Well, that's more like it.
Coming off a blowout loss to Miami on Saturday, the Spurs returned home and had no trouble taking on a young Magic team playing with an experimental rookie point guard and without starters Nikola Vucevic and Jameer Nelson. San Antonio didn't appear to be the older squad tonight, outscoring the Magic 36-6 in transition points. Powered by strong performances by their bench, they stormed out to a 71-46 half-time lead and never looked back.
For the Magic, rookie Victor Oladipo showed the offensive potential that many saw in him coming out of college. He scored 22 points, but also turned the ball over five times. I don't think he's convinced anyone that he's the team's point guard of the future, but there's no question that he can develop into a very good NBA player. Arron Afflalo and Jason Maxiell added 17 and 16 points, respectively.
As it is with preseason games, what we saw from the players is more important than the final score, so here are my observations of the game's key players.
The sky's the limit for Kawhi, who once again showcased his newfound assertiveness on the offensive end. He scored 19 points in 21 minutes, finding his spots for jumpshots and attacking the hoop whenever possible.
If you had the Aussie on your preseason fantasy team, you were pretty stoked with his performance tonight. Patty Melt filled up the stat sheet with 22 points (9-15 from the field, 4-7 for three), five steals and two (!) blocks. I'll be selling 'Team Patty' T-shirts by Section 201 this Thursday.
Cory Joseph and Nando de Colo
CoJo got the start in place of Tony tonight, and the Spurs offense actually struggled some in the first quarter with him running the show. It wasn't a good game for Joseph, who finished with four points, four assists, and four turnovers in 25 minutes. De Colo entered the game later and, in limited time, failed to impress on his way to seven points.
A big part of Danny Green's game this season will be what he does when opposing defenses run him off the three-point line. Green showed that this might not be a matter of concern for Spurs fans, as he was able to get into the lane off the dribble and make good things happen all night long, finishing the game with 14 points off 5-9 shooting.
I'll give Ayres the benefit of the doubt because of his recent "it's the preseason - take a chill pill" comment, but I still haven't seen the energy and edge that I thought he was capable of bringing the team. The big man ran the floor well and even jawed some with Magic guard Arron Afflalo, but his actual impact on the game remained minimal.
Marco and Manu combined for 28 points on 11-18 shooting from the field. When these guys are on the floor with Boris, the passing of the second unit is something else. Watching these two play together is going to be a lot of fun this year.
The rest of the guys
Timmeh had 10 points, seven assists, seven boards and two blocks, including one on the rookie Oladipo. Tiago played excellent defense around the hoop. Matt Bonner played just 10 minutes, but sported the cheery disposition of a guy who's just re-stocked his shoe closet.
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More from Pounding The Rock:
- Case closed: Bill Simmons finds the Spurs boring
- 30 preseason predictions: Miami Heat
- J.R. Wilco talks about the Spurs backup point guards on The Phil Naessens show
- Preseason Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Orlando Magic
- Matt Bonner meets his shoe crisis head on, Twitter style