Denton's Notebook: February 20, 2012

By John Denton
February 20, 2012

MILWAUKEE – Though he obviously wanted to try to duplicate his record-tying shooting performance nine days ago in Milwaukee, Orlando Magic guard Jason Richardson decided against playing Monday night because of lingering conditions from the lung inflammation he is suffering from.

Richardson missed his second consecutive game Monday night after experiencing pain in his chest Saturday night and just before Sunday’s game in Milwaukee. Richardson was seen by a doctor and a cardiologist Sunday in Miami and was determined to have inflammation in his lungs.

Richardson hoped to play Monday night and went out on the Bradley Center court 90 minutes before tipoff for some shooting drills. Prior to the session he said he hadn’t experienced any more chest pains since Sunday, but the determination was made by Richardson and Magic athletic trainer Keon Wise to once again hold the shooting guard out of action.

``All I was told was that it was inflammation in the lungs, so we’ll have to see how it goes,’’ said Richardson, who hopes to take advantage of Tuesday’s off day and possibly return for Wednesday’s game in New Jersey.

Richardson tied a Magic record almost two weeks ago in Milwaukee when he made eight 3-pointers in the second half of a comeback victory for Orlando. In all, Richardson hit nine of 11 3-pointers and scored 31 points.

MAGIC BAROMETERS: While he’s harped throughout the season about defensive intensity, ball movement and players having consistent energy, Magic coach Stan Van Gundy has determined the truest barometers for how his team plays from night to night.

``The guys that we rely on the most in terms of making plays and creating offense are Jameer (Nelson) and Hedo (Turkoglu),’’ Van Gundy said. ``When they both play well, we’re pretty tough. When one of them plays well, we’re OK. And when neither one of them plays very well, we’re just not going to be very good. That’s the reality of where we are.’’

That last scenario played out Sunday in Miami when Nelson and Turkoglu suffered through dismal games and the Magic lost 90-78. Turkoglu played 25 minutes, but scored only one point and did not grab a rebound. Nelson missed nine of his 11 shots, had four turnovers and scored only four points in 30 minutes.

``They did some things a little differently on the pick-and-roll and we weren’t really ready for it,’’ Nelson said of Miami’s defense on Sunday. ``I have to do a better job of attacking it.’’

REDICK READY: Magic guard J.J. Redick said he found out about 40 minutes before Sunday’s game that he would be starting in place of the ailing Richardson. He was in that same role Monday night in Milwaukee and said playing as a starter as opposed to coming off the bench differs dramatically for him.

``Obviously the timing a little different for me,’’ Redick said. ``But as a starter I’m in the game with (Turkoglu) and Dwight (Howard) and I more so play off those guys,’’ Redick said. ``When I’m with the second unit, I’m in a playmaking role where plays get called for me to get the offense going. So it’s a little different.’’

Van Gundy said he wasn’t one bit shocked that Redick played well – he scored 17 points and hit five 3-pointers – because he is as good at getting himself prepared for games as anyone he’s ever coached. Van Gundy said he can always count on Redick to play hard and not to make mental mistakes with the game plan.

``J.J.’s most significant impact is that you can count on him to always play with great energy and not make mistakes,’’ Van Gundy said. ``He’s always going to know what we’re trying to do and be well-prepared. He’s one of the most reliable guys in this league and one of the most reliable guys I’ve coached.’’

ETC: Supporters of Ryan Anderson are printing up special shirts to wear Saturday night when the Orlando power forward participates in the Foot Locker 3-Point Shootout. The theme of the shirts center around ``Ryan King,’’ a play off the movie The Lion King. Anderson leads the NBA in 3-pointers made and attempted. … With the Magic and Bucks playing three times in a 10-day stretch, the series between the two teams took on somewhat of a different feel. Said Van Gundy: ``It sort of feels like you are in a playoff series. In fact, the way they normally string out playoff series you actually don’t play three games this frequently.’’ … J.J. Redick let out a big sigh of relief in the second quarter when his free throw hit the rim and rolled in. It extended Redick’s streak of consecutive makes to 34 in a row. He hasn’t missed a free throw in 19 games, a streak that dates back to Jan. 18. Redick entered Monday’s game leading the NBA in free throw shooting at 95.9 percent. If he can keep it up that would go down as the second best percentage in NBA history. … The Magic will be off on Tuesday before playing in New Jersey on Wednesday. The Magic’s final game before the All-Star break is in Atlanta on Thursday.

John Denton writes for John has covered the Magic since 1997 and recently authored ``All You Can Be’’ with Magic center Dwight Howard. E-mail John at

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