After a great victory in front of his home crowd against the Celtics at the start of the week, the Magicstill at the Amway Center, capitalized on the confidence garnered by dominating with the way of well pale Pacersfor whom the tumble continues (eight defeats in their last nine games).
Always deprived of Tyrese Haliburton for the seventh game in a row, the absence of which also coincides with his team’s current very bad run, Rick Carlisle’s squad did not really exist during this meeting, notably accusing 17 points of delay at the end of the first quarter, concluded with 29 points scored for 46 points conceded.
A successful second quarter from the Pacers, in the form of a furious awakening in attack (39-27 in their favor), reduced the gap to only 5 units and brought a bit of suspense when they joined the locker room, but the locals, still very accurate in attack (56% on shots, including 54% from behind the arc throughout the game and concentrated in defense, easily resumed their forward march in the second half, then sailing, rather quietly during the rest of this match, towards their 19th success of the season, even if the final score, only 6 points apart, is not quite representative of the physiognomy of the match.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– For the Pacers, a failed first quarter, and in fact fatal. The final gap is only 6 points (especially since the Magic have relaxed greatly in the very last minutes), but it is as if we had the feeling, throughout the match, that the Pacers were never really in a position to win. The fault in particular of a completely missed first quarter: 46-29 in favor of Orlando! Defensively overwhelmed from the start, facing a concentrated team and in a good dynamic lately, the Pacers managed to reduce their delay before halftime by taking advantage of the exit of the holders during a good part of the second quarter, but the momentum, however, has never left the camp of the locals. In great difficulty in recent weeks, with 8 losses in their last 9 outings, the Pacers can no longer afford to get through their game starts.
– An increasingly exciting project in Orlando. We left an enthusiastic and above all exciting Magic team after a great success against the NBA-leading Celtics on Monday night, and we found it with the same feeling. Young and carefree, but above all exciting and endearing, this young Magic squad has indeed offered a new nice show to its fans, delivering in particular a very successful offensive score, supported by a constant defensive effort. In fact, this second victory of a great week so far for the Orlando franchise is the result of obvious and observable day-to-day progress. This team obviously still has flaws and a long way to go (one thinks in particular of its 17 ball losses), but for a club which is only in its second real year of reconstruction, the progress is certainly remarkable, and the product in the field is often very exciting.
TOPS & FLOPS
✅ The Wagner-Banchero-Carter Jr triplet. The three players of the « frontcourt » of the Magic were indeed the main architects of this good collective effort, compiling 54 points, 16 rebounds and 13 assists. All three tall, long and damn athletic, they pained the outsides of the Pacers by frequently attacking the circle (14/17 on three-way free throws), and thus forced Myles Turner to be constantly in the assist position near of his circle. Their progress, both individually and collectively as a strong trio of this team, in fact embodies, more broadly, the symbol of the rapid progress of this Magic team.
✅ Gary Harris. Finally back to his best physical shape, the back of the Magic stabilizes a very young and athletic major five with his experience and exterior address. He effectively torpedoed the Pacers defense wide, while his young teammates pounded in the paint: 6/6 behind the arc!
✅ Bennedict Mathurin. Best scorer of the match off the bench, with 26 points at 7/18 on shots, the talented rookie of the Pacers did what he knows how to do best: put pressure on the opposing defense. Particularly on the circle, since he notably went to the free throw line 12 times, for 10 converted shots. In front of the only player of his promotion who separates him from the title of Rookie of the YearPaolo Banchero, the Canadian sent a message.
✅ TJ McConnell. Logically mobilized in the five major in the absence of Tyrese Haliburton, and rather convincing in the interim, the veteran point guard delivered a solid performance: 17 points at 8/8 on shots, 3 rebounds and 8 assists (but 4 loss of ball). Physically and technically limited, compared to his absent young teammate, the former 76ers compensates with a high level of game science and boundless energy on both sides of the field.
⛔️ Aaron Nesmith. Outing terribly anecdotal for the winger: only 1 interception and… 2 loss of ball in 13 minutes. A bubble in all other statistical categories!
– Magic (19-29): trip to Miami, on the night of Friday to Saturday (02:00).
– Pacers (24-26): reception of the Pacers, on the night of Friday to Saturday (01:00).