- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Have the Orlando Magic improved? Did Dwight Howard diversify his offensive game over the summer? Will free-agent signees Quentin Richardson and Chris Duhon make a positive impact? We’ll begin to find out at 8:30 Tuesday night. The Magic will open their preseason schedule against the Houston Rockets in Hidalgo, Texas, a city just a few outlet passes from the Mexico border. […] Much has been made about Howard’s summertime workout sessions with Hakeem Olajuwon. Tonight, Howard might unveil some nuances to his offensive game. Howard will face a formidable obstacle when he matches up against 7-foot-6 Rockets skyscraper Yao Ming. Olajuwon told Howard not to be afraid to try new things on the court, so don’t be surprised if Howard attempts a few midrange jumpers and perhaps a few turnaround jumpers.”
- More from Robbins: “J.J. Redick played extended minutes during the 2009 playoffs, and the momentum from that experience carried over into the 2009-10 regular season. The shooting guard now hopes for a repeat of sorts. He played well during the 2010 playoffs, and he feels confident as a new season approaches. Still, Redick did not ease up this offseason, despite his new three-year, $19 million contract. He was back in the gym the day after he and his wife returned from their honeymoon in Europe. Redick focused on his ball-handling and on in-between shots like floaters and runners. He also did Pilates twice a week, and he said he feels stronger.”
- Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel keeps track of Brandon Bass‘ progress on defense in training camp. This is a storyline to keep an eye on.
- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “Everybody and their uncle has been asking Dwight Howard to expand his game. Well, Dwight says he will be adding something new to it: Silence. Howard had clearly expanded his game the past few seasons to include more barking at the referees. At times, his complaining has been dominating, impressive in its sheer volume and startling accumulation of technical fouls. It has become as much a part of his arsenal as his mighty array of dunks, blocks and Twitter followers, for crying out loud. With the NBA police vowing to crack down on the players’ behavior with the refs, Howard said Sunday that he’ll try harder to bite his tongue and downsize his demonstrative debates. This is a good thing.”
- Head coach Stan Van Gundy on Ryan Anderson: “He’s physically just an entirely different player than he was a year ago. I think that Ryan’s got a chance to be a guy in this league that can get 15 [points] and eight [rebounds] on a nightly basis. He’s a hell of a rebounder. He’s got great offensive instincts. The offensive end of the court comes pretty easily to him.”
- For Rashard Lewis, pre-season basketball is important for him to build momentum.
- Van Gundy hasn’t set the rotation for tomorrow’s game against the Houston Rockets.
- Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk provides commentary on Howard’s vow to complain less.
- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post with a must-read article about his tour of the Amway Center on Friday: “The Magic and the City of Orlando didn’t waver in their vision for this facility. Small touches inextricably link the building to the Central Florida area, including artwork based on the orange-crate labels of local citrus growers, as well as the aforementioned Church Street Station decorations in Jernigan’s, which itself owes its name to the city. Further, 120 local companies participated in the project, including thirteen from the Parramore community. The point here, in this post, is that Amway Center is truly a special facility whose ties to the area go beyond the superficial.”
- John Hollinger of ESPN Insider forecasts the upcoming season for each player on the Orlando Magic roster. Hollinger is particularly bullish on Anderson, and for good reason: “Keep an eye on this guy — I’ve always thought of him as a poor man’s Troy Murphy, but he was better than Murphy last season on a per-minute basis. In fact, Anderson nearly led the team in points per 40 minutes, finishing 0.1 behind [Vince] Carter and ahead of Howard. While Anderson got lost in the Magic’s deep frontcourt in the second half of the season, his acquisition was an underrated heist by Orlando as a sidebar to the VC trade. As a matter of fact, both Anderson’s shooting and per-40-minute rebounding were dramatically better than those of the man starting ahead of him, Rashard Lewis. Only his defensive shortcomings kept him on the bench. Anderson shot 37 percent on 3s while taking more than half his shots from distance, and he shot a respectable 50.3 percent on 2s as well — something he had struggled with as a rookie. If he continues scoring and plays even remotely acceptable defense, the Magic need to seriously upgrade his playing time.”
This is true. In the end, it comes down to the matchups.
Anderson SHOULD play big minutes but unfortunately, committing too much time to Lewis at small forward is a mistake.
I agree with @MagicMark and @Billy (slickw143) that it wasn't a mistake to sign Lewis, he's just been underutilized at times. That's altered the perception of Lewis.
No problem. Glad you were able to tour the facility!