- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Orlando Magic have finished prepping for the game tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Magic just completed their shootaround and some film work at the Rose Garden. Coach Stan Van Gundy said Quentin Richardson (ankle sprain/foot irritation) will not play tonight. Van Gundy said he has liked what swingman Von Wafer did in Sunday’s win in Sacramento, but Wafer is the Magic’s third shooting guard. Given the Blazers’ height advantages, it might be difficult for Wafer to get much playing time tonight. ‘He’s probably our best guy on our roster at being able to create his own shot of the perimeter guys, and he’s bringing us good energy,’ Van Gundy said. ‘He’s still got a long ways to go defensively, but what I’m seeing is a guy who really wants to do it and is making a great effort to do it. So, yeah, we’d like to keep playing him.’ ”
- Head coach Stan Van Gundy is a worrier.
- John Hollinger of ESPN Insider cites Ryan Anderson as one of the NBA’s most improved players so far this season: “Quick, guess who leads the Orlando Magic in PER? No, it’s not Dwight Howard — it’s the grenade launcher, who at 25.17 is a few hundredths ahead of Superman. Anderson averages 23.5 points per 40 minutes by splashing his shoulder-fired missiles — he’s taking more than eight 3s a game — and you realize how effective it is once you notice that he has two turnovers in nine games this season. Anderson also can rebound, using the offensive glass as a secondary weapon to generate layups and free throw attempts, but his main weapon is the long ball. His release is quick and accurate, and at 6-foot-10 he can get it off over closing defenders.”
- A haiku previewing tonight’s game between the Orlando Magic and Portland Trail Blazers.
- Charles Barkley chimes in on Dwight Howard being apprehensive about teaming up with Derrick Rose and playing with the Chicago Bulls.
- Rachelle Jean-Louis of SLAM ONLINE: “Dwight Howard isn’t the only Orlando Magic player creating a buzz lately. Forward Justin Harper is a new addition to the Magic roster—and a welcomed one. The 6-10 rookie, selected with the 32nd pick in the 2011 Draft, flew under the radar for quite some time. Now, he enjoys his home with the Magic (despite some rookie pranks) and proves he has much more to contribute than people think. After sitting most of his freshman season at University of Richmond, Harper worked his way to a starting position his sophomore year. But no one really knew exactly who Justin Harper was until he really made a name for himself senior year. [...] Harper finished an impressive senior season, earning First-Team All-Atlantic 10 honors after finishing second in the league in three-point percentage, fourth in scoring, fourth in field-goal percentage, and fifth in three-pointers per game. Though impressive, it seemed that no one could foresee what team would jump at the opportunity to grab the Virginia native.”
- For those that are into power rankings, here you go.
Eddy Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of Magic Basketball. Follow him on Twitter.