- Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Orlando Magic are averaging 7.9 fastbreak points per game, which is, by far, worst in the NBA. That statistic is mostly with Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter on the wings. With Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson, the Magic have a trio of wing players who can push the tempo and really get out into transition. The new players bring new talents and more offensive power, and they also should significantly change the style in which the team plays. The Magic are ranked 19th in pace at 91.3 possessions per game, but they should move up in the league rankings in that category. [...] With Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis on the wings, the Magic played a slow brand of basketball and preferred to size up the defense before creating. Neither of those players are particularly fast, and they did most of their transitional work by shooting trailing three-pointers. Additionally, the only players that would bring the ball up the floor in fast-break situations were Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick, Chris Duhon and Jason Williams. If Lewis got a rebound, he’d look for one of the guards to pass off to. When Turkoglu gets a rebound, he’s comfortable dribbling the ball and pushing it himself. Same goes for J-Rich and Arenas. And all of those guys can receive an outlet pass from one of the big men if the situation is right.”
- Ryan Anderson is happy to be back from injury.
- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Orlando Magic will start Jameer Nelson at point guard, Jason Richardson at shooting guard, Hedo Turkoglu at small forward, Brandon Bass at power forward and Dwight Howard at center against the San Antonio Spurs tonight at Amway Center. Magic Coach Stan Van Gundy said he’ll likely use that same starting lineup for the ‘foreseeable future.’ ”
- Daniel Orton‘s knee surgery was successful.
- Evan Dunlap of SBNation.com chronicles the Orlando Magic’s sharp decline: “The Magic’s record will worsen before it improves. They host the Spurs tonight and the Celtics on Christmas Day and have only held one practice to go with two walkthroughs since their Saturday trades. The five other elites, as well as the second-tier teams such as Chicago, Atlanta and Utah, figure to keep distancing themselves from Orlando as the season wears on. But if the team manages to make gradual improvements, it’s likely to “peak at the right time,” as analysts and fans love to say, heading into the playoffs. In that regard, the risky deals may prove worthwhile for the Magic, who weren’t headed anywhere fast with the group they had prior to the trades.”
- Dwight Howard is keeping his hopes up: “We play San Antonio tonight and then the Celtics on Christmas Day. It will be tough beating them because they have the best two records in the league, but I feel like we’re going to get our chemistry down pretty quickly with our new guys. I’ve been telling the guys to hang in there and be patient and and that things will turn for the better.”
- Should the Magic tried harder to acquire Andray Blatche in the Rashard Lewis trade? M. Haubs of The Painted Area thinks so: “Acquiring Blatche would have made the Arenas acquisition more palatable to me. I feel like the Magic needed to take a gamble on young guys with potential as part of their bounty.”
- A look back at Gilbert Arenas’ legacy with the Washington Wizards.