- Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel: “When the Atlanta Hawks visited Amway Center on Nov. 8, the Orlando Magic were focused on stopping volume-scoring guard Joe Johnson. Despite new coach Larry Drew’s intent to install the motion offense, Atlanta’s offense was more efficient by isolating Johnson and working the offense through him, so that’s what they were doing. This will be a different Hawks team tonight, though – Johnson will miss his fourth consecutive game with a right elbow injury, and it’s unclear exactly where the Hawks scoring will come from. The motion offense has returned.”
- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “[Jameer] Nelson came to Amway Center this morning, but he still wasn’t feeling well. He was sent home early by athletic trainer Keon Weise. [Dwight] Howard looked energetic after shootaround, working on some post moves and doing some sprints. But he said the stomach virus was vicious. He said he spent a couple of hours at a Central Florida hospital to receive intravenous fluids after he flew home on Friday from Detroit. [...] The Magic also have some additional health concerns. Ryan Anderson was going to receive more X-rays on his injured right foot, but he has come down with the same stomach bug that his teammates, Van Gundy said.”
- Ryan Anderson can’t catch a break. Poor guy.
- With the NBA acquiring the New Orleans Hornets, Chris Paul is likely not going anywhere.
- If the Amway Center didn’t pan out for the Orlando Magic, ownership had their eyes set on moving the franchise to Chicago. Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel has the details: “We know what it’s all about when sports franchises decide to leave cities after arena deals go bust: relocation, relocation, relocation. But the Magic were not thrilled with the prospects of moving their team to, say, Las Vegas, Kansas City or Anaheim.”
- Is Marcin Gortat‘s production cause for concern? The numbers say no.
- Daniel Orton injured his knee while playing in a D-League game.
- Zach Lowe of The Point Forward says Dwight Howard is the favorite to win the MVP this season: “The field of possible MVP candidates is as deep as ever, particularly since a handful of teams in the Western Conference — Utah, New Orleans, Dallas and San Antonio — are all playing better than expected. But Howard still leads the race here by a nose. Half of the Magic’s roster has started the season in a shooting slump, yet Orlando sits at 15-5, right where we expected it to be. Howard is the centerpiece for everything Orlando does on both ends, and he remains unmatched in his ability to both protect the rim and rush out to disrupt pick-and-rolls. His traditional stats are as good as ever, and he ranks fourth in the league in Player Efficiency Rating.”
- Howard is also looking like a shoe-in, for the moment, to win the Defensive Player of the Year award. Again.