Getting ready for the Boston Celtics.
That's the mindset for the Orlando Magic, as head coach Stan Van Gundy talked about the matchup between the two teams early in the afternoon once practice was over. To Van Gundy, it's just another regular season game to him but he understands the challenges the C's will present to his squad.
I was able to speak with Van Gundy amongst the media, as well as J.J. Redick.
Here's what they had to say:
Stan Van Gundy:
What are some of the things that you've been working on in practice?
Well, I mean today, we worked on some things for our defense on Boston. Some things we wanted to do, a part of it, and just continuing to work on playing the game offensively with more energy and more ball movement and things, so those were really the two things we tried to get accomplished.
Do you think you'll be utilizing the pick and roll a lot against [Kendrick] Perkins and others?
Well, we use the pick and roll a lot anyway. It's just a huge part of our game. We want to go in there and play our game, play it as well as we can, with as much energy as possible. We won't do anything specifically gameplan-wise offensively for them. We'll just try to play our game as well as we can, I mean, what you have to do is get to your second, third, fourth options against them to have a chance to get good shots because they're a great defensive team and if you're not really moving the ball and attacking and playing with great energy, then you'll get locked down.
With Brandon Bass, do you think he's more comfortable playing the center position than he is playing the power forward position?
Well, no, not really, I just think he's an inside, he's an inside 17 feet in guy with great quickness and explosiveness. He can play either spot, he's awfully small to play a center for long periods of time, but I think he can use his quickness at times in there and I think he gives us good versatility.
You mentioned Atlanta earlier, what has impressed you the most out of that team? I know you haven't been able to see them much.
No, I haven't been able to see them a whole lot. I watched the Boston game, they played great in that game. I mean, they're a very talented team and they're healthy right now, they got a little bit more depth, and Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, [are] great players. They got guys around them who play their roles, I mean, I just think they're playing with a lot of energy and intensity right now. I think they're a very hungry team to prove to people where they belong and they're playing that way.
More after the jump.
Do you expect to have the same assignment with Ray Allen on Friday, given what you did against him in the playoffs last year?
I'll probably guard Ray some tomorrow, I mean, obviously Vince [Carter] is going to start on him but I guess we're going to try to do some of the same things. They're a tough team to defend and with the addition of Rasheed [Wallace], it makes them even tougher.
Given that you went to the Finals last year, have you seen a change in the approach of teams' demeanor towards you guys and their intensity in games?
A little bit, yeah, I definitely think we have a target on our back now. I still think we're a little bit more under-the-radar than Boston or Cleveland, especially with the media, we're small market so we're going to get a little bit less attention.
I think both teams are playing very well. Obviously the Hawks are playing great right now, they beat the Heat last night, but I think it'd be silly for us to assume that we're going to win our division. I think there are four really, really good teams in our division and when you look at Washington last night beating Cleveland at home, so our division is a tough division. Maybe an underrated division, I think all four of those teams are very good.
You went to Duke and Vince Carter went to North Carolina, has there been any trash talk between you two now that college basketball has started?
No, we don't trash talk. We actually ... me and him always shoot together after practice and we discuss college hoops, we discuss Carolina, we talk about some of the players. I didn't watch the Duke game on Tuesday night when they played Charlotte and I guess they played really well, Vince came in the next morning, and said you guys look good. You guys look good so it's a friendly rivalry amongst the players, it's really the fans that make it nasty.
What does that rivalry mean to you?
I'll be honest with you, it pisses me off when Carolina has success. *laughs*
I respect them, I think they're a great program and Roy Williams is an excellent coach, they have class acts as players, but it pisses me off. I mean, I got a lot of pride in Duke.