- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “An MRI exam on Daniel Orton‘s troublesome left knee revealed no major structural damage, both the Orlando Magic rookie and Magic President of Basketball Operations Otis Smith said Monday night. […] A team doctor examined Orton on Monday after the MRI. The rookie center said he will seek a second opinion by the physician in Oklahoma who operated on his knee during his senior year of high school. Orton left open the possibility that he’ll have surgery, but he said he would like surgery to be “the very last option.” Orton injured his knee Saturday night, during the second game of his NBA Development League stint with the New Mexico Thunderbirds. […] The knee has troubled Orton since high school. As a junior, he partially tore the knee’s anterior cruciate ligament. As a senior, he tore meniscus cartilage in the knee and subsequently underwent surgery to repair both the meniscus and the ACL. The Magic used the 29th pick of the first round to select Orton out of Kentucky. After a poor showing in summer league play, the team put Orton on a rehabilitation program to strengthen the muscles around the knee. He didn’t appear in any exhibition games for the Magic and hasn’t played in a regular-season game yet.”
- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “By the time the last Christmas eggnog is sipped, the Miami Heat will have passed the Magic to claim the top spot in the Southeast Division. Who’d have thought it? Only a few weeks ago the Heat were limping along at 9-8 and looking disjointed, needing to call a players-only meeting. But after five consecutive wins, the Heat are 14-8, trailing the Magic by just 1 1/2 games as Orlando heads into its most difficult stretch of the season to date. Meanwhile, the Heat, after tonight’s tough game in Utah, have some cupcakes coming their way. The NBA schedule-maker has spoken.”
- Jameer Nelson is good to go for Thursday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
- Are Magic fans confident in Chris Duhon?
- David Aldridge of NBA.com recently conducted a Q/A with Daniel Orton. Here’s an excerpt from Orton: “At times, I do feel like I’m not really with the team or something like that. Moreso, the development part, like you said, is going to be within myself, really. So I think they’re looking towards me to develop myself, really. But I do get help and guidance from them, really.”
- Kurt Helin recaps last night’s nightmare game between the Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks: “Not that this was a particularly fun game to watch — for the first three quarters neither team cleared 20 points for a quarter. Chew on these numbers — Atlanta’s back court was 0-10 and the Magic’s front court was 2-12 in the first half. The Hawks had the lead at that point with a sad 81.8 points per 100 possessions at the break. The Magic really missed the play creation of Jameer Nelson. Dwight Howard was back — 14 points 13 boards — but was clearly feeling the impact of the stomach bug that knocked him down for a few days.”
- Adam Figman of SLAM ONLINE sums up the Magic’s loss succinctly: “Dwight Howard might be the wheels, rims, leather seats, carburetor, alternator, paint job, and some other car parts I’m forgetting, but—from the looks of it—Jameer Nelson is the engine that drives the Magic forward. Without him, they were lost last night, as the Hawks pushed ahead in the fourth quarter and took it home.”
- Dwight Howard talks about how the stomach virus affected his teammates: “I know that some of our guys lost a lot of weight when they got sick. J.J. Redick said he dropped 10 pounds and Mickael Pietrus dropped seven pounds. But I weighed in at 272 pounds. I made sure I ate a lot as of yesterday.”
- Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie: “Orlando nearly doubled up its assists with turnovers, it missed 18 of 22 three-pointers, and yet it was still in the game mainly because the Hawks are pretty useless when Mike Bibby isn’t running the show (I’m being serious when I tell you to try and use Damien Wilkins at point forward, Hawks, because he can really pass). Credit Atlanta, again, but this was an ugly one from beginning to end.”