- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Stan Van Gundy sent a message to Brandon Bass before the Orlando Magic started training camp. The coach told Bass that his playing time would be determined by how well he rebounds and plays defense. Message received, loud and clear. Perhaps no Magic player has improved from last season to this one as much as Bass. His rebounding numbers have soared. His defense has become more reliable. And, not coincidentally, his playing time also has increased. [...] Bass could play a significant role when the Magic play the Toronto Raptors on Friday night at Amway Center. Van Gundy has been disappointed lately with power forward Ryan Anderson, and Anderson’s difficulties might open the door for Bass to play more in the days and weeks ahead. Bass played a career-high 36 minutes, 37 seconds in Orlando’s loss to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night. All that playing time stemmed from Anderson’s struggles and a need to match Bass against bruising Utah power forward Paul Millsap. But it also reflected Van Gundy’s increased confidence in Bass.”
- A.J. Pierzynski is a fan of the Orlando Magic: “I think they’re awesome. I think they have a chance to win everything. Everyone’s talking about the [Miami] Heat and I’ve already been on national radio, national t.v saying the Magic are going to beat the Heat in the end. I think as long as Vince Carter is healthy, Dwight Howard has improved his game and Jameer Nelson stays healthy, I like their chances.”
- Vince Carter’s restaurant, aptly named Vince Carter’s, is getting rave reviews.
- Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel: “Did the Orlando Magic abandon the inside game Wednesday night? Dwight Howard attempted zero field goals in the fourth quarter and rarely touched the ball. The Jazz were playing a zone defense – making it difficult to pass Howard the ball in a traditional post situation – but the Magic were unable to get Howard involved in any way, shape or form. Howard’s made huge strides this summer on the offensive end, and the Magic need to utilize that offensive aptitude in the fourth quarter. In Wednesday’s loss to the Jazz, they didn’t.”
- The statistical revolution in the NBA continues to gain a foothold.
- Tom Ziller of NBA FanHouse on Dwight Howard’s MVP candicacy: “Speaking of elite big men: Dwight’s still the first name that rolls off the tongue. Howard has exploded on offense, taking more shots and free throws than ever while still hitting a great clip on the former and a completely mediocre clip on the latter. He’s blocking a league-best 8.1 percent of opponent shots when on the floor, and if he played 36 minutes a game (to which he has come close in recent years, despite being at 30.7 this season), he’d be averaging 27/13/3. An absolute beast. Also, he’s still 24 years old.”
- Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook eloquently breaks down the Utah Jazz’s zone defense, and shows how the Magic couldn’t execute offensively against it.
- Who’s the better shooter in the NCAA history? J.J. Redick or Salim Stoudamire?
- Speaking about Redick, he’s been underperforming this season.