Van Gundy Disappointed With Effort, Howard Promises Results
Magic coach Stan Van Gundy doesn't plan on changing his lineup to counteract his team's slump, if his comments to Tim Povtak are any indication.
"Right now, it's such a teamwide thing -- not playing hard enough or well enough -- that making any (lineup) change would be like throwing something against the wall," Van Gundy said. "If it was one guy, I'd make a change, but it's not one guy. It's teamwide. We're not playing hard enough."
Halfway through the season, Southeast Division-style
Kelly Dwyer has a suggestion for Van Gundy, though, in this brief summary of what's gone wrong for Orlando this season. Dwyer, you'll recall, wrote extensively about the Magic's disappointing season yesterday.
Vince Carter has fallen off, which would be no big deal if it weren't for the fact that he hasn't realized he's fallen off. Dwight Howard has decided to limit his superhero act to eight of every 10 plays (as opposed to 10 outta 10 from last season), and the team's depth hasn't been utilized properly, both the fault of the players (Brandon Bass, Marcin Gortat) and the coach (why can't Ryan Anderson get more burn?).
After the jump, two links about Vince Carter.
For Prime Out Loud!
Tom Ziller and Bethlehem Shoals graph the career Player Efficiency Ratings of Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter as part of a larger post about athletically gifted players adjusting their games late in their careers to compensate for their waning athleticism.
Carter's graph is Kobe's in miniature, except for the fact that at age 29, the gulf opens up even further. No player has as intelligently tinkered with his game, and re-learned his movements, as Bryant. That's why he remains well above star level to this day, while Carter trailed off several seasons ago.
Carter Says No to Shaq's Dunk Contest Idea
To no one's surprise, Carter isn't keen on participating in the Slam Dunk Contest again. Last night, Shaquille O'Neal caused a stir when he said he would convince LeBron James to take part if former dunk champions Carter and Kobe Bryant also entered, with half of the prize money going to earthquake-relief efforts in Haiti. Carter told Povtak after this morning's shootaround, "Nobody should feel obligated to do anything they don't want to do."