- Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel: “So, Dwight Howard can hit mid-range jumpers now? That doesn’t concern the Washington Wizards. Coach Flip Saunders and center JaVale McGee both reiterated the same point: they’d rather have Howard shooting jumpers than scoring in the paint. [...] Saunders mentioned Karl Malone as a player who expanded his game from the low-post to out away from the basket. He believes Howard could become ‘nearly unstoppable’ when he progresses his offensive game to that point, but right now he’s not all that afraid of Howard’s jumpers.”
- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “There won’t be any surprises in the Orlando Magic starting lineup for tonight’s season opener against the Washington Wizards. Coach Stan Van Gundy said moments ago that his starters will be Jameer Nelson at point guard, Vince Carter at shooting guard, Quentin Richardson at small forward, Rashard Lewis at power forward and Dwight Howard at center. Point guard Jason Williams will be on the team’s active roster tonight, Van Gundy said. Big man Malik Allen will be on the inactive list.”
- Head coach Flip Saunders is wary of the Washington Wizards receiving a “haymaker” early in tonight’s game against the Orlando Magic: “There’s going to be an unbelievable amount of energy in this building with the new building. Orlando, they’re playing extremely well. They’ve got something to prove, and they’ve been one of the top three teams in this league the last three years and not a lot of people are talking about them right now.”
- Win one for the Amway Center? Say what? Note J.J. Redick‘s response.
- Brian Schmitz talks about the artwork at the new arena.
- George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel conducts an excellent Q/A with Bob Vander Weide, CEO of the Magic. Here’s a snippet from Vander Weide: “I don’t hear our guys saying anything about respect because once they get on the court they get the respect. The only thing they might say is we’re a little sick hearing about Miami. But I think every team that plays us, knowing where we’ve been the last two years, is going to respect us on the floor. Does that mean that somebody on ESPN is going to call us out as the champions to be? Who cares?”
- Dress up head coach Stan Van Gundy!
- Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “The team was at its very best with Nelson running the show on offense, and wasn’t too bad with him on defense, either. As such, he owns the team’s second-best efficiency differential. Lewis is the team’s best option at either forward slot, which lends credence to Van Gundy’s idea that it’s best to move Lewis around based on matchups, which in turn gives the Magic comfort with different, versatile offensive approaches. I’m surprised we saw so litle of Carter at small forward, given how often he and Redick paired up on the wings in the postseason. And [Marcin] Gortat got hardly any time alongside Howard in a big lineup, though when together, they proved effective.”