Tuesday's Magic Word | Magic Basketball

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Oct 26

Tuesday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Point guard Jason Williams practiced fully with the Orlando Magic on Tuesday and could be activated for the team’s season opener on Thursday. […] Williams underwent arthroscopic surgery on Sept. 30 to clear debris out of his left knee. He’s expected to back-up starter Jameer Nelson and free-agent signee Chris Duhon this season. On Tuesday, Williams participated in the Magic’s 4-on-4 and 5-on-5 full-court drills for the first time since the procedure.”
  • Don’t expect an 11-man rotation from head coach Stan Van Gundy.
  • Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post shares some numbers concerning Dwight Howard‘s jumpshot.
  • Trey Kerby of The Basketball Jones on the Orlando Magic: “After a brief scare, the mock turtlenecks are back in action. Crisis averted.”
  • Mike Prada of SB Nation concludes that Howard is the most important figure in the NBA right now: “Orlando returns pretty much the same team that surrounded him last year, so barring a major trade, their best chance at getting over the hump is for their best player to fully realize his potential. Can he do it? The answer to this question will determine the trajectory of the entire league. Miami has no answer for Howard, even with their star-studded roster. The Lakers have size to match Howard, but for a team that depends on forcing interior mismatches, a resurgent Howard becomes an issue. The Celtics don’t have Perkins, Howard’s nemesis, for most of the season. Howard is fully capable of leading the Magic past all of the elite teams in this league. He just needs to become less methodical with his post moves, all while continuing to lord over the paint defensively. All this is possible, and if so, he will steal every major designation from his more highly-touted peers. He will be the real MVP. He will be the Pau Gasol-type MVP that every team must find an answer for. He will be the defensive player of the year. He will be the league’s best big man. After a summer where so many others stole the spotlight, it would be something if Howard finds a way to overshadow them all during the season.”
  • Zach Lowe of The Point Forward wonders if the Magic have a go-to perimeter scorer.
  • Dwight Howard writes about a variety of topics on his blog: “I did not like the way our preseason ended with not getting to play that game over in Tampa on Friday night. I felt so bad for the fans that had driven all the way over there and then there was no game because of the slick floor. I hope the fans know that it wasn’t our fault and that the court was REALLY slick. I just knew that I would have fallen down out there and ESPN would have had me on the “Not Top 10″ list. The NBA made the right call by canceling the game, but I hope those fans get to see us play at some point this season. Every time we go to the non-NBA cities, I know what it means a lot to those fans because they don’t get to see us that often. So I’m sorry, and I hope we’re back in Tampa again real soon.”
  • The Painted Area makes their predictions of the new NBA year. Take a look.
  • Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk: “The Magic may well be the best team in basketball. Scoff if you want, but they were the best team the second half of last season, and two-rounds into the playoffs you thought they were on pace to return to the Finals after sweeping aside the Bobcats and Hawks. Dwight Howard was a beast and Jameer Nelson had found a grove. Don’t let one series against a rejuvenated and hot Boston squad fool you, this team is very good and has a new focus this year. They will be near the top of the East, and they could win it all.”
  • Howard is on the cover of the latest issue of Dime Magazine.
  • Jeff Van Gundy talks about his brother — Stan: “I think my brother really needs to let his guard down a little bit more and speak what he feels the truth to be. One thing I’ve always appreciated about Stan is that he’s not afraid to say what he really thinks instead of giving the politically correct answers that we are so accustomed to hearing. You can disagree with him. You can disagree with him being as direct and as candid as he was. For me, when anybody ever calls me up and says, ‘Did you hear what Stan said?’ I get on the edge of my seat because I have no idea what that could possibly be. I always find it very entertaining.”
  • Check out Basketball Prospectus’ season predictions.
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