- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “Word is that teams have inquired about point guard Chauncey Billups, and nobody on the planet can be surprised. If, or when, Carmelo Anthony goes in a trade, why keep Billups around? The Nuggets will be in official rebuilding mode once Melo walks. The [Orlando] Magic have pieces to land them both. Before the Heat land them by, oh, dealing Chris Bosh. I tweeted this weeks ago. Melo is making $17 million, Billups $13 mil this season. The Magic have a veteran package they can hand over to Denver: shooting guard Vince Carter ($17 mill), center Marcin Gortat ($6 mill) and point guard Jameer Nelson ($7 mill). Is it better than the proposed package New Jersey apparently is offering of draft picks and Derrek Favors? I’d say the Magic’s would-be deal is more proven, no question.”
- Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel: “On the Orlando Magic injury front, there’s good news and there’s bad news. We’ll start with the bad news: Jason Williams (foot) and Quentin Richardson (sickness) didn’t practice today. Both are day-to-day, but Q is expected to play Thursday night against Phoenix. J.J. Redick was still sidelined with back spasms, marking the fourth consecutive day he’s been out. He didn’t play in Monday’s game against Memphis because of the injury. The good news? Jameer Nelson (ankle) and Mickael Pietrus (leg) returned to practice. Both players will play Thursday night, barring something unforeseen.”
- Nationally televised games are not kind to the Orlando Magic.
- Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post reveals that the Magic’s use of a traditional lineup has produced some surprisingly good results, so far, in the regular season: “So playing [Brandon] Bass or Gortat at power forward replaces atypically inefficient players with incredibly efficient ones. Bass’ raw shooting percentage of 47.5 doesn’t do him justice, because he’s a volume free-throw shooter with great accuracy. His True Shooting mark of 60.7 percent places him fourth on the team. Gortat, on the other hand, hardly misses from the floor. He leads the team with 65 percent shooting from the field thanks to his soft touch around the rim and the little attention defenses afford him. Add it all up [...] and the Magic’s offense has been 4.85 points per 100 possessions more effective with a traditional power forward in the lineup. But the bigger difference has come at the defensive end.”
- Matt Moore of CBSSports.com: “You’d have thought the Rashard Lewis contract would have bitten them sooner than this, but hey, worse late than never, I suppose. The Magic have one win against a team above .500 and two losses to Miami to and Utah. It’s early yet so they haven’t had many cracks at it, but throw in a loss to the Raptors, and yeesh, not a great start for SVG’s crew. The defense is still excelling, but the offense has fallen off a cliff, thanks in part to Rashard Lewis not being able to hit the broad side of a barn. And yet still, Ryan Anderson gets no minutes. Crying shame, really.”
- Do you believe in Magic? NBA.com writers try to answer that question.
- Dwight Howard is still a flawed player, according to some.