“We all we got” is the Orlando Magic’s battle cry for this year’s playoff run. For at least one night just having each other was enough.
The Magic came into Indiana and stunned the Pacers with an 81-77 win in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first round series.
Scrappy, gritty, gutty, and every other underdog adjective you can think of described the Magic’s effort who came back from a 7 point deficit in the final minutes.
Jameer Nelson scored 17 points while handing out 9 assists to lead the Magic. He is the key to Orlando’s attack and he must continue that level of play for the Magic to sustain this success.
Jason Richardson also scored 17 including the go ahead 3 to put the Magic up for good with 1:04 left to play in the 4th quarter.
Glen Davis had his shot blocked 6 times but still double-doubled with 16 points and 13 rebounds. To his credit he didn’t let his failed attempts deter him from attacking the basket and he grabbed 6 offensive rebounds with most coming on his own misses.
Indiana was led by playoff veteran David West who had 19 points and 9 rebounds. Danny Granger chipped in 17 points while Roy Hibbert had 8 points, 13 rebounds, and a menacing 9 blocks.
The Pacers got 3 point happy when the game got tight and they were unable to connect. Granger missed two free throws in the final 90 seconds and was whistled for a travel on a potential game tying possession for Indiana. Granger didn’t shy away from blame after the game:
“I can’t remember the last time that I missed two free throws. And then the travel call, it was a bad series (of events). The good thing is that it’s a seven-game series. It’s just the first game and we’ll get over this pretty quickly.’’
Hibbert, who has a definitive size advantage, was unable to get his offense going despite the monster night defensively. The All-Star center shot just 3-11 on the evening which almost seems impossible without Dwight Howard in the middle for the Magic.
Orlando will take this win and go for another on Monday night. Davis who yelled at the crowd “Y’all look real stunned.” at the final buzzer said the following after the game
We’re all we got. We’re not trying to impress the doubters or make them believe. Only if we believe. When we believe, there’s unlimited things that we can do. We’ve been through a lot mentally, physically. We’ve overcame and did a great job out there today…It is huge, to go out there and get Game 1 in their place, now their back’s against the wall and they’ve got to win Game 2. We’re trying to get every game we can. We’re not trying to slow down. We’re not trying to be complacent.
I don’t think the Magic will be sneaking up on the Pacers in Game 2 as they have earned a lot of respect from Indiana and the media with this win.
But I think they would prefer for everybody to keep doubting they have any chance at all.
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com