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Orlando Magic News for November 12th: Ryan Anderson's Ankle Feels Better; the Dwight Howard "Effect"

  • Ankle better, Ryan Anderson says he'd like to play Friday
    Brian Schmitz reveals some good news.
    Magic PF Ryan Anderson said he is circling Friday’s game against the New Jersey Nets as a possible return from his sprained right ankle.

    Anderson said he jogged on Wednesday and said today is "a big day" as he steps up his rehab. He will work with the Magic’s strength and conditioning staff as the club is off today. [...] 

    "It feels a lot better, that’s for sure," Anderson said, showing off his ankle. "There’s some (pain) up high. I’m going to do some more things (today.) It’s a big day for me."
  • Van Gundy's wife, Kim, hospitalized
    Our prayers and wishes for the Van Gundy family.
    Magic Coach Stan Van Gundy told the Sentinel  that his wife, Kim, should be okay after being rushed to a hospital in Altamonte Springs after passing out Wednesday. 

    He spent four hours with his wife at the hospital before leaving for the Magic-Cavs game and didn’t hold his usual pregame media conclave.
  • Behind the Box Score, where 'yeah! Go Bucks! Whoo!'
    Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don't Lie recaps the Orlando Magic's loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers last night in front of a nationally-televised audience.
    Orlando still has a lot of work to do. Dwight Howard has to figure out a way to stay on the floor, I understand fouls for big men can randomly go either way (in the next contest, Shaq might have five fouls in half a game), but he's got to find a way to keep the referees off his back.

    Also, Mickael Pietrus needs to wake the hell up. The season started two weeks ago. Get into it.
  • Howard's Slide Is Big Magic Problem
    Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse comments on how Dwight Howard's current stretch of bad games has affected the team and what needs to be done.
    Van Gundy, meanwhile, is getting impatient. He insisted Wednesday that his team can't compete defensively with the Celtics, Cavaliers, or even the Heat, in the Eastern Conference. He made it clear that he wasn't blaming Howard -- that the whole team was struggling -- but he wanted his center and his point guard Jameer Nelson to lead the turnaround that he expects.

    "It starts with those guys, the two returning guys, the captains,'' Van Gundy said. "It's not all on them, but they are supposed to be the leaders. It has to start with them.''
  • Don't worry, we'll bounce back!!!
    Dwight Howard posts on his official blog today.
    We won’t let this spiral. We’re a team that loves winning and we understand that sometimes we’re going to lose games. We don’t let the losing affect our chemistry as a team. One thing that we have to do is stay together. There’s no need to point fingers and blame things on this part of the game or this person or whatever.
  • Measuring clutch-ness takes on new definition in playoffs
    UPDATE: John Schuhmann of takes a look at the numbers and reveals which players were "ultra-clutch" - explanation below - in the last five seasons. Rashard Lewis, not surprisingly, makes an appearance on the list.
    Just for kicks, StatsCube ran numbers for situations with less than one minute to go and a scoring margin of three points or less. When we got a bunch of point guards at the top of the list we realized that intentional fouls at the end of games were skewing the stats. We eliminated situations where the player's team was ahead, leaving us with a tie game or a deficit of three points or less in the final minute.

    Let's call those "Ultra-Clutch" situations.
  • For Some N.B.A. Players, There’s No Such Thing as a Slam Dunk
    UPDATE 2 (from Ben): Jonathan Abrams of the New York Times interviewed Van Gundy, Howard, and Nelson for this piece about NBA players who can't dunk.

    Van Gundy’s roster spans the gamut of dunkers. He has Carter, a onetime leaper extraordinaire; Dwight Howard, who led the league in dunks last season with 201; and Jameer Nelson, a point guard who can vividly recall his only N.B.A. dunk in six seasons. "My second season against New Jersey in Orlando," Nelson said.

    "He has dunked, I think that was on NBA Live 2005," Howard said, referring to the video game.

    "In a game? I heard he dunked in college, but we don’t have any proof of that, so I don’t think he can dunk anymore. I’ve seen him get up and grab the rim, but that’s a little bit different."