Orlando Pinstriped Post Photo / Bruce Maddox
J.J. Redick remains in Magic starting lineup; Vince Carter remains out of action
Brian Schmitz reveals that J.J. Redick will start in tonight's game against the Sacramento Kings.
The Magic don’t expect to have Carter available until the end of their current four-game road trip.
Carter, who injured his shoulder last Friday in a game in Washington, will not play tonight against the Sacramento Kings.
"I would hope by the end of the trip, " Van Gundy said after Tuesday’s shootaround. "There has been some improvement. He said he can raise his (left) arm up but not across his body."
NBA Power Rankings: Usual suspects rise to top
John Hollinger of ESPN Insider talks about the Magic.
Finally, we have the confounding case of the Orlando Magic. The defending Eastern Conference champs have looked anything but in laboring to a 25-12 start. Individually, a compendium of the Magic's disappointment would start with Vince Carter and Jameer Nelson, traverse through Mickael Pietrus to free-agent signees Brandon Bass and Marcin Gortat and potentially take in the likes of mainstays Rashard Lewis and Dwight Howard. The fact that so many players are underperforming leads one to wonder whether on-the-court chemistry issues are to blame. Although this group is tight-knit off the court, the on-the-court sum is adding up to less than the sum of the individual parts.
More after the jump.
Game in Sacramento will be a homecoming for Orlando Magic forwards Ryan Anderson and Matt Barnes
Josh Robbins states how Orlando's game at Sacramento will be a homecoming for Ryan Anderson and Barnes, two players that grew up in California.
To most Eastern Conference players, a visit to Sacramento means nothing more than a stop on an arduous West Coast road trip.
But to Orlando Magic forwards Ryan Anderson and Matt Barnes, a game in California's capital city means so much more.
Anderson and Barnes expect to have large cheering sections inside Arco Arena tonight when the Magic kick off a difficult West Coast road swing with a game against the Sacramento Kings. Both Anderson and Barnes rank as two of the greatest high-school players the Sacramento area has ever produced.
"People always remember that," said Guss Armstead, a Sacramento resident who has trained NBA players over the years and has worked with Anderson and Barnes since their early years in high school. "They're good guys, good people, always trying to do stuff for someone else. I think people in Sacramento share Ryan and Matt. I think they feel Ryan and Matt are part of Sacramento."
Wizards have plenty to ponder as Arenas situation churns
David Aldridge of NBA.com chats with Adonal Foyle - one of the NBA's best ambassadors - about a variety of topics, including his battles with Dwight Howard at practice, the socio-economic impact of basketball, and more. A must-read.
Me: At practice with Dwight, what are you trying to teach?
AF: I try not to give him dunks. I try very hard. I will foul him rather than give him a dunk, or else, let him get to the middle. I try to take away the things that I know he wants to do and is easy for him to do. Sometimes you can tell a guy, you have to count the baseline. But in the game, it's easy when I just completely cut off the middle, and it's so obvious that I am not going to let him go to the middle. Right now, my sternum is hurting, because I wouldn't let him go, and he just ran right through me. And I would call the charge, and they wouldn't call the charge. In practice, I can see the things I know he needs to work on. One of the things I need to see him do is shoot the jump shot ... and dare him to shoot it, and mock him to shoot it. He has a good shot. When you're so good and you can dominate everybody else, it's hard to tell a guy, take the 20-foot jump shot when you go and tomahawk it over somebody's head. But when you need it, you can't just call on it. You have to practice it ...
I'm trying to get him to understand it, that if he makes it a part of his everyday repertoire, it'll be a lot easier when things are difficult. He shouldn't be getting beat up all the time. He should be able to have that jump shot in the game, but not only just for him, but it's for the team. So he can have a weapon. He can go left, he can go right, he can shoot the right-handed hook, he can shoot a left-handed hook, he has runners, he has dunks. He has the moves. But those things would be better set up if he'd set them up with a jump shot.
Vince Carter didn’t practice Monday afternoon in Sacramento
Here's more on Vince Carter's injury.
But Williams said he’s beyond trying to prove anything to anybody now. His only mission is to get a second championship ring to pair with the one he won in Miami with the Heat. He thinks this Magic team is more talented than that Miami squad, but has yet to live up to its full potential.
``I just think sometimes we think we can show up and win, but teams are coming at us with all they’ve got,’’ he said. ``We’re Eastern Conference champs, we have some superstars and all-stars and people are coming for us.’’
As for Williams long-term future, he sounds like a person who still enjoys playing and hopes to stick around the Magic long beyond this season.
``I’m just trying to get through this year,’’ he said with a laugh. ``I love playing, so we’ll talk about that in the summer time.’’
NBA Power Rankings: Where Super Contenders Drop Back Into The Pack - SB Nation
UPDATE (from Ben): Mike Prada of SB Nation drops the Magic from his list of championship contenders and thinks their problems have to do with an already established player, not a newbie.
Lost in the shuffle of all the Carter stuff is that Nelson isn't anywhere close to being the same player he was last season. I realize Nelson was hurt this season, that strikes me as a bigger issue than deciding whether Carter should be a starter or a sixth man.
Then again, I'm also not as close to Orlando as their fans. So guys, please let me know if I'm off base here. Is Nelson's declining production in part because of Carter? I'd say no, but I'm willing to listen. Help me out here.
MAGIC: Orlando Magic Honored with Sales Award
UPDATE (from Ben): Orlando is having a great year at the box office, which is another sign that the city is embracing its team after mediocrity in the late 90s and early 00s:
The Magic won the "Most New Season Tickets Sold" Award, and was honored as one of six teams to win "10,000+ Season Tickets Sold" accolades.
The Magic sold an NBA-best 5,017 new season tickets for the current season, thus eclipsing 10,000 season tickets.
Coming off its trip to the NBA Finals, the Magic did not raise season ticket prices for this year. All told, there were 7,500 seats priced $25 or under per game, as well as $10 tickets.