By John Denton
December 19, 2012
ORLANDO – The Orlando Magic extended their season-best winning streak to four games on Wednesday night. But what was of the most concern after the game was a possible big-time loss of one of their most essential players.
In the final minute of Orlando’s 90-83 defeat of the woeful Washington Wizards, Glen ``Big Baby’’ Davis was fouled hard across the arms by Emeka Okafor and the Magic power forward suffered what looked to be a serious left shoulder injury. Davis bit down on his jersey and writhed in pain before being assisted off the court.
``He appeared as a player who was worried. That’s about it,’’ Magic shooting guard J.J. Redick said of his postgame embrace with a dejected Davis. ``We didn’t say a lot. I told him I loved him, I gave him a hug and that was about it.’’
Doctors at the Amway Center conducted preliminary evaluations on Davis, and the full extent of his injury won’t be known until Thursday when he’s expected to undergo a MRI on his shoulder. The Magic (12-13) won’t practice on Thursday, but will instead fly to Toronto for Friday’s game against the Raptors.
Sadly for the Magic, they will almost assuredly be without Davis on Friday and quite possibly for an extended period of time. The 6-foot-9 power forward was the star of Monday’s comeback win against Minnesota with 20 of his 28 points coming in the second half.
On Wednesday, Davis scored 12 points, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked two shots. With the Magic unable to fully put away Washington (3-20) until late, Davis was still on the floor and was injured with 47.8 seconds left. He took a pass from Redick and as he was rising for a layup, he was whacked across the arms by Okafor. The force of the hit had Davis immediately grabbing at his left shoulder, screaming out and in major pain.
``I’m just hoping the best for him,’’ said Magic guard Arron Afflalo, who scored 15 points despite injuring his shoulder and elbow as well on a hard fall in the fourth quarter. ``We had somewhat of a disappointing fourth quarter. We had an opportunity to step on the gas and maybe some of the (starters) wouldn’t even be in the game at that point in the fourth quarter. Immediately the health of teammates is of the most importance. We’ll learn (Thursday) or whenever how he’s doing.’’
If Davis is out an extended period of time, the Magic could elevate blossoming rookie Andrew Nicholson into the starting lineup at power forward. They could start Josh McRoberts or possibly speed up the return of Hedo Turkoglu, who has been out since the opener with a broken hand, but has recently ramped up his shooting drills.
``Everybody is key to this team because we’ve relied on everyone at different times,’’ Redick said. ``Glen has been great for us, but we need other guys now to step up. We have capable guys who can do it. I don’t expect us to drop off in any way. We are going to miss (Davis) if he’s out more than a couple of games, out a couple of weeks or whatever. But I know we have guys who will step up if he’s out.’’
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