- Mark Schlueb of the Orlando Sentinel: “Though some commissioners predicted it would discourage people from visiting downtown Orlando, a split City Council voted today to double to $20 the parking rate for Orlando Magic games, concerts and other events at the two garages closest to the new publicly funded Amway Center. It’s the second time in less than two years the council has doubled the “event rate.” Last time, the city raised the cost of parking in most of its garages from $5 to $10 during special events. This time, the increase affects only the two garages that are most convenient to the new Amway Center: the new South Street Garage, which is connected to the arena by a pedestrian bridge, and the Church Street Garage across the street. They’ll both cost $20 when the arena opens in October. Other garages and surface lots that are farther away but still within walking distance — including lots underneath I-4 overpasses — will remain at $10 during Magic games and other events.”
- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel catches up with Ryan Blake, scouting director for the NBA, and asks him about Jordan Crawford: “The guy’s a great athlete. He’s an explosive jumper and finisher. He needed to improve his shooting ability and he did that. Once he transferred from Indiana, he had that year off. I know he got a lot of pub from the dunk over LeBron; that just doesn’t mean anything, because you’ve got to know how to play the game. But when you’re at 20 points, five rebounds and three assists and you improve to around 40 percent from beyond the arc, you can’t ignore that.”
- Six draft prospects worked out for the Orlando Magic earlier today, including Crawford, Devin Ebanks, Darington Hobson, Quincy Pondexter, Andy Rautins, and Greivis Vasquez.
- George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel, after writing a similar article last week, insists the Magic can’t win a championship with Rashard Lewis at power forward.
- Grant Hill, starting small forward of Dime Magazine’s ‘All-Coulda Been’ Team: “Another legit superstar who had his best years stolen by injuries. In the season before his ankle began to betray him, Hill put up 25 points, six boards and five assists per game for the Pistons and was a nightly triple-double threat. He was going to battle Kobe Bryant as the heir to Michael Jordan’s throne. Ten years later, Hill is (albeit a solid starter in the League) just making it out of the first round of the playoffs for the first time while Kobe is being fitted for his fifth championship ring.”
- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post takes a look at the latest mock drafts for the Magic.
- In a 30-draftee survey compiled by ESPN the Magazine, 35 percent of the players voted Dwight Howard as the player they’d want to dunk on the most.
- If it were up to Jameer Nelson, he’d pick Dominique Jones with the 29th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft: “You always want guys with a knack for filling up the basket, and that’s something Jones [11 25-point outings last season] can do. I’m sure we’ll be put over the edge by our pick. Once he learns the pro game, DJ is a guy who could help keep us there.”
- Dennis Tarwood of SLAM ONLINE likes Vasquez, however: “Vasquez is the most ready to play on a big stage, having been the star of the top team of the ACC and shown an ability to hit shots close-and-late. He creates his own shots and can hit from the new three-point stripe at Amway Center. He can drive and dish in a pick-and-roll offense. At 6-5, he can stand up to point guards and tangle with shooting guards. Unfortunately, this means he can easily give up shots to both groups equally well, but this is the 2010 NBA Draft. If you’re that caught up on defense from your backup from Maryland, DJ Strawberry’s available to a good home. (Which would be a first for him, sadly.)”