2: Orlando Magic - I don’t understand how anyone can think that this team got worse. [Vince] Carter is a definite upgrade over the vastly overrated [Hedo] Turkoglu, they get back their All-Star point guard ([Jameer] Nelson) back, and they add the criminally underrated Brandon Bass. They have massive talent and great depth. If Nelson avoids injury, there’s no reason they can’t win the title.
A bit later, he offers an interesting comparison between Bass and a former All-Star power forward who earns considerably more money.
Josh Robbins filed a report after the Magic's second practice today. It's good to know that Jason Williams hasn't missed a beat after a one-year retirement:
Jason Williams, who sat out all of last season, has gotten into "great shape" and provided good energy today, [coach Stan] Van Gundy said. Williams and Jameer Nelson will play more minutes than they normally would during the exhibition season to knock off the rust.
Make the jump for four more links.
Howard the Dunk visited Magic Media Day yesterday and brings us these reports on Matt Barnes and Brandon Bass:
Nets Are Scorching profiles former Magic point guard Rafer Alston. These sentence really stood out to me:
Rafer is a real streaky shooter, and he lives by the philosophy "If I missed 9, the 10th must go in."
Finally, I wanted to share this blog post from Toronto Raptors beat reporter Doug Smith. I link to Doug about as often as I do any beat writer of another team, and with good reason, as he's both witty and insightful. But I also like the way he's able to, in his blog posts, take readers into the Life of a Beat Reporter. Here's his description of Raptors media day, which I found to be fairly accurate based on my experience with the Magic's session yesterday:
What, my friends ask, is Media Day really like?
Well, it’s busy but with a lot of standing around and waiting; everybody gets what they need – eventually.
It’s relatively informal, which is good, but it’s also crowded so getting one-on-one time isn’t going to happen.
It’s kind of a mishmash.
But the drill, if the methods of 14 previous years holds, is:
The player [sic] saunter in, get their pictures taken at half a dozen or so "stations" before running a gauntlet of media outlets where they do those "I’m So And So And You’re Watching Raptors Basketball On Whichever Of The Hundred Networks We’re On Tonight" promos.
They’re herded around the room (this year we’re in the fancy-schmancy new atrium instead of the practice gym/sweatbox) by a member of the staff and then we get ‘em, usually in rather unmanageable scrums wherever they break up.
But it’s after those scrums, when we’re standing around awkwardly wondering what to do, that you get to actually stop and say hello to a player or a coach or a member of the staff.
That’s the good part. You can get a bit more work done and catch up on the comings and goings of the summer and have a normal conversation.
- UPDATE (from Eddy): Josh Robbins, also, reports (within the same link that Ben provided) that Adonal Foyle is day-to-day with a sore knee and J.J. Redick sat out most of the afternoon practice session with a minor back spasm. The injuries aren't too serious but still worth being aware of them and keeping everyone "in the know".
That's all for today. Stay tuned to 3QC all week for Eddy's updates from training camp. The first preseason game is but 6 days away.