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Orlando Magic News for December 31st: Stan Van Gundy's Appeal; Dwight Howard Reminisces on Being a Rookie in the NBA

Orlando Pinstriped Post Photo / Bruce Maddox
Orlando Pinstriped Post Photo / Bruce Maddox
  • Seven questions for 2010
    Kevin Arnovitz of TrueHoop chats with John Krolik of Cavs: The Blog and reveals a few questions about the NBA each of them have conjured up in past conversations. Here's an excerpt from the write-up:

    What is it about Stan Van Gundy that we like so much?
    JK: I think we've got a pretty narrow view of how to evaluate coaches, because we don't see the vast majority of what they do and we're trained to look for their failures and not their successes. Coaches almost exist to be fired, and every time they make a mistake with their play-call or substitution, it'll get talked about the next day.

    I think the biggest job of a coach isn't to call timeouts strategically or be a genius with his in game substitutions. (Although both are definitely important, especially the latter.) I think the job of an NBA coach is to set up a system that best utilizes the talents he has available to him, and that's where Stan Van Gundy comes in, especially last season. Of his five starters, he had three guys with below-average defensive reputations, Dwight Howard, and a rookie.

    Instead of trying to have everyone play straight-up or stick Rashard Lewis at the three, he evaluated what he had -- the best shot-blocker in the league and more quickness on the perimeter than most other teams had. So he stuck Lewis at the 4 and never looked back, and built a defense around running other teams off threes and keeping Howard at home under the basket. What happened? The Magic gave up the second fewest made baskets at the rim, the second fewest made 3s per game, and more shots from 10-15 feet and 16-23 feet than any other team in the league. They also had one of the league's three best defenses in terms of efficiency.
  • Do NBA coaches lie to players? Stan Van Gundy says no
    Van Gundy chimes in on Darko Milicic's opinion that players are lied to

    Van Gundy said he didn’t know much about Milicic’s situation, but he did know that often coaches do tell players their time will come, and mean it.The part players don’t hear "or don’t want to hear" Van Gundy said, was that their time would come if they were willing to put in the work.

    "To me there are guys whose time’s never going to come," Van Gundy said. "They aren’t good enough or they don’t want to work hard enough."
  • Going from high school to the NBA
    Dwight Howard posts on his official blog today and reminisces (spurred by playing against Brandon Jennings in last night's game) on the time when he arrived to the NBA from high school - which is no longer possible. 

    Seeing Brandon Jennings play for Milwaukee last night had me thinking back to my days as a 18-year-old fresh out of high school in the NBA. They don’t let kids do that anymore, so Jennings had to go to Italy first before he could come to the NBA. He’s going to be really good someday.

    Back when I was a rookie straight out of high school I was just a young buck trying to become the man that I am now. It was like a sheep being thrown out there to the wolves.

    Really, it was a fun time for me because I was around a great team, a great organization and a great city. All of that stuff factored in my career and I was blessed to come to Orlando.
  • Here's another look at Jason Williams' crossover on Luke Ridnour.