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Orlando Magic News for February 29th - J.J. Redick Still Isn't in the Rotation

  • Don't read too deeply into J.J. Redick's extended playing time Wednesday against Philadelphia. Tim Povtak writes in today's Magic Beat that Redick will likely return to the end of the bench:

    "It was not any grand plan. We were just searching," said Magic Coach Stan Van Gundy, when asked about Redick's rare appearance. "The guys who had been playing weren't playing great anyway, so then you give somebody else a chance. You give some minutes to J.J."

    I'm disappointed, but not surprised. Towards the end of Sunday's blowout win over the Kings, some fans in attendance began clamoring for Van Gundy to play J.J., most notably while Dwight Howard split a pair of free throws to give the Magic a 101-81 lead. Van Gundy pointed toward the Magic bench, and up sprang Pat Garrity, Adonal Foyle, and Maurice Evans, set to check in on the next stoppage in play. After seeing that Redick was not one of the players set to enter the game, a few fans booed Van Gundy. Less than a minute of game-time later, Keith Bogans drilled a three-pointer from the right corner and looked back at the Magic bench, as if to say, "Don't take me out, coach!" Rashard Lewis fouled Shelden Williams on the Kings' next possession, and it was only after that timeout that Van Gundy subbed Redick in for Bogans. I'm not sure what changed his mind, but it initially appeared as though Stan the Man would be content with keeping his unhappy, talented, hardworking shooting guard on the bench in a 20-point blowout victory. And I thought Brian Hill's rotation was tough to crack.

  • In the same Magic Beat article, Povtak quotes Van Gundy on Jameer Nelson:

    "Jameer is our guy [....] We're going to stick with him."

    Sounds good to me, although he's going to need to score more than 7.5 points per game -- as is his average over his last four games -- to justify the contract extension he signed before tipoff opening night.

  • Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo!'s Ball Don't Lie has a transcript of the Magic's most recent "players-only" meeting. I had no idea that Dwight Howard was a Dora the Explorer aficionado, but it makes sense.
  • SLAM's Michael Tillery chatted with Rashard Lewis briefly after the Magic's loss to the 76ers Wednesday night. The comments section is also worth reading.
  • If Keyon Dooling can't play on Saturday, Carlos Arroyo will get his minutes as the Magic's backup point guard. It'll be Latin Night at Amway Arena, so he's sure to get a rousing ovation when if he checks in. I hope Stan finds some time for him, even if Dooling is healthy
  • If you want to find an NBA player having a meal, your best bet is the Cheesecake Factory, says TrueHoop's Henry Abbott. P.F. Chang's is also a popular restaurant among the professional ballplaying fraternity. The Winter Park Village, as Central Florida residents are well aware, boasts both a Cheesecake Factory and a P.F. Chang's. I've never seen a Magic player at the Cheesecake Factory, but a friend once told me he saw Tracy McGrady at The Loop when McGrady played for the Magic.
  • Must-see TV tonight as the Utah Jazz visit the New Orleans Hornets. Tipoff's at 8:00 PM on ESPN. Watch the duel between Chris Paul and Deron Williams, the league's best young point guards, and try not to weep when Paul throws filthy passes like this one to Tyson Chandler in transition. If the Magic had a guy like that, we'd be unstoppable.