- Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel: “Gilbert Arenas has provided a spark off the bench since joining the Orlando Magic, bringing some much-needed energy to a second unit bereft of offensive creators. But he hasn’t brought that energy in a particularly efficient manner. Arenas is assisting at a 29.4 percent rate and he’s pushing the pace – for that he should be commended. Outside of those traits, however, he’s been a bit sloppy thus far. He’s shooting just 27.5 percent, the most glaring statistic defining his offensive woes. But his shooting percentage will even out to at least what he was shooting in Washington (39.4 percent, which is at least mediocre). The bigger issues with Arenas, in my mind, are not related to percentages, but rather to his decision-making. He’s not attacking the basket and he’s not getting to the free-throw line. Of his 40 field-goal attempts in his 99 minutes of playing time with the Magic, only nine of those shots have come within ten feet of the basket. And only one shot went in.”
- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “Magic owner Rich DeVos flew to Orlando from his Grand Rapids, Mich., home on Christmas morning. He met his new players on Saturday, stayed for about a quarter to watch his team against the Celtics — and then flew back to Michigan. Van Gundy said that DeVos read a short “Christmas story” to his team in the dressing room before tip-off.”
- Dwight Howard needs to hurry up with his free-throws.
- Jason Williams‘ career is in jeopardy.
- Is Jeff Foster a big man that general manager Otis Smith should acquire? Or Boris Diaw for that matter?
- Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post has more on Gilbert Arenas’ woes offensively: “But Arenas? He can’t continue to shoot so often at such a low percentage, even if his playmaking–he has 18 assists in 4 games–impresses. His overall track record indicates his percentages should improve slightly, but even before the trade, he shot 39.4 percent on the season. Last year, that figure was 38.1 percent. It’s fair to wonder if he’ll ever get back into the “acceptable” range for a volume-shooting guard. Former Sixth-Men of the Year Leandro Barbosa, Jamal Crawford, Manu Ginobili, and Jason Terry have demonstrated how valuable scoring guards can be off goods teams’ benches, but neither shot as poorly as Arenas has for the last several seasons.”
- The Orlando Magic have a decent court design.
- Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk: “Orlando beat Boston and San Antonio this week. We are pretty skeptical how much better the big trades make them long term, but right now they look pretty good, don’t they?”
- Marc Stein of ESPN.com: “Rondo wasn’t out there, true, but 15 of the final 16 points in any crunch time against the Celts is, well, something. Way bigger, on this scorecard, than the new guys routing the Spurs on the second night of a back-to-back.”