Despite being based in cities on the opposite sides of the United States, the Magic and Kings share some similarities: They both pursued Stan Van Gundy to fill their coaching vacancy, with Van Gundy faxing his Magic coaching contract to Orlando from a Sacramento Kinko's store; former Magic guard Reggie Theus is the Kings' first-year head coach; Hedo Turkoglu started his career with the Kings and is playing the best basketball of his life for the Magic; the two teams reportedly discussed a Turkoglu-for-Ron Artest swap this summer, although that rumor was debunked; and there were rumblings of the Kings sending Shareef Abdur-Rahim to the Magic to replace the injured Tony Battie. Good thing for Orlando that deal never happened: 'Reef is out for the season after undergoing knee surgery in December.
But the teams are much different in the standings. The Magic are first in the Southeast and are 9 games above .500; the Kings are 4th in the Pacific and 8 games below .500. And whereas the web's best Kings blog, Sactown Royalty, gets a bajillion hits a day, I'm lucky to reach 125. So there's that.
UPDATE: Here's an insightful article from Sam Amick of the Sacramento Bee (you may have to create a username to read the aricle, but it's worth it) that explains in great detail how Stan Van Gundy went from house-hunting in Sacramento with his wife (using a Kings company car, no less) to faxing a signed Magic contract to Orlando. Stan regrets not informing Geoff Petrie of his decision and wishes he handled the situation better. The reader comments section is worth a read also, if you're in the mood for a chuckle. Here's a gem from "kingsrulal":
Van Grungy did the Kings a favor by going elsewhere. He is a below average coach who doesn't give a damn about anyone but himself. Reggie is a much better coach and person.
Additionally, "apounders" cites the Magic's poor home record as a sign of Van Gundy's coaching mediocrity. It was awfully convenient for him to omit mentioning the Magic's league-best 15 road wins.
Tipoff is at 10 PM because of the whole time-zone thing. As far as who will start tonight for Orlando, I'm not sure. Arroyo seems to have taken over the starting point guard job for now, but Van Gundy's replacement of Keith Bogans with Keyon Dooling on Friday night didn't really yield much. Bogans matches up better with John Salmons than Dooling does, so I figure he'll get the nod tonight.
Let's play a game of "You Be the GM". Here are two players from which to choose to fill out your roster:
Although Option 2's statistics aren't as good as Option 1's, they still compare favorably. Both players are 25-years-old. Based on the stats, most coaches and GMs would choose Option 1 over Option 2. But with more context, the choice becomes less obvious. Read more after the jump.
Option 1 is Jameer Nelson, who is owed approximately $35.5 million over the next six seasons. Option 2 is Beno Udrih, who is owed approximately $760,000 this season. There's something to be said for getting "bang for your buck." So far, Magic GM Otis Smith hasn't gotten much from Nelson, whereas Sacramento GM Geoff Petrie has gotten plenty from Udrih.