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Orlando Magic News for October 17th: J.J. Redick's Defense has Improved, According to Stan Van Gundy

  • J.J. Redick and Keith Bogans are battling hard for the Orlando Magic's backup shooting guard position. Apparently, J.J. has really improved his defense, although Brian Schmitz remains dubious: as he noted in his game blog yesterday, Jason Richardson had no trouble getting by J.J. for easy buckets. Then again, Jason Richardson is a premier offensive player in this league, so in that respect J.J. is, uh, average. Maybe.
  • This roundup from Schmitz contains no shortage of good news:
    • Dwayne Jones actually stands a chance to make the team now, and coach Stan Van Gundy said he was the Magic's best rebounder in practice this week. Jones has grabbed 11 rebounds (3 offensive, 8 defensive) in 22 minutes this preseason;
    • Brian Cook, previously in Van Gundy's doghouse, has worked his way back into the rotation;
    • and Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus are working to obtain U.S. citizenship.
  • Dwight Howard clocks-in at No. 10 in SLAMOnline's Top 50 countdown of NBA players. Interesting note from Jeff Fox, who authored the piece, about Dwight's performances against the NBA's other elite centers:

    Against his top two opponents for the NBA's top center crown last season, Yao Ming and Amare Stoudemire, Super Dwight averaged 25 points, 15 boards and 1.8 blocks per. Now is that superhuman or what!

    SLAM is not the only NBA site doing a Top 50 countdown. Tom Ziller of FanHouse recently finished his. Although there are plenty of differences between the two lists, SLAM and Ziller fundamentally agree on Howard's placement. Dwight rates 10th in SLAM and 9th for FanHouse. Hm.

  • If you want to know what kind of shoes J.J. Redick wears, both on-and-off the court, you'll want to check out his latest blog entry.

Also don't forget the read the recap of the Magic's preseason victory over the Charlotte Bobcats, which I only posted a few moments ago.

Have a good weekend.