After scoring 16 points in the Wizards' 121-94 loss to the Magic, Miller was asked about a possible return to Orlando, where he spent his first 2 ½ seasons and won rookie of the year in 2001. "I would love to," Miller said. "Look at what they have. For a shooter, it is a dream come true. It would be exciting to go in there. Not only do they have a big guy who they have a chance to double, but they have shooters around the horn. It would be a fun experience for sure."
Blatche, was held to just 13 points on 5 of 19 shooting from the field. Instead for the second consecutive game the Wizards were led in scoring by Nick Young who scored 21 points on 9 of 15 shooting from the field. "He has played well," Saunders said of Young. "He got a little bit tired defensively and got taken off the dribble a few times by Redick. He has been playing with confidence. He has been trying to play within the system and taking good shots.
Young continued to play well, as he followed up his season-high 29 point performance against Golden State by scoring a game-high 21 points. It was the first time since late November that Young had consecutive 20-point games. But Blatche had a difficult night from the floor, with Howard and Rashard Lewis combining to fluster him into missing 14 of his 19 field goal attempts. "It was a transition coming from the Nets to the Warriors to Orlando," Blatche said. "They got the most dominant big man in the league. He's good at protecting the rim. That's a great overall team. I don't think we were as aggressive as we should've been. I know I wasn't. I was settling too much when I should've been attacking the rim."
It's a little surprising that Washington managed to hang around for so long, but Young and Miller had their outside shooting stroke going, and rattled home (or, in Miller's case, swished) enough long two-pointers to keep the Wizards in it. Van Gundy's concerned that the Wiz shot 50% from the field, but if I were him, I wouldn't be. Two above-average jump shooters got hot and made some difficult shots. What's more important is that the Magic took away Washington's inside game and made life very difficult for Blatche, who torched them for 32 points on 14-of-23 shooting in their last meeting. Tonight? Blatche shot 5-of-19, with 4 of his 14 misses getting blocked, and scored just 13 points. That's his third-lowest scoring output since the All-Star break, when the Wizards' trading away Antawn Jamison opened up playing time for Blatche; his very worst output, 2 points, came in a game he played just 7 minutes due to disciplinary reasons. In brief, Orlando made the Wizards' featured player look terrible. That two perimeter players stepped up doesn't detract from the Magic's sterling interior D.
The really good teams are able to overcome playing on the road against talented opponents and the really good players fight through the fatigue to raise their game against upper echelon squads. Before anyone gets too excited about guys like Blatche, McGee and Livingston, remember how they were absolutely dominated by the Orlando Magic. It’s no shame to lose to the Magic, but the way the Wizards lost — completely collapsing in the second half and getting very little from the team’s best player, Andray Blatche — demonstrates how far Washington has to go to become respectable.
Orlando’s offense was virtually unstoppable. They shot an incredible effective field goal percentage of 66.4%, going 44-of-76 from the field (57.9%) and 13-of-22 from beyond the arc (59.1%). They were also very good from the free throw line (20-of-24, 83.3%). Orlando’s bench played very well and was responsible for a majority of the damage from beyond the arc. The bench combined to shoot 10-of-13 (77%) from downtown and scored 65 points. Three players – J.J. Redick 16, Mickael Pietrus 15, and Ryan Anderson 11 – scored in double figures, while every player scored at least four points.