Behind the Box Score, where Deron dominated
Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don't Lie recaps yesterday's contest between the Orlando Magic and the Utah Jazz.
Orlando has a re-done roster, and I don't know if they need to talk more in the half-court or while defending the face break, or if this is just the season-long worry regarding point guard defense. It's not just Deron Williams dropping 32 in Jason Williams' face, it's about the early penetration that results in a few passes and the eventual good look.
OK, maybe it was Deron. 15 assists, too. Eight rebounds, and just one turnover despite dominating the ball for 42 minutes. What a game.
Rashard Lewis refuses Stan Van Gundy's request to re-enter game in second quarter of Orlando Magic loss at Utah Jazz
Brian Schmitz elaborates on what occurred last night between Rashard Lewis and head coach Stan Van Gundy during the game.
"(Lewis) didn't want to go back in. I wanted to put him back in with six minutes to go in the second quarter and he didn't want to go back in," Van Gundy said after the Magic (17-5) had their six-game winning streak broken. "He said it was because he had two fouls, and so if you have a guy who doesn't want to play, I'm not going to get in an argument and put him back in if he doesn't want to play at that time.
"He said, `I'm going back in and be out in three or four minutes and Ryan (Andersonn) is playing good.' [...]
Asked if he was being defiant, Lewis said, "No, hell, no. I was looking at it and Ryan had 14 points and I had two fouls. Let him play. " [...]
Van Gundy agreed that Lewis wasn't being defiant and even said he probably thought he was being "unselfish." But the coach was not pleased and said he wasn't going to send someone back in a game "that wasn't in the right frame of mind."
Lewis said he didn't feel that he and Van Gundy are at odds. [...]
"I'm not going to get too worried about it because it wasn't a defiant thing or that he refused to go in. It's not something that's a problem we've ever had before and I don't think we'll ever have it again. I'm not going to worry about it, but if you going to ask me why he sat so long that's why.
Rashard Lewis Refuses Van Gundy's Request to Re-Enter Game
Brett Pollakoff of NBA FanHouse has more.
In Stan Van Gundy's world, a player's unselfishness is apparently a good enough reason for him to refuse a direct order, as there weren't any lingering hard feelings about it from the coach -- at least not initially.
Lewis was back out there to start the third, but the team, which was riding a six-game winning streak and had been playing so well of late on the road, clearly wasn't right.
The Jazz, after all, were playing on the second night of a back-to-back, after managing just six points in the fourth quarter the night before in Los Angeles. A 17-point third quarter beatdown at their hands didn't seem likely, but then again, neither did one of Van Gundy's star players declining his request to re-enter the game.
Rashard Lewis Too Nice to Play
Bethlehem Shoals of The Baseline chimes in, as well.
So go ahead, untangle this: An overpaid player refuses to go in because his younger teammate is playing well, and his foul situation could be a problem. Coach obviously disagrees, but doesn't order him in, and seems somewhat impressed by the moral fiber of the decision. Unfortunately, it may have cost the Magic the game. Is it possible to be so nice you're a jerk? I'd say that's the accurate summation of Rashard Lewis here.
- Help My Foundation
Dwight Howard posts on his official blog today, and asks people to help contribute to a good cause.
I need ya’ll’s help on a few things and I need your votes – and we’re not even talking about All-Star votes here. Although ya’ll can help me be the leading vote-getter in the All-Star Game again with a few clicks.
Chase’s Community of Giving is donating $5 million to charities across the country in December. My foundation, the Dwight D. Howard Foundation, is trying to win one of the $25,000 awards and I need your votes.
You can vote by clicking on this link. Then, type in Dwight D. Howard Foundation, Atlanta, GA.We’ll put the money to great use to help kids in the Atlanta and Orlando areas. You guys know that I really enjoy giving back to my community and this will just help me take it to another level. Thanks for your help.
Orlando at Phoenix, 10:30PM ESTOrlando lost a tough one to Utah who’s absolutely on fiyaahhhhh right now. Phoenix lost a tough one to Dallas who’s just a solid team. Phoenix is having a sugar crash, Orlando’s still winning but just… seems off. How about Barnes v. Amundson tonight? Or Richardson v. Carter, that’s pretty sexy, no? Howard’s going to unleash hell on them inside, which means Phoenix will just have to run more. I hope you like three pointers, late-night watchers.
Grading the Replacements
Gerald Narciso of Dime Magazine takes a look at some players who are filling in for their teammates and grades them on their performances.
Jason Williams: It was deja vu all over again for the Magic, as Nelson was once again forced to miss an extended period of time. The only difference is Jason Williams will be stepping is as Jameer’s replacement rather than Rafer. It’s fair to say that White Chocolate has been a success as the Magic have gone 9-2 and he has averaged 9.6 points and 5.8 assists since he became a starter. Grade – A minus
Game to pay attention: Magic vs. Suns
UPDATE: Title of the link says it all.