- Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel: “After 14 games, Hedo Turkoglu’s return to the Orlando Magic is widely considered a smashing success. He’s playing smartly and efficiently, thriving in the system that helped him enjoy the best years of his career from 2007-09. Amazingly, though, Turkoglu is playing at a near-all-star level while barely even getting the ball. His usage rate with the Magic this year is 16.8, meaning he’s using approximately 16.8 percent of Orlando’s possessions while he’s on the floor. To be clear, that’s a very, very low usage rate. Nicolas Batum and Omri Casspi are also posting rates of 16.8. Al-Farouq Aminu, Martell Webster and Reggie Williams are a few small forwards being used more than Turkoglu in Orlando. During these 14 games, did you ever think to yourself during a game, “Where’s Turk?” I know I thought that several times, which was a bit odd since he’s playing 34.5 minutes per game. The numbers back up that question.”
- Head coach Stan Van Gundy talks about the Boston Celtics.
- Dwight Howard, apparently, can speak Madarin Chinese. Cool.
- In terms of wins and losses, the Orlando Magic aren’t a consistent franchise.
- Marc Stein of ESPN.com conducts a Q/A with Howard. Here’s an excerpt from one of the big fella’s answers: “I worked with Hakeem for three days. But I could go work with Michael Jordan and I’m not going to be Michael Jordan, so it didn’t really matter who and how long I worked with somebody. The other things … spending extra time in the gym, going to the gym every night and making a thousand shots before I leave, every time I went overseas [to China, India and Africa] — whatever I did — I finished [the day] with working out in the gym and working on everything. And then just having the confidence to do it in a game. I will give Hakeem and [Magic assistant] Patrick [Ewing] credit for helping me get to where I’m at, but it’s hard work. I put in a lot of work to get to where I’m at.”
- More from Stein: “If you didn’t believe that overhauled Orlando has to win a championship to keep Dwight Howard committed to staying in the Magic Kingdom, you’re encouraged to visit the Weekend Dime. Answer No. 6 out of 10, specifically.”
- Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk: “They looked pretty good after the big trades, until the defensive stinker against the Thunder last week anyway. This is a team where the front office gets credit for realizing they were not going to win a title with what they had and making a bold move to give them a chance. Whether that roster can get them there remains to be seen, but kudos for taking the shot.”
- Zach Lowe of The Point Forward wonders if the Magic need to make a change in the starting lineup.