Ryan Anderson to Start

Ryan Anderson to Start

By John Denton
October 27, 2009

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ORLANDO – Ryan Anderson confirmed Tuesday that his first regular-season game with the Orlando Magic will be as a starting power forward.

Anderson, acquired this summer in the Vince Carter trade between Orlando and New Jersey, was tabbed by coach Stan Van Gundy to start at power forward while Magic star Rashard Lewis serves a 10-game suspension. The Magic open the regular season Wednesday night at 7 p.m. against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Anderson took advantage of the opportunity given to him in the preseason, averaging 14 points while shooting 48.5 percent from the floor and 56.1 percent from 3-point range. He made 23 of 41 tries from beyond the 3-point arc.

``As far as tomorrow’s game I know I am starting game,’’ Anderson said. ``I have no idea if that’s while Rashard is out and it’s a regular thing. We don’t really talk about lineups because we have so many guys and we’ll play a ton of lineups this season.’’

Anderson is expected to be joined in the starting lineup by star center Dwight Howard, point guard Jameer Nelson, Mickael Pietrus and Carter.

Brand Bass, a free agent signed away from the Dallas Mavericks in July, will back up Anderson at power forward and will likely be the first player used off the bench. Matt Barnes is predominantly a small forward, but he will also spend time at power forward.

Anderson won the starting job for the time being because of how well he has played. But also factoring into the decision is that his style of play fits perfectly into the Magic’s system. Van Gundy prefers that his power forwards be able to shoot the 3-pointer because it stretches the defenses and gives star center Dwight Howard more room to roam inside.

Anderson said the similarities between his playing style and that of Rashard Lewis – the NBA’s leader in 3-pointers made last season – helped him mesh so easily into the Magic’s starting lineup.

``I’ve just tried to take advantage of the time that I have gotten and played hard,’’ he said. ``Regardless of whether I’m playing 10 minutes or 30 minutes, I’m going to try and do my best for the team.’’

John Denton writes for Orlandomagic.com. His Orlando Magic ``Behind the Scenes’’ segment can be heard on ESPN 1080 AM on Thursday at 5:05 p.m. Submit questions to John for his ``Ask J.D.’’ mailbag feature that will appear every Friday at AskJD@orlandomagic.com.