- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Stan Van Gundy is a self-described worrywart, but he insists he isn’t concerned with what will happen with Dwight Howard’s trade request. Why? Because, for Van Gundy, focusing on it just isn’t productive. ‘People don’t totally believe this, but I really don’t spend one minute concerned about the whole thing with Dwight. [...] I’m like probably the biggest worrier in the world, but I generally worry about things that I have some control over. Am I playing the right guys? Am I running the right offense? What’s my rotation? Should we do more in practice or do less? I mean, I’m an incessant worrier. But what I don’t worry about is Ryan Anderson going to make shots? Or is Dwight Howard going to stay? Or is Quentin Richardson going to be able to play tonight? Or Glen Davis? What am I going to do about any of those things? I just am going to come and do my job, and I’ll worry like hell about those things more than I should. I can tell you, that’s just not anything that really concerns me. Otis has got decisions to make. Dwight’s got decisions to make. It’s really in their hands. Not mine.’ ”
- Jameer Nelson needs to step his game up.
- Rob Mahoney of the New York Times’ Off the Dribble blog isn’t too concerned with Nelson’s slow start to the regular season: “Nelson still positions himself well in both of those situations, and his release looks neither rushed nor noticeably slowed. His shooting form and release remain unchanged. He is not getting blocked (any more than usual; bad things happen sometimes when a guard generously listed at six foot ventures into the paint), and conditioning does not seem to be too much of an issue based on Nelson’s drives and lack of front-rimmed jumpers. He’s not recovering from a significant injury, not adjusting to the offensive climate of a new team, and not overpassing to negate his own offense. Sometimes when a strong-shooting 29-year-old on a static roster starts missing shots, he is merely missing shots.”
- Zach Harper of HoopSpeak: “In all of the hoopla surrounding Dwight Howard’s possible trade demands, we forgot that this is still a very good regular season team. Stan Van Gundy is one of the most underappreciated coaches we’ve had in a long time. His system and discipline should be dipped in bronze and places outside the Amway Center. He gets everybody where they’re supposed to be and has built an extremely smart attack around his soon-to-be-gone/re-signed superstar.”
- Danny Nowell is contributing at HoopSpeak. Give his debut piece on the Philadelphia 76ers a whirl. It’s a must-read, as is the case for anything he writes.
- Britt Robson of Sports Illustrated: “While scoring across the NBA is down rather significantly, the Magic’s points-per-possession efficiency remains almost exactly the same on both offense and defense compared to last season. That gives Orlando a higher offensive ranking (from 14th to seventh) and a lower defensive ranking (from third to an uncharacteristically medicore 14th). As for that offense, Jason Richardson is 15-of-29 (51.7 percent) in his last two games after making 5-for-22 (22.7 percent) in his previous three, while Jameer Nelson and Glen Davis are shooting below 37 percent overall.”
Eddy Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of Magic Basketball. Follow him on Twitter.