The Orlando Magic fell to the LA Clippers 99-90 in the first televised scrimmage since the NBA shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was everything I wanted as a sports fan. A real team sports with stats that I can dive into, big names hitting shots, I'm pretty sure this is what heroine feels like.
But the Magic still lost sadly. That being said here are my big three takeaways from the first game back that didn't matter but mattered so much more than we actually know.
1. Mo Bamba is frustrating
I know I should start on a positive note, but I'm incredibly frustrated right now with Mo Bamba. He played a whopping six minutes in this scrimmage game. Sure, when he was in the game he had some flashes getting a block, two rebounds, and two points, but that's all I saw. Steve Clifford has said that he has to earn minutes and from the looks of it, he hasn't earned the minutes. WHY NOT?! ARGH!
2. Statistically, the Magic are close
The Magic were not beat because of a lack of effort in this game. In fact in every statistical category that matters, like rebounds, assists, steals and blocks, the Magic were within two or even beat the Clippers for those stats. That's what makes this loss more bearable. When it came to effort, the Magic's was there. Against a team that has WAY more talent than the Magic, I'm not upset by that.
3. Shocker, shooting is the difference maker
I don't know why I'm surprised by this, but my last point sets up this one. The Magic shot 42% from the field and 17.9% from three point land compared to the Clippers' 44% and 39% respectfully. It's something we harped on when the season was in full swing and now the story seems to be the same. Now, Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac didn't play, so they might swing the first number by some, but are they good enough to help swing both numbers in the Magic's favor? Probably not.
The Magic will play their style of basketball and we can expect them to win games. The good thing is that they kept it close with a team that they probably shouldn't have. That is what feels good.