The Orlando Magic will practice twice Thursday for the first time since training camp opened on Tuesday.
"This morning will be pretty simple," coach Jacque Vaughn said, moments after finishing his morning run. "We'll correct some things, [and] teach a bit. Nothing very strenuous, pretty much non-contact this morning. And then later on we'll scrimmage, probably moreso than we have so far."
Vaughn continues to be satisfied with his players' conditioning and he said that there was "nothing serious, injury-wise" to report from Wednesday's session. "Just typical bumps and bruises from training camp."
Here's a look at the stories that developed before the team took the floor for the first of its two practices.
Maxiell hoping to sport familiar eyewear
Free-agent signee Jason Maxiell will become the second player in Magic history to wear no. 54, following Horace Grant. And if Maxiell gets his way, he'll also don Grant's familiar and iconic goggles, which were once the centerpiece of a Sports Illustrated cover, for the season ahead.
Maxiell underwent surgery on Easter to correct a detached retina, and he will "most likely" wear protective goggles for his own safety throughout the season. "I don't have to, but I would rather [wear them]." He's still not sure when or how the original injury occurred.
Currently, Maxiell is wearing a sleeker and more stylish pair of goggles similar to the ones Bo Outlaw wore when he was with the Magic. Maxiell says the Grant goggles are "a little more durable, [and] a little more my style."
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Vaughn taking a measured approach to offense
In camp, coaches have to resist the temptation to install lots of offensive sets. For now, Vaughn is less focused on specific plays and more focused on matters of philosophy.
"I'm not gonna throw a bunch of plays at 'em," Vaughn said. "For us, it's more conceptually, 'how do we wanna play?' Right now, I think it's important to learn concepts moreso than throwing six or seven plays at 'em to make myself feel good."
When he feels the team is ready, Vaughn will get more specific with the playbook.
"I sit down and have a timeline of where I wanna be and where I think we need to be as a team," he said. "I'll always adjust that [based on] how quickly we're picking up things. I don't wanna be mediocre at a bunch of things; I'd rather be great at a few things. So right now I'm concentrating on a few concepts until we continue to get better at it."
In Vaughn's first season as the team's coach, Orlando struggled at the defensive end, allowing more points per possession than all but five teams. Vaughn wants to improve at that end, and he knows what the key is.
"It starts with being able to keep the ball in front of you," Vaughn said. "At the end of the day, that's where problems occur."
First-round Draft choice Victor Oladipo earned co-Defensive Player of the Year honors in his junior season at Indiana. The Magic hope the combo guard could help them address their perimeter defensive issues right away. "I think he's got great feet, he's got great strength and athleticism, and all that adds to keeping the ball in front of you," Vaughn said.
At Bleacher Report, Ian Levy wrote in more detail about Orlando's defensive shortcomings and how Oladipo can remedy them.