Orlando Magic forward Ryan Anderson made his postseason debut in Orlando's 98-89 win over the Charlotte Bobcats yesterday, going scoreless in 9 minutes while also adding 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal. "I can't wait to be around the atmosphere," he told the Orlando Sentinel prior to yesterday's game.
That Anderson backed up Rashard Lewis against Charlotte yesterday came as a bit of a surprise, since Brandon Bass drew that assignment in the last regular-season meeting between these teams, while Anderson recorded a Did Not Play-Coach's Decision. Anderson said coach Stan Van Gundy gave him no indication prior to yesterday's game that he, and not Bass, would be in the rotation Sunday. "No, I didn't know, but I was ready to go," he said, just after emphasizing the importance of staying ready; his comments in that exchange eerily echoed Bass' after a February win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, incidentally.
The difference between the regular season and the postseason, Anderson said, is that "every possession matters, really." He elaborated on that statement:
You have to have the greatest offensive possession each play that you possibly can. Defensively, you've gotta get big stops... it's crucial.
Though Anderson is still looking for his first playoff bucket, he can cross one item off his list of postseason things to experience: an elbow to the face, which you can see in this photo from Stephen M. Dowell of the Orlando Sentinel. Charlotte's Gerald Wallace caught Anderson's mug with his elbow after Anderson snagged an offensive rebound in the third quarter, and ultimately threw Anderson to the ground while quite literally trying to wrestle the ball out of his hands. The officials called a jump-ball, which the two-time Slam Dunk participant Wallace won, changing a key possession in the game.
I asked Anderson if he felt any lingering pain after that play.
"No, not at all," he said, with a smile.