The Orlando Magic will wind down training camp Monday with a morning session. Their first preseason game is set for Wednesday against the New Orleans Pelicans in Jacksonville. Coach Jacque Vaughn said Monday before Orlando's practice that he doesn't anticipate heavily using his veterans in the preseason opener.
"I won't play the guys too many minutes, [which is] pretty much what I did last year," Vaughn said. "I think we've really pushed ourselves in camp. I wanna see it against real competition. That's really the gist of what I wanna see: where we are against everyone else. But if they play half the game, that'll probably be the most."
Here are the stories that developed Monday morning.
Lamb injures ankle
Second-year guard Doron Lamb hurt his ankle in Sunday night's scrimmage session, Vaughn said, marking the first real injury of Orlando's camp.
"I haven't gotten the report from Keon [Weise, the Magic's head athletic trainer] whether he's gonna be able to go today," Vaughn said. "A little tweak, and we shut him down before the end of practice."
A knee injury prematurely ended Lamb's Orlando Pro Summer League campaign. The Kentucky product arrived from the Milwaukee Bucks, along with Tobias Harris and Beno Udrih, in February's trade of J.J. Redick. Lamb had only played 280 minutes in 23 appearances with the Bucks before the trade, but Vaughn saw improvement from him as the season wore on.
"I think when he got here we kinda slowly put him in the lineup and let him get some time on the floor," Vaughn said. "I think he got to a point where he felt a little comfortable out there." Lamb averaged 3.2 points in 24 games with Orlando, shooting 39.7 percent from the floor. Vaughn said he's impressed with how Lamb "became more of a professional" over the offseason, a sign that Lamb recognizes how difficult it is "to keep a job in this league."
Mixing and matching
Vaughn has adjusted the teams for every scrimmage session during camp; no group has played together more than once. He thinks picking teams this way is one reason why camp has been so intense. "I love the fact that guys have really been pushing each other and really competing against each other," he said.
How does Vaughn pick teams for scrimmages? There's no one set method, but there are a few things guiding his thinking.
"Maybe it's what matchups I wanna manipulate a little bit," he said. "It could be seeing who plays well with who. I think all that goes into the equation."
Another factor, a markedly less scientific one, is breaking up the "monotony" of having guys play together too often. "I think that changes the atmosphere a little bit."
Though the Magic are expected in the regular season to use a three-guard lineup featuring Jameer Nelson at the point and the combination of Victor Oladipo and Arron Afflalo on the wings, Afflalo couldn't recall that group running together in practice.
Odds and ends
- Jason Maxiell still plans to wear Horace Grant-style goggles in the coming season, but he said not to expect him in them for Wednesday's preseason opener.
- Afflalo said that power forward Andrew Nicholson, who spoke at Media Day of becoming a three-point shooter, has "knocked down" some corner three-pointers in the Magic's scrimmages. Nicholson didn't shoot any threes in his rookie season, but shot 45.5 percent from the FIBA three-point arc for Canada over the summer.
- Vaughn offered updates on the four non-roster players Orlando has invited to camp. Of the four, he spoke at the most length regarding Solomon Jones. "Solomon's done a great job for us of just doing the right thing, the right plays," Vaughn said. "He's a veteran. He's been in this league before, and you can see it when he steps out on the floor. [It] seems like he's in the right position most of the time." Vaughn pointed out one play from Sunday's scrimmage where Jones made the extra pass to find an open teammate.
- Manny Harris, Vaughn said, has played point guard and on the wing.
- Tyler Lashbrook profiled Harris here and Jones here.