Zach Oliver offers this notebook following the Orlando Magic's practice on Wednesday. They play Flamengo in their preseason home opener later that night. - ED
After missing the Orlando Magic's first three games preseason games due to a hyperextended left knee, veteran guard Willie Green will be available for the Magic on Wednesday night when they host the Brazilian league champions Flamengo. Orlando claimed Green, 33, off waivers from the Los Angeles Clippers during the offseason to bring another veteran presence to a young Magic roster.
Green said that it's "going to feel good" to be back out on the court tonight after a minor setback at the end of training camp. Even though he hasn't been on the court, Green has been traveling with the team and feels as though he's helped them with his vocal leadership, without feeling like he was "preaching" to the rookies.
Big man Kyle O`Quinn praised Green for the direction that he brings the team. "He brings a sense of direction to any part of your game," said O'Quinn. "He's been around. Last year he was on a playoff team, he's been around the league's best bigs, so he can help us out as young bigs and the guards. He's guarded the best."
On the court Green's impact might be little, but off the court he's going to be a vital member of this Magic team. He's been through it all, so he can bring forth the experiences that a young team may need to know as they continue to grow.
No scouting reports on Flamengo
Head coach Jacque Vaughn will treat Wednesday's game like any other, despite the unique nature of his team's opponent.
"Well, the great thing is we'll approach this game similar to what we've done so the preseason," said Vaughn. "Really being concerned about how we're playing. Really, this is a great opportunity where we won't give our guys a scouting report today."
Vaughn feels as though this game is an opportunity for the team to "lean on the concepts we've talked about and situations where they'll present themselves, they'll have no warning of it." He wants the team to be able to "foundationally cover it with the things we've talked about."
O'Quinn added to that point, saying, "That just goes to show you that he [Vaughn] trusts us to trust the gameplan. Our gameplan is good enough to win and going in playing our type of basketball, we should come out on top."
It's a unique game and situation for the team, but yet another potentially great learning experience. Vaughn talked about Flamengo's free-flowing offense, so it'll be interesting to see how the Magic handle that on the defensive end. Also watch to see if Orlando can to push the pace, something that Flamengo coach José Alves Neto has said he doesn't want to happen.