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Orlando Magic News for December 4th: Marcin Gortat is Down, but Brian Cook's Birthday and Courtney Lee's Stock are Up

  • The Magic have another man down: Marcin Gortat may miss what John Denton calls "an extended period of time" with an ankle injury he suffered last night. He'll have an M.R.I. done today to determine the extent of the injury. Marcin has only played 20 minutes in 6 games this season, and has yet to score, but he is making his presence felt defensively. He's 4th on the team with 8 blocks on the season, and averaging an absurd 14.4 blocks per 36 minutes. Obviously, that total won't hold up, but it does show that Marcin has great instincts defensively.

  • Brian Cook turns 28 today. Usually, I like to give the birthday boys their own post, but in Cook's case, there isn't much to say. Cookie Monster has been healthy and active for all 19 of the Magic's games this season, but has appeared in only 5 of them for a total of 26 minutes. His PER is -5.0.

  • Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld has this report from Orlando's win over Minnesota last night:

    Magic star Rashard Lewis was equally impressed with the play of Courtney Lee saying he thought Courtney took his time tonight and let the offense come to him.

    "He's real athletic," explained Lewis. "He did what he was supposed to do tonight. He took his time when he scored, drove to the basket most of all, kind of worked his was from inside to out when he started knocking down the three ball."

  • If anyone's curious as to why not many people are taking the Magic seriously yet, check these facts from Denton:

    The Magic (14-5) have feasted on the NBA's dregs this season, beating five of the six teams that are currently in last place. Only the Los Angeles Clippers have yet to fall to the Magic, and Orlando opens a five-game, 10-day roadtrip in L.A. against the Clippers on Monday.

    Thirteen of the Magic's 14 victories have come against teams with losing records. Dallas is the only winning team that the Magic have toppled. Four of the five losses - against Atlanta, Portland, Houston and Boston - have been against winning teams.

    There's nothing wrong with that. Orlando's schedule so far has been heavy with lower-tier teams, and it's taken advantage of that. Just because few people take the Magic seriously doesn't mean they've written them off, either.

  • Britt Robson of Minneapolis' The Rake Secrets of the City also has praise for Lee... or is it condemnation of the Wolves?

    [N]one of them [the Wolves' point guards] could contain rookie Courtney Lee, who took advantage of injuries to Magic starters Jameer Nelson and Mickael Pietrus to go off for 19 points (8-10 FG) 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals in 34:06, clearly establishing himself as the game's best backcourt player.

  • Sad news out of New York, where Cuttino Mobley, whose cup of coffee with the Magic lasted long enough to qualify him as the franchise's leader in three-point percentage, may have to retire due to a heart condition. The Magic originally acquired Mobley and Steve Francis in the trade which sent Tracy McGrady and Juwan Howard to Houston. Months later, they shipped Mobley to the L.A. Clippers for Doug and Jackie Christie. Best wishes to Cuttino. (HT: FanHouse)