It wasn’t the best gift under the tree, but it was practical as the Thunder took care of the Magic 97-89 to start out the season 1-0.
It could’ve been worse. It could’ve been the complete series of Gossip Girl or something. But this game was like that plain button-up from Old Navy you got from your grandma today. Nothing special, but useful.
There were flashes in the first half of brilliant transition offense, quality halfcourt possession basketball and stingy defense. The Thunder went on a couple of different runs to break away from Orlando, which was helped by a stretch in the first half where the Magic went just 5-30 from the field.
But for the most part, it felt like a meh opening night win, something you’d see Nov. 1 as a team still figures out a few things and settles into their normal rhythm.
The game came down to an essential, simple matchup: Perk got the better of Dwight Howard. Howard was just 4-12 for 11 points and only shot eight free throws. When Howard can’t roll inside, it completely limits the Magic’s inside-out game, which is what they’re basically designed to do. Keep Reading…