Orlando Magic News for March 17th: Stan Van Gundy Cares Not for Neckwear

Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy wearing a tie
Photographic documentation of the only time Stan Van Gundy ever wore a tie as coach of the Orlando Magic. This weekend, John Denton got Van Gundy to discuss his preference for turtlenecks.
File photo by Fernando Medina, NBAE/Getty Images
  • There's plenty to love in this grab-bag post John Denton made on Saturday, not the least of which is the list of goals Stan Van Gundy outlined for his team, which I've since enumerated in the right sidebar. Denton also got Van Gundy to talk about his aversion to wearing ties:

    "I wore one the first game and (assistant coach) Brendan (Malone) didn't and I thought it looked so much more comfortable," Van Gundy said. "Now all the coaches wear ties and try to make me look bad. I'm just a lot more comfortable (without the tie). I'm really not going to look good in anything because my shirt is going to be rumpled and my shirttail will be coming out by the end of the game."

    Way back in December, Brian Schmitz put "a tie for Coach Stan Van Gundy" at the top of his Magic Christmas Wish List.

  • David Berri of Wages of Wins examines Rashard Lewis' season and whether or not his production has justified the hefty contract he signed last July. Unsurprisingly, the conclusion is "no," and the reason is rebounding:

    When we turn to possessions, though, we see a problem.  Despite the move to power forward, Lewis is getting fewer rebounds.  Per 48 minutes an average power forward will grab 11.4 rebounds.  Lewis is only getting 6.5 or nearly five boards off the pace.

    Certainly playing beside the top rebounder in the game - Dwight Howard - is going to have some impact on the numbers Lewis gets. In other words, diminishing returns (a story told in The Wages of Wins) may be an issue here. One should note, though, that Howard’s numbers do not seem to be impacting Hedo Turkoglu (whose rebounding is up this season).

    Berri thinks Lewis would be much better off at small forward, his natural position. HT: Ball Don't Lie

  • Tony Battie, who hasn't played all season because of rotator-cuff surgery, may return for the playoffs, Schmitz reports in his blog. The team doctors aren't too keen on Battie returning, but they've left the final decision up to Battie. Schmitz also raises an interesting question: what happens next season, when Battie is healthy? Do the Magic move him back into the starting lineup, shift Rashard Lewis to his natural small forward position (as Berri suggests above), and bump Hedo Turkoglu to the bench? Indeed, it'll be interesting to see how Stan Van Gundy handles the big-man rotation. With Dwight Howard, Brian Cook, Battie, and Adonal Foyle (if the team picks up his option), the Magic will have a relative embarrassment of riches at the four and five positions.
  • Whit Watson, whose blog posts are always a treat, plays a little "What If...?" game by asking, "What if Nick Anderson had made his free throws?" NBA Championships are in the forecast. Despite those four missed free throws, Nick is one of my all-time favorite Magic players, and it's an absolute shame that the Magic organization hasn't honored him by retiring his no. 25.

Don't forget the game thread for tonight's Magic/Cavaliers tilt.

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