Denton's Notebook: January 13, 2011

By John Denton
January 13, 2011

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Orlando Magic point guard Gilbert Arenas is the self-proclaimed ``greatest shooter in the world … in practice.’’ The problem for the former all-star, however, is that it isn’t translating over to actual games.

Arenas, who came to Orlando on Dec. 18 in a blockbuster trade with the Washington Wizards, entered Thursday’s game in Oklahoma City shooting a dismal 37 percent. He’s been even worse from 3-point range (34 percent) and his turnovers (one every 8 minutes on the floor) are way too high for head coach Stan Van Gundy’s liking.

Van Gundy said that of the four players that the Magic traded for – Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark also came in a deal from Phoenix – Arenas has had the toughest adjustment because of his role as a reserve and the difficult of playing point guard on a new team. Van Gundy said the Magic need to have patience with Arenas because of his unique situation.

``He’s been struggling a little bit and been up and down,’’ Van Gundy said. ``The adjustments he’s had to make are the most severe. With Gilbert he’s coming off the bench and he’s playing point guard again, which he wasn’t doing as much in Washington with (John) Wall and (Kirk) Hinrich. And that’s the toughest position to play with a new team.

``So Gilbert’s adjustments and challenges have been far greater than that of Jason or Turk,’’ Van Gundy continued. ``Everybody has got to have some patience with him because it might just take a little longer.’’

REDICK AILING: Usually one of the first Magic players dressed and out of the locker room following games, shooting guard J.J. Redick was in no hurry to get up and moving following Wednesday’s loss in New Orleans.

Redick had large icepacks strapped to the bottom of both of his feet after the game because of a nasty case of plantar fasciitis. A stabbing pain in the bottom of both feet has Redick needing more postgame and pregame treatment than ever.

``It’s weird because I had some trouble with me feet when I was in the seventh grade and not really again,’’ a puzzled Redick said. ``It’s the most random thing coming up now.’’

Redick had a woeful game Wednesday in New Orleans, missing his first seven shots and first six 3-pointers. He finished with five points on two of 11 shooting and misfired on a hurried 3-poiner

HAUNTED HOTEL: The Magic’s accommodations in Oklahoma City are at the historic Skirvin Hilton Hotel, a 100-year-old facility that is considered the finest digs in Oklahoma. But the hotel also has a reputation throughout the NBA as being a ``haunted house’’ of sorts with players and coaches reporting strange noises and mysterious shadows at night.

The Magic got to their hotel about 3 a.m. Thursday and reported no issues at the hotel. Said Magic power forward Brandon Bass: ``I was scared last year in the hotel, but it was fine this time.’’

Van Gundy chuckled at the notion of the hotel being haunted, but had this to say: ``Patrick Ewing buys into all those sorts of things, but I don’t buy into any of it. What haunts me are guys like Kevin Durant. So I would say this (Oklahoma City Arena) is haunted because of guys like Kevin. I haven’t run into a haunted hotel; only haunted NBA arenas.’’

ETC: Ryan Anderson had a great run in the third quarter of the New Orleans game, hitting three 3-pointers in a stretch. He said the Magic staff have been on him to make harder cuts and to seek out shots more in the Magic offense. Said Anderson, who made his first two 3-point shots on Thursday: ``Some days the rim feels three times its normal size, but coming off the bench it sometimes takes me a couple of shots to get going. … Coach wants me really running into screens to get myself open, and that’s what I’m trying to do (on pick-and-pop plays).’’ … Magic superstar center Dwight Howard leads the Eastern Conference in voting after the fourth returns of 2011 NBA All-Star balloting were released on Thursday. Howard ranks second overall in voting for the entire NBA behind only Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant, The Finals MVP last season, is the overall leader with 1,757,216 votes, while Howard paces the East with 1,537,619 votes. Howard has appeared in the past four All-Star Games, three as a starter. Starters for the Feb. 20 All-Star Game from Staples Center in Los Angeles will be announced on Jan. 27. … Howard has bewen upset with his propensity for picking up early (and questionable) fouls in games in which the Magic appear on national television. Such was the case when the Magic played Boston on Christmas Day and when the Magic faced Houston last week on ESPN – two games where Howard had three fouls by halftime. Sure enough, he had two quick fouls in Thursday’s first quarter in a game televised nationally by TNT. … Oklahoma University head football coach Bob Stoops sat courtside at Thursday night’s game with his family.

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