The Orlando Magic have been in Rio De Janeiro since Wednesday on a trip that included soccer, volleyball and Futevôlei - a mixture of the two. Some site-seeing was done, but the Magic’s dominance against an inferior opponent was truly a sight to behold.
Flamengo’s starting center stood at 6’9” and Magic center Nikola Vucevic had little difficulty capitalizing against the smaller defender. Vucevic led the Magic in scoring with 18 points on 8 of 13 shooting. DeWayne Dedmon came in to spell Vucevic and the big man dominance continued for Orlando. Dedmon finished with only five points, but both of his field goals made were putback dunks and he supplemented that effort with five rebounds and three blocks in just under 15 minutes of action.
With Elfrid Payton (hamstring), Aaron Gordon (soreness) and C.J. Watson (food poisoning) all out for the game, Shabazz Napier received the start and the rest of the role players were the beneficiaries of additional minutes. However, it appeared as though the Magic’s bench lacked gusto as they shot 9 for 30 on the night. Mario Hezonja (4-of-7) and Dedmon (2-of-3) were the only players on the second unit to shoot over 50 percent and the only bench players to make multiple field goals.
Alongside Victor Oladipo, Napier was able to score 14 on 6 of 11 shooting while also picking off three passes, grabbing four boards and dishing three assists. Oladipo finished with arguably the most complete game with 13 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and two steals. The former Indiana Hoosier also did all of that on 5 of 7 shooting from the field; his only misses came on two three-pointers. Oladipo is looking like a confident player and leader and that is exactly what the Magic need him to be. Led by Oladipo, the Magic’s defense looked stellar with apparent effort that Coach Scott Skiles has preached since his hiring.
Evan Fournier, the man with the promise, finished with 10 points - making Tobias Harris (6 points) the only Magic starter to not reach double-digit scoring.
After the game, Skiles expressed his displeasure with the Magic’s lack of ball movement. According to John Denton (@JohnDenton555) of nba.com, “Coach Skiles said he was disappointed in ORL having just 13 assists on 36 FGs. Too much 1 on 1 he said.”
For Flamingo, it became tough to overpower the Magic’s talent. After trailing 13-2 early in the game, it was apparent that they were in for a rough night. The crowd, however, was noticeably louder than most NBA crowds, and they refused to give up on their team. The boos for Fournier were especially noticeable.
Marcelihno Machado, at 40-years-old, led Flamengo in scoring, and it seemed as though he was their only consistent source of offense. Even at that, he shot 5 for 14 from the field and 3 of 9 from deep.
If there was one player who was the model of efficiency, it was big man Joao Paulo Batista, who shot 6 of 8 on the night and was the only Flamengo player to convert on more than half of his chances. Batista finished with 13 points and six rebounds.
As a team, Flamengo couldn’t buy a bucket. They made 25 of their 78 shot attempts and only eight of their 37 long balls found nylon.
The Orlando Magic will return to America to play the New Orleans Pelicans in their next game on Wednesday, October 21.