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Pre-Game Media Availability with Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy

Before the Orlando Magic face off against the Miami Heat tonight, I was able to speak with head coach Stan Van Gundy amongst the media. Here's what he had to say:


Aside from Dwyane Wade, is there any other players on the Heat that might cause problems for you tonight?

Yeah, I think that [Michael] Beasley gives us a lot of problems. I think he's capable of scoring and scoring easily on just about anybody, he has no trouble getting his shot ever. I think [Jermaine] O'Neal has been a guy who's been able to score on us. I think [Mario] Chalmers is a hell of a player. Yeah, I think ... look, I mean, they're a very good team and this is the NBA so there's always a lot of people that can hurt you. I don't care, we were sort of laughing, sort of needling a couple of our ACC guys about who their alma maters were playing in the pre-season and J.J. [Redick] and I were talking, saying what's the big difference in the NBA. I don't care who you're playing, the worst team is still 15 NBA caliber players you got to play. We get to go schedule the D-League or somebody in Europe or anything else, I mean, every night you're up against good people and now the Heat are a good NBA team so there's always going to be more than one guy. I mean, two, three, four, five guys. Anybody can hurt you.

Dwight Howard has said [Mickael Pietrus] has matured more defensively. Is there anybody else on the team that you've seen from last year to this year that's taken that step that he has?

Well, Dwight has been a great defender. I think that his maturity has been in being more concerned about that end of the floor than numbers and everything else but heck, he was a Defensive Player of the Year last year. I think Pietrus has made a good step defensively and I think now some of our other guys are starting to come a little bit more lately. J.J. has improved pretty steadily over the years, at least that I've been here, on the defensive end of the floor. Just in the last couple of games, Vince [Carter] has made I think a lot better effort defensively. We sort of getting everybody into a little bit now so hopefully that will continue.