[Daniel Orton receives coaching instruction on his shot from Magic assistant Brendan Malone.]
Friday night after the Orlando Magic defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 111-100, Coach Stan Van Gundy was very upset about the brand of defense his team had played. The Magic led by as much as 18 points in the third quarter, but they allowed that lead to whittle away to eight points, and they never truly put the Cavs away despite the victory. Here’s what Van Gundy had to say after that game:
“I saw very few good things defensively. We were terrible. Another 47-percent game. It’s the same old thing. With us right now, when the scoring is easy, we won’t guard, and that’s why we can’t put games away. We play one end of the floor at a time. So, we’re going to be in these challenges all the time.”
Last night against the Wizards, the Magic found themselves in a similar situation. They jumped out to yet another big lead of 14 points, but in third quarter the Wizards shot 53-percent, and they even took the lead from the Magic. If it weren’t for a big Dwight Howard putback toward the end, and a last second missed shot by Gilbert Arenas, the Magic could have easily lost the game.