Chasing Down The Latest NBA News
There was quite a bit of hype coming into this season, mostly about the Miami Heat, and there was a lot of hype coming into this game, mostly surrounding John Wall‘s rookie debut. It didn’t take but five minutes to realize that the Magic should have been the focus, in both cases.
The Magic defended masterfully, they hit their open three’s, Vince Carter was aggressive and Dwight Howard was dominant. They rotated on defense, they disrupted every set and their bench looked better than Washington’s starting unit.
Carter had 18 points on eight-of-12 shooting with some excellent finishes at the rim and a couple of mid-range jumpers. He was obviously more aggressive than he was last season and it paid off, allowing him to sit after just 25 minutes of play. Rashard Lewis was aggressive as well, though he missed some open looks. He had a few quick baskets and had 13 points and seven rebounds in the end.
Howard was polished, showing the effects of some off-season work on his moves. Dwight had 23 points on seven-of-nine shooting and even showed a pretty bankshot from 15-feet with excellent form. 10 rebounds and three blocks as well, and he was the reason that John Wall’s debut wasn’t as spectacular as most thought it would be. Whenever Wall saw a lane in the half-court, which admittedly wasn’t too often, Howard was there, staring into Wall’s eyes and forcing a jumper.
Wall was alright, though his teammates didn’t help at all. He missed 13 of his 19 shots but he did get 14 points, a few of which came on spectacular open court plays, had three steals and had nine assists despite his teammates being ice cold from the field.
Washington shot 37% from the field and 21% from three. Cartier Martin was the only consistent and efficient offensive option, making five of his nine shots for 17 points.
The Magic are championship contenders, folks. And tomorrow night’s game is going to be so, so good.The story in this one is how good Steve Nash makes his teammates and how well Hakim Warrick faired in his second game as Amare Stoudemire-like. Nash was so good, with 18 points on six-of-10 shooting with five helpers. A pair of those came to Warrick, who had 18 points on six-of-11 shooting with a mid-range jumper, a few pretty follow-ups at the rim and the season’s best dunk over two Jazz players. He won’t be able to shoot the jumper as well as Amare, but he is just as good rolling to the rim as he showed tonight. Warrick added 11 rebounds and Grant Hill had a team high 12.
Al Jefferson had 20 points for the Jazz but had to take 18 shots to get there, a bad number for a post player. He had his moments, but he had trouble finishing over Robin Lopez at times. Paul Millsap was excellent going for 19 on nine-of-13 shooting with 13 rebounds and two blocks, running the floor, getting putbacks, fighting for position. Deron Williams had his second bad game of the season, missing nine of his 12 shots while dishing out six assists to three turnovers with five fouls. He’ll need to get it together soon for the Jazz to avoid falling in the hole quick. They are already 0-2.