Denton: One-Year Anniversary of Vucevic's Historic Night
Vucevic has been the model of consistency of late for the Magic, delivering double-doubles in five of the past six games. His 20-point, 11-rebound effort last Friday helped the Magic shut down Detroit’s Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. And when Vucevic had 16 points and 14 rebounds on Sunday – his 16th double-double of the season – he helped Orlando outscore Atlanta 46-26 on points in the paint.
Vucevic’s almost-numbing consistency and the durability is something the Magic don’t take lightly, coach Jacque Vaughn said. Other than a concussion suffered last season and a flukish ankle injury when he stepped on a courtside photographer earlier this season, Vucevic has been the man in the middle for the Magic. And Vaughn loves knowing that he can count on the blossoming 7-footer each night.
``It’s becoming almost not normal in today’s game for him to be ready in every single practice, every single shoot around and every game. And to have him out there giving maximum effort every night is pretty pleasing,’’ Vaughn said. ``What he does is he takes care of his body. On off days, he gets his rest. I give a lot of credit to his parents and how he was raised. A lot of that comes from his dad. I’m hoping that other guys see the effect of taking care of your body. (His father) played a long time, and hopefully those good genes carry on a long time (for Nik).’’
As soon as it was mentioned that Tuesday would be the anniversary of his record-setting night, Vucevic had a wide smile come across his face. In that game, he corralled 18 defensive boards and 11 offensive rebounds – a performance he knows will be difficult to ever duplicate. But that doesn’t stop others on the Magic for putting in an early New Year’s Eve resolution wish.
``It seemed like every rebound came to him that night, but that was a great accomplishment for him,’’ said Davis, who had to watch Vucevic’s performance from the sidelines because of a shoulder injury. ``Nik’s upside is really huge and I hope he gets 29 rebounds again (Tuesday) on night. I’m glad he’s on our team.’’
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