Magic vs. Cavaliers: What Didn't Work

Throughout Orlando's current five-game homestand, they've looked more like pretenders, rather than contenders, and it all came to a head against a depleted Cavaliers team which was blown out on their home court by Denver, less than 24 hours before Monday night's game. We are now going to reflect and dissect what went wrong in the Magic's 118-111 loss to Cleveland.

1. Defense- Most of us have heard of it, but the Magic don't seem to be playing any. Cleveland is a team that averages under 97 points per game and they scored 118. The Cavs shot 53.5% from the field. They don't do that against anyone.

2. Larry Hughes scores 40- It has been years since Larry Hughes scored 40 points in a single game. Hughes nearly quadrupled his season average in one night. Larry Hughes?

3. Defense without fouling- The Cavs shot 43 free throws Monday night as compared to just 29 for Orlando. Some of it was Cleveland aggressively taking the ball to the basket, some of it was very questionable touchy foul calls, but the Magic looked slow-footed defensively.

4. Speaking of free throws- Orlando shot just 65.5% from the line (19-29). They left 10 points on the free throw line and lost by 7.

5. Too many perimeter shots- The Magic found success in the first half when they took the ball to the basket. They somehow got away from that and ended up taking 26 three point attempts, hitting on just 10. If you're going to take that many three's, you need to make a few more.

6. Easy misses- Orlando missed a ton of easy shots in the first half. At least four or five shots inside of eight feet that rimmed out. When they don't go down, it's tough to win.

7. Cleveland made the most of their opportunities- The Cavs scored 17 second chance points in a game which they appeared to dominate on the glass. After checking the stats, rebounding numbers were even and Cleveland had just 8 offensive boards. Great job by the Cavs hitting all the big shots and making the big plays down the stretch.


Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of MagicIllustrated.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius Radio, MySpace Sports and Sportsillustrated.com. Charlie is also a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.


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