. Cole Anthony led the Magic with 22 points, while Wendell Carter Jr. scored 17 points and Mo Bamba recorded 14 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks.
For the fourth time in their last five games, the Magic shot below 40 percent from the field, finishing at 33.7 percent in Saturday’s contest. More important, though, is what the opponent shoots. In their three victories this season, the Magic’s opponent shot below 40 percent. The Wizards shot 50 percent against them Saturday. A positive was that the Magic avoided committing silly fouls. Washington attempted just 10 foul shots.
With just a little over 30 seconds gone by in the fourth quarter, Jalen Suggs sprained his right ankle after stepping on the foot of Montrezl Harrell while attempting to deflect an interior pass away. He went back to the locker room and didn’t return, finishing with eight points.
Out for Orlando were Michael Carter-Williams (left ankle), Jonathan Isaac (left knee), Markelle Fultz (left knee) and E’Twaun Moore (left knee sprain). Suggs, as mentioned above, left the game early in the fourth quarter with a sprained right ankle. Bradley Beal (personal reasons), Joel Ayayi (G League – Two-Way), Davis Bertans (left ankle sprain), Thomas Bryant (left knee), Rui Hachimura (not with team), Isaiah Todd (G League – On Assignment), and Cassius Winston (G League – Two Way) were out for Washington.
You deserve some praise if you predicted that the Wizards would start the season 9-3, best in the East. Wes Unseld Jr., hired over the summer by Washington, is an early season Coach of the Year candidate. Acquiring Kyle Kuzma, Harrell and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope from the Lakers in the Russell Westbrook trade has given the Wizards a major boost. It’s a big fallacy saying the team that nets the marquee player in a trade always “wins” the trade. This could end up being another example where that’s not the case.
This Day in History
Although his stint with the Magic didn’t last long, Serge Ibaka did have a few big performances with the team. No. 1 on that list was his 31-point, nine-rebound and four-block night against his previous team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, on Nov. 13, 2016. Making that game even more memorable for him was that he made a game-winning baseline jumper with four tenths of a second left.
Quote of the Night
“It means the world. This country wouldn’t run the way it would if those guys didn’t have our backs out there, wherever they are out there in the world. I personally have someone in my family who served, and it’s tough. The sacrifices that you have to make….It may be a small gesture of kindness, but it means the world to us that we can go out there and have that kind of effect.” – Mo Bamba on honoring military men, women, and their families with his team during Seats for Soldiers Night presented by L3Harris
The Magic head out on the road for a five-game trip. Their first stop will be in Atlanta, where they will take on the Hawks on Monday at 7:30 p.m. Playing nine straight games against teams with winning records was probably a big factor, but the Hawks have lost six straight and eight of nine. Despite their struggles, they are still getting great production from Trae Young, averaging 24.5 points and 9.2 assists through 13 games. He had 30 points and nine dimes in Atlanta’s most recent game at Denver.