The Orlando Magic entered Friday’s action clinging to eighth place in the Eastern Conference, a half game ahead of the Miami Heat and two and-a-half games in front of the Charlotte Hornets. Needless to say, Steve Clifford’s team needs every win it can get over the final week of the regular season to claim the organization’s first playoff berth since 2012, when Dwight Howard was still playing in Orlando. The Magic are certainly playing like it, too.
In the highlight of an utterly dominant first half against the Atlanta Hawks, Jonathan Isaac soared above John Collins to finish a lob in transition from D.J. Augustin with authority.
.@jisaac_01 had the @OrlandoMagic bench HYPED! 💫#PureMagic pic.twitter.com/fPzw8Uc5sO
— NBA TV (@NBATV) April 5, 2019
Don’t give Collins too much flak here, by the way. Most defenders would have bailed on the play after offering his attempt to disrupt Augustin’s alley-oop. Instead, the Hawks big man doesn’t give up, trying to re-direct the ball while its en route to Isaac and unintentionally inserting himself in a poster. Still, effort counts! On the other hand, maybe Collins’ notion that he possibly had a chance of getting a deflection while airborne is further evidence of his all-around lack of defensive awareness?
Either way, this sequence had no real impact on the tenor of the game. Orlando is absolutely thrashing Atlanta, holding a 30-point lead midway through the third quarter.