Basketball, particularly high level basketball, is ostensibly a half-court game. You can try to push the pace and you can try to score in transition, but the majority of your points will come in half-court sets.
Particularly late in close games, offense and scoring becomes more about exploiting matchups and creating plays when defenses begin to lock in.
The Magic knew with the roster they had that this season would be difficult in those moments. Already in six games, the Magic had seen the difficulties of executing on offense in the NBA completely in the half court. Sometimes, games simply come down to talent and making shots. There the Knicks certainly had the advantages.
Carmelo Anthony is the kind of player a team can give the ball to and expect good things to happen. Even on a night when he is struggling to score, he can hit a groove and become a one-man offense generator. The Magic did not have that kind of a player. Not Tuesday night.
Arron Afflalo tried to be ...