Posted by Matt Moore
Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.
THE BIG ONE: WHERE THE NEW GUYS DON'T START OFF HOT
Not a super start for the Orlando Magic's new trio of weapons. Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu, and Jason Richardson combined to shoot 6-23, score 27 points (mostly from the line), grab 9 rebounds, and dish 9 assists. Oh, and the Magic got trounced by an underwhelming Hawks team 91-81.
There were some good signs, though. Turkoglu and Arenas both worked their way to the line three times, and looked in the flow of the offense. Turkoglu in particular looked like he was fitting back in with the Magic. In the second quarter, Turkoglu dished a perfect inside-lob to Dwight Howard over the Hawks defense setting up a massive dunk.
Defensively, the damage wasn't as bad as it could have been. So that's good news, but they also didn't control the glass as well as they needed to outside of Howard. That's got to get shored up and fast.
It should be noted that the Magic didn't have time for a practice with the new guys before last night's game. In reality, not even a walk-through. They simply walked out on the floor and tried to play together. When you consider that, it's a wonder they were even in this game, much less lost by only ten.
When it comes down to it, the three are just going to have to shoot better. Jason Richardson we can expect that from. The other two we can't really depend on for that.
JASON TERRY IS A FOUR-QUARTER MAN
After the Mavs defeated the Heat last night, coach Rick Carlisle called Jason Terry one of the best fourth-quarter scorers in the league. Turns out Carlisle's on to something. Terry averages 3.0 points in the first quarter, 4.0 points in the second, 3.1 points in the third, and 5.9 points in the fourth quarter. Not bad for an old guy.
Hornets FIND NEW AND EXCITING WAYS TO LOSE
After Mike Dunleavey (MIKE DUNLEAVEY!) tipped in the game-winner to drop the Hornets yet again Monday night, you have to wonder if the Hornets are running out of ways to lose.
Your blog line of the night? Take it away, At The Hive:
"Today marks only the second time in the last 2,000 years that a total lunar eclipse has occurred on the same day as the Winter Solstice. The next time it will happen will be in 2094, when Trevor Ariza< will be clanging jumpers in a nursing home."
GO-GO-GADGET LINE OF THE NIGHT:
Monta Ellis: 44 points, 7 assists
LaMarcus Aldridge: 29 points, 19 rebounds, 2 assists
Dwight Howard: 19 points, 20 rebounds
Tim Duncan: 20 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists
FIVE GOOD MINUTES:
The Rockets scored 25 points in the final five minutes of last night's win over the Warriors.