Found December 26, 2012 on Sports Blog Net:
Michael Jordan is undoubtedly one of the greatest players of all time, if not the greatest player. The Orlando Magic (8-12) had their first game Jordan and the Bulls (12-7) in Chicago on December 14th. In only 25 minutes of playing time, Jordan had 38 points/7 rebounds/ 8 assists. The Magic couldn't handle the offensive outpouring from Michael and the defensive prowess of Scottie Pippen (8 steals) and were easily defeated 113-124. Less than a week later, despite 52 points on 54% shooting from MJ, the Magic (9-15) beat the Bulls 110-109. Thanks to an incredibly efficient 28 points on 66% shooting from future Orlando Magic General Manager, Otis Smith, the Magic had earned the right to celebrate. They would need this victory to remind them of happier times, because they would proceed to lose their next 8 games in a row. In January, Terry Catledge had the best single scoring performance that any Magic player could boast from that first season. In a loss against the Golden State Warriors (138-127), the Cat Man had 49 points and 9 rebounds. Two and a half weeks later, Sam Vincent had the Magic’s first triple-double with an outrageous 21 points/17 assists/11 rebounds. Michael Ansley hit an NBA individual record for that season on February 1st with 13 offensive rebounds against the Milwaukee Bucks. The only other performance worth mentioning in this difficult stretch for the Magic was Reggie Theus’s 50 consecutive free throws during the month of January. Beyond that, the Magic had hit the tipping point and the next few months would be difficult to watch. From February 15th through the end of the season the Magic only won 3 of their 36 games, finishing with an 18-64 record. Despite being the third best offensive team in the league with 110.9 PPG, they were dead last in the Central Division and the New Jersey Nets were the only team they beat more than they lost to.  The issue was their defense, which ranked dead last. They tied with the Miami Heat for the second worst record in the league, only beating out the New Jersey Nets by a single game. This wasn't quite as bleak as it sounds. To put their record in perspective, Miami had finished 15-67 their first year and 9 years earlier the Dallas Mavericks had also finished 15-67 in their freshman outing. There were some bright spots to the season. The Orlando Arena sold out for 33 consecutive home games, an average of 15,060 fans for the season. Terry Catledge averaged just under 20/PPG, as did Reggie Theus. Six other players finished with double figures in scoring, including Otis Smith, Sam Vincent, Nick Anderson, Jerry Reynolds, Reggie Theus and Sidney Green. The inaugural season had concluded and the Magic were about to use their awful record to their advantage in the upcoming draft…
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