Denton: One-Year Anniversary of Vucevic's Historic Night


Added Magic shooting guard Arron Afflalo: ``That’s a big part of getting better as a player – having the confidence of wanting the ball. I can see it from last year to this year with him demanding the ball more and he’s more aggressive. He wills his way inside at times.’’

When they face the high-octane Warriors (19-13), the Magic (10-20) will be trying to close out the longest home stand of the season in impression fashion. Orlando’s six-game home stand got off to a rocky start with losses to Utah, Sacramento and New York, but the Magic have responded with wins against Detroit and Atlanta. A win on Tuesday would be the perfect capper to 2013 for the Magic, Vucevic said.

``We wanted to get some wins on this home stretch. The first three games we didn’t play that well, but the last two games we have played well,’’ Vucevic said. ``Hopefully (Tuesday) will be another win and we can close out the year on a three-game win streak.’’

Vucevic has been on a quite a streak himself over the past year. He finished second in the NBA in rebounding last season while compiling 18 15-rebound games, four 20-rebound games and four 20-point, 20-rebound nights.

He followed that up by working hard on his game and his body over the summer to come back to Orlando a much-improved low-post player. Formally more of a finesse player who deferred to shooting mid-range jump shots, Vucevic has made himself work harder on post-ups this season.

The results are in the 59.3 percent he’s shooting on moves into the lane and his 18 made field goals from the two low blocks. And he’s even extended the range on his jump hooks to where he’s making 64.7 percent from 8-10 feet away.

``It’s just part of being confident and knowing when I get the ball I can make a move to the basket or make the right play,’’ Vucevic of his post-up plays and his demands that teammates throw him the ball. ``Last year I was maybe a little hesitant and not wanting to make mistakes. But this year I’m getting myself to the point where I know I will make the right plays.’’


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