Tonight, against the San Antonio Spurs, the Orlando Magic gaves Scrooges everywhere a glimpse of their future. Nattering Nabobs, yours truly included, that had written off Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu were shown that both player have plenty left to offer. In a rare blowout of the Association leading Spurs, Arenas and Turkoglu (and the not written off Jason Richardson) lead the charge. Arenas and Turkoglu ignited a potent transition offense that befuddled the mighty Spurs. When they weren’t running and gunning, Arenas and Turkoglu facilitated ball movement and clutch shooting in the half court set.
Hedo Turkoglu played as efficient a game as he’s played, perhaps since last time he wore an Orlando uniform. OK, that’s an overstatement. But Hedo played well above his season averages. He shot 50% from the field, and had six assists to only one turnover. In addition, on a night when Jameer Nelson played few minutes due to foul trouble, Hedo provided ball handling and movement in leu of the Magic’s starting point guard. Hedo showed the kind of crisp decision making, and force of will of which Rashard Lewis showed a complete lack. He is a major upgrade at that position.
Gilbert Arenas was the spark for the Orlando Magic. In just 28 minutes, Arenas scored 14 points, handed out nine assists, and grabbed six rebounds. It was an all around effort that included pushing the ball hard off those six rebounds, and consistently hitting the mid-range jump shot off the screen. That specific shot was exactly what Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis were not doing.
Of course, these two won’t always play at this level. And the Magic still have lots of gelling to do. However, tonight was a great sign of the things to come as the team continues to grow together. As for now, it’s time for to relish the victory over the team with the Association’s best record and maybe see the butcher about a Christmas goose – the biggest, fattest Christmas goose he has.