After Jason Williams spoke with the media, Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy dropped by to answer inquiries, as well. I was able to ask Van Gundy a few questions during the Q/A session, and here's what he had to say about a few topics.
Side-note: If you'd like to view part of the press conference, feel free to navigate over to the Magic's official website to gather Van Gundy's thoughts on Williams joining the team.
Do you feel Jameer Nelson is going to have a chip on his shoulder in the upcoming season? It seems like everyone is forgetting that he was an All-Star during the regular season, and are concentrating too much on his performance in the NBA Finals.
I don't know if he'll have a chip on his shoulder. I know that he's very eager to get back and play. I don't know about a chip on his shoulder but he's very, very motivated and this was a guy that was having a great, great year and then had to miss the most exciting time of the year, for the most part. I know that ate at him. Motivation has never been a problem with him, anyway, so he'll come back very, very motivated. My main concern with him is we got to give him a lot of minutes in the pre-season, probably more than you normally would. Not for conditioning sake, but just to get him back into the rhythm of playing.
Do you think Rashard's suspension will be a blessing in disguise for guys like Ryan Anderson, who'll receive more playing time than normal?
Any time you lose a guy like Rashard for ten games, I don't look at it in a positive light. Obviously, it's tough to lose a guy like that but I do think every negative situation like that, whether it's injuries or in this case suspension, there is a silver lining. It may not be what you want, but there is a silver lining, and I think with it coming right off the bat. One of the things that we have to determine, as a coaching staff, is who we're going to start? How are we going to rotate guys? A lot of that really revolves around Rashard because you got the flexibility to swing him to the three or the four, and so now with him being out, what'll you get is [Mickael] Pietrus and Matt Barnes and Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderson will all be playing early in the year and I think that will give us a better indication ... we go through eight pre-season games, ten regular season games, we'll have 18 games of watching to sort of determine where we want to go and who we want to give more minutes to, so there is a silver lining. Give me the choice and I'd get rid of the silver lining and keep Rashard.
Could you compare and contrast A.J. and Jason's game, in terms of backing up Jameer Nelson? Do you think they offer the same skill-set, or something different?
I think they're really different. If you look at them, I think that A.J. is stronger, more physical type of guy. I think if you look at their primes [of their careers], he was the better defender, probably has more of a defensive mentality. Going in, I think that Jason is quicker with the ball, probably sees the floor better, is a better passer. Both pretty good shooters, A.J. has been a guy that knocks down a higher percentage of shots. Jason is a guy that's, throughout his career, shot more threes and probably has deeper range but hasn't shot the percentage that A.J. has so they're very different guys, both about the same age. We'll just see where that goes, as they come in and they get playing.