- Tania Ganguli of the Orlando Sentinel: Vince Carter sat out Tuesday’s Orlando Magic practice with a sprained right big toe. He remains listed as day-to-day and Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said he doesn’t know whether Carter will be available to play on Thursday against the Dallas Mavericks. [...] Carter is aiming to be back by Thursday. He was shooting after practice at RDV Sportsplex, but couldn’t wear his normal basketball shoes. Carter had on some low-tops and said those shoes and sandals are about all he can wear without causing his toe additional pain.
- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post chimes in on Hedo Turkoglu’s malaise with the Toronto Raptors: ”As someone whose email box occasionally contains tips about Turk’s party habits, I can’t say that his nightlife surprises me. But the poor attitude? The mailing-in of a season? Doesn’t seem like Turk to me. I’m happy that he had a productive career with Orlando, and utterly disappointed that he seems content to play out the string on a bloated contract for a middling team that can’t do much to improve due to, in part, Turk’s monster deal. I’m not faulting the guy for cashing in–that’d be hypocritical, frankly–but dude really ought to try harder.”
- Dikembe Mutombo thinks that Dwight Howard can be the Defensive Player of the Year, every year, until he gets old. Lofty praise from one of the best defenders in NBA history.
- For championship contenders, it’s good to be balanced. Bradford Doolittle of Basketball Prospectus explains: “How do we define balanced? Since this is a jumping-off point for a navel-gazing exercise, let’s keep it simple. Using my post-ABA/NBA merger database of 870 teams through the end of last season, let’s divide teams whose league ranks in offense and defense are less than seven places apart. Why seven? Making that the dividing line gives us 425 balanced teams and 445 unbalanced. That’s as close to an even split as we’re going to get. Let’s look at some characteristics of these two groups. As a general rule, teams that are less balanced have won more in the regular season, but the balanced squads have done better in the playoffs. In the regular season, if a team has that big of a gap between its offense and defense, it means that they probably were competent at least one or the other. However, a good number of the teams we’re defining as “balanced” may simply have sucked at both ends of the court. With more regular season success, the unbalanced teams have accounted for more playoff spots. But with the “suck at both” teams filtered out, the balanced teams have won more titles.”
- It appears that Mickael Pietrus, who has been recovering from an ankle injury, will be ready to play on Thursday against the Dallas Mavericks.
- Rashard Lewis, a former SuperSonics player, wants to participate in Ray Allen’s charity game in Seattle that’s currently in the works and would take place in the summer.
- There’s a lot of things that Howard excels in, like his ability to impersonate Charles Barkley. Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse transcribes some of Howard’s “rants” as Barkley. Lost in the shuffle, though, is head coach Stan Van Gundy’s thoughts on the MVP award: “It is just an offensive award. People who vote just don’t factor in defense, rebounding and how effective Dwight is defensively. I think it’s unfortunate. If the criteria was how many possessions are you affecting at both ends, if that’s what people thought about, then Dwight would be at the top of the league.”
- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel conducts a light-hearted interview with Van Gundy, asking him a variety of questions that don’t pertain to basketball.