By John Denton

In a week where he’s already faced boyhood hero Dirk Nowitzki and the muscle-bound Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic might have encountered his toughest challenge Friday night.

In Memphis’ Marc Gasol, Vucevic saw the player that he most wants to emulate and the kind of game that he someday hopes to play. Gasol has proven himself to be a do-everything center what with his ability to knock down shots, score with either hand in the post, thread passes to cutters and play tough enough to win last season’s Defensive Player of the Year award.

In time, Vucevic is hoping to be able to do all of that for the Magic. On Friday he showed Magic fans that he might not be that far off from matching the kind of production that Gasol did last season while making the NBA All-Star Game.

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