After an off day Friday, the Orlando Magic reconvened Saturday morning for their fourth day of training camp. Just four days remain until the team's preseason opener against the New Orleans Pelicans in Jacksonville.
Here's a look at the top stories from before Saturday's camp session.
Davis taking it slow
Glen Davis hasn't played since breaking the fifth metatarsal of his left foot on January 31st, and he has not taken part in camp; though he says he feels like he could probably jog, he has yet to receive clearance to even do that much. About all he can do is shoot free throws.
Not being able to play is taking a toll on Davis--it's clear in talking to him that he's itching to get back on the floor--but the six-year veteran understands the merits of a patient approach as he works his way back.
"Rushing is not in my plans, especially with the Magic," Davis said. "They wanna take their time. The trainers, and everything, they wanna make sure that I'm healthy so this won't be a recurring problem. I'm all for that."
Later, last season's co-captain added, "I've realized that it's bigger than me. There's other things I have to accomplish right now in order for me to lead this team, and that is getting my body in the best shape. So that's all I'm really focused on right now, just making sure that I do that."
To stay in shape, Davis has begun waking up at 5:15 every morning in order to "get a nice sweat, get the calories burnin'." Part of his daily routine is a hot yoga session, during which a personal trainer puts him through 26 different poses in 108-degree heat. "It's a brutal beatdown, but other than that, it's great," he said.
Davis is happy he didn't have to deal with this injury earlier in his career. He knows there's "no way" he would have been mature enough to handle it. "I would have freaked out," he said. "I probably would have done something crazy [and] probably gain a lot of weight. It's a maturity level for me now. It put me in a situation where I had to mature unless I wanna play one [more] year or two years. But if I wanna play further in my career, you gotta mature."
Overall, Davis said, breaking his foot prompted him to "slow down" in life.
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Magic expect opponents to key on Vučević
Magic center Nikola Vučević enjoyed a breakout sophomore season, averaging 13.1 points and 11.9 rebounds per game. In his second season with the Magic, coach Jacque Vaughn believes opponents will be better prepared for his talents.
"That's the great thing about this league," Vaughn said. "People get to know you. They get to know your strengths and they try to take away your strengths. He'll be number-one on a lot of [opponents'] scouting reports."
Over the offseason, Vaughn asked Vučević to focus on being more confident and physical, especially in the low post, where Orlando didn't really feature him much in 2012/13. With what mentality does Vaughn want the 22-year-old to play? "It's okay if I get the ball down here [in the post]. I can do something with it."
Despite that offseason emphasis, through three days of camp, Vučević hasn't had many opportunities to be a featured scorer. "I guess right now I have a little bit more reins on him [with] what we're doing," Vaughn said. "I haven't put him in a position to demand the ball."
Defensive "technique" important for Nicholson
For all the brilliance he showed at the offensive end of the floor, Andrew Nicholson struggled on defense as a rookie. Vaughn has a clear idea of where Nicholson needs to improve in that area of the game.
"Well, you've gotta be able to guard in the post. I think I can just make it that simple," Vaughn said. "You have to have enough technique to be able to guard in the post. When it's mano a mano and the guy's either stronger than I am or quicker than I am, I have to be able to have great technique to be able to get the job done."
According to mySynergySports.com, Nicholson defended 82 post-up plays in his rookie year. In those situations, opponents shot 64.3 percent from the floor against Nicholson and scored 1.26 points per play.
Vaughn said he hopes that free-agent signee Jason Maxiell, who's made a name for himself as a physical, hard-nosed player, can help Nicholson learn that technique.
Odds and ends
- Though Vaughn enjoys watching boxing, he does not plan to watch the fight between Miguel Cotto and Delvin Rodriguez scheduled for Saturday at Amway Center. "It was not on my calendar," Vaughn said. For his part, Jameer Nelson said he was invited to the match, but declined to go because he'd rather rest.
- Maurice Harkless worked hard over the summer to improve his body. That work is paying off in scrimmages, he says, because he's better able to absorb contact on his drives. A year of NBA experience has aided his understanding of the game. "I'm getting to the rim a lot more," he said. "It's a lot easier to navigate through [defenses], both pick-and-rolls and breaking down someone one-on-one."