Orlando Magic backup point guard Anthony Johnson has handled a difficult stretch with professionalism
Josh Robbins elaborates on how Anthony Johnson has been able to handle his situation this season as a professional.
The team's regular starting point guard, Jameer Nelson, is out with a knee injury, but Johnson still didn't play in the second halves of Sunday's game against Toronto or Wednesday's game against Miami.
Johnson responded like he always does. He didn't complain. He continued to offer teammates tips and suggestions culled from his 12 previous seasons in the NBA. He worked on his shooting after practices. [...]
Dwight Howard said other players can learn from Johnson's example.
"He wasn't worrying about or mad about not playing in the last few games," Howard said. "He just came out and did his job. That's the difference between this year's team and last year's team. When we have situations where guys miss games, usually when they come back and play they're [ticked] off and they don't perform like they want to.
"He didn't think about why 'the coach hasn't played me' or this or that. He just went out there and played. It shows that this team is not worried about points or who plays the most minutes but just winning."
Vince Carter has seen just a few highlights of the Bucks this season, but he has watched Milwaukee's rookie sensation Brandon Jennings play in-person before. Carter attended the 2008 Jordan Brand Classic, an all-star game for high-school players at Madison Square Garden, and saw Jennings earn co-MVP honors. "I know he's a blur," Carter said, referring to Jennings' speed.
Denton: The NBA Nap
John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com talks about how the "NBA nap" is important for a majority of the individuals in the league.
Mid-afternoon naps aren’t just for pre-schoolers and retirees anymore. They’re also a big hit with a large number of NBA players, and most deem them to be an absolutely necessity.
Considering the chaotic schedules of NBA teams, particularly those in a stretch like the one the Orlando Magic are in playing four games in four cities in five nights, finding a way to sneak in rest is a must. Hence, the ``NBA nap,’’ a mid-afternoon rest that players swear by as a way of recharging their batteries.
``I can’t function without it,’’ Magic star guard Vince Carter said of his ritual of sleeping before games. ``I just feel better that night when I get a nap in. Maybe it’s psychological, but I feel like that extra rest gives me more energy.’’
Layups: Four Factors Adjusted +/-
Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference shares this piece of news. Very cool stuff, indeed, in case you're into the numbers. You can scroll down on his page to find information on the Orlando Magic.
Here's a really interesting development on the adjusted plus-minus front... Hoopnumbers, whose work with APM has been noted by us in the past, now has 3-year weighted APM scores for 2008-09 that break down every player's impact in each of Dean Oliver's Four Factors on both offense and defense. So now you can finally see that, for instance, Steve Nash increased his team's effective FG% more than any other player, or that Trevor Ariza was the best at increasing the opponent's rate of turnovers per possession. Very cool stuff.
UPDATE: Matt Barnes has been fined by the NBA.
Orlando's Matt Barnes fined 20K for tossing ball into stands vs. Heat.
Dwight Howard Ignores Charles Barkley's Diss
UPDATE 2: Brian Schmitz reports that Dwight Howard is confident his offense will come - the important thing, as Stan Van Gundy asserts, is making sure he gets the ball.
"This summer I spent a lot of time in the gym. I know I'm getting better. Sooner or later it's going to come. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was Dwight's game. I'm going to keep getting better --- no matter what Charles says about me or my game."