Magic Bounce Back, Prepare to Perform on the Road

Josh Miller, Sports Staff

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         The Orlando Magic closed their biggest homestand (a span of continuous home games) of the season winning four and losing one in a close game with the Indiana Pacers. Their four wins came against tough opponents like the Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs, Memphis Grizzlies, and the Washington Wizards. In all of their 5 homestand games the Magic played with a lot of heart, grit, and toughness.

         All around the Magic played great, offensively, defensively, and in transition. All players across the board contributed, which lead to an award for Magic Center; Nikola Vucevic.

         Vucevic through this homestand has been unstoppable; the All-star showed his skill by producing a double-double in each game and has now double-doubled in his last seven straight games. Vucevic’s most dominant performance came this past Sunday night against the Washington Wizards where he dropped 30 points and hauled in 17 rebounds. 

         Vucevic’s performance lead to an Eastern conference player of the week award, his 4th and the most among all time Magic players (including Shaquille O’Neal, Tracy McGrady, Dwight Howard, and Tobias Harris).

         Markelle Fultz had a great homestand as well, and played great in the final game against the Wizards on Sunday. He had his best game since his arrival to Orlando, dropping 19 points (a career high). He played great defense and securing the win with a steal and dunk at the end. Fultz has been working hard to get to this point and the hard work is finally paying off. 

         I asked Markelle how refreshing it is to be where he is now and he said, “Its great, it builds on my confidence and all the hard work I’ve put in so far.” Look to see Markelle build off this performance and continue to grow.

         A scary moment happened in the second quarter of Sunday’s game, when guards Michael Carter Williams and DJ Augustin both suffered injuries. Williams strained his left hip and did not return, while Augustin dislocated a finger and returned later on. Augustin showed his tough play and grit by returning and finishing with 11 points to help lead the Magic to victory.

         Players like Terrance Ross and Al-Farouq Aminu stepped up big this homestand. Aminu started the final two games of the homestand for forward Jonathan Isaac, as the latter was out due to an ankle injury. Aminu had a huge performance against San Antonio, posting a double-double to help pave the way to a big win. Terrance Ross also played great against the Spurs by providing 20 points off the bench as well as 15 points against the Wizards while hitting clutch shots.

         The Orlando Magic begin a 4 game away stand that includes games against the defending NBA Champions Toronto Raptors, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Magic are hoping to continue this success on the road as well as get their first win on the road this season. The Magic will be back home on November 29th as they welcome the Toronto Raptors to Orlando.