Denton's Notebook: Thursday, Jan. 24


By John Denton
January 24, 2013

ORLANDO – Orlando Magic swingman Arron Afflalo said there was no one reason why he went more than 34 minutes without attempting a shot in Tuesday’s loss in Detroit, and vowed that the uncharacteristically poor performance would have no carryover going forward.

Afflalo entered Tuesday’s game as the Magic’s leader in scoring (17.5 points per game) and shot attempts (14.5 per game), but repeatedly passed up looks on the offensive end. Afflalo, who has twice scored 30 points in a game this season, didn’t put up his first shot attempt until late in the third quarter. He ended up missing all four of his shots and failing to score for the first time all season.

There could have been a variety of factors that went into Afflalo’s passiveness offensively. He was moved to small forward to accommodate J.J. Redick in the starting lineup and the shooting guard responded with 26 points and five 3-pointers. Such a move put Afflalo against Detroit defensive ace Tayshaun Prince, something that might have limited his shot attempts. Also, power forward Glen ``Big Baby’’ Davis attempted 15 shots in the first half and 16 shots in the game.

``It was just a combination (of reasons),’’ Afflalo said. ``Every game’s going to be different. I do try to model myself on being a consistent player, being somebody that, one, you can count on from a production standpoint. It’s about adjusting my mindset, but also communicating with my teammates to make sure that we’re helping each other be consistent in what we do. J.J. came out and played very well. Glen’s going to be aggressive. But I’ll be fine. I’ll be fine.’’

COLLEGE BRAGGING RIGHTS: Magic rookie DeQuan Jones was once again the big man on campus Wednesday night when he returned to his alma mater and watched the Miami Hurricanes thrash the top-ranked Duke Blue Devils 90-63.

Even though the game was a rout much of the night – Miami led 42-19 at the half – Miami fans stormed the court at the conclusion of arguably the biggest win in school. Jones didn’t run out on the court, but he did sign plenty of autographs and pose for pictures with Hurricane fans. Jones wasn’t selected in last June’s NBA Draft, but he made the Magic’s opening-day roster in training camp and has been one of the team’s surprise players this season.

``It was a great experience and the staff down there showed me a lot of love and congratulated me,’’ Jones said. ``Everybody told me they were proud of me and that they had been keeping up with me. Everybody wanted to take pictures with me and it was just a great experience.’’

The result might have afforded Jones an opportunity to trash talk Magic teammates Josh McRoberts and Redick, both of whom played at Duke. But the rookie small forward said he resisted trash-talking the vets for the most part.

``I just asked them if they saw the game,’’ Jones said with a laugh. ``The score will take care of itself. I just wondered if they saw the game.’’

OFFENSE AFFECTING THE DEFENSE: In the Magic’s first 27 games of the season, the team ranked in the NBA’s top 10 in several defensive categories, while coming in near the bottom offensively. However, in the past 14 games, the offensive production has increased dramatically, while the defense has been in a steady decline.

Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn thinks there might be some correlation between the rise in the offense and the defensive drop off.

Said Vaughn: ``It’s amazing how your mind works; that’s the most powerful tool that you have. Early on when we were playing defense at an extremely great rate, we weren’t scoring the ball. Now that we’re scoring it at a decent clip you have to convince yourself that there’s a job to be done on the other end as well. And if my shots don’t go in, that can’t affect your approach on the (defensive) end. It’s really that simple. … Doing it over and over again takes a heightened level of concentration.’’

ETC: Magic reserve center Gustavo Ayon is scheduled to meet with the Consult of Mexico, Alberto Fierra Garza, Friday night in a ceremony in Orlando. Ayon, who is in his second NBA season, is just the third Mexican-born player ever to reach the NBA. Magic Community Ambassadors Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw, Magic VP of Community Relations and Government Affairs Linda Landman Gonzalez, Magic Spanish Radio play-by-play announcer Joey Colon and Palamas, Inc. President Ricky Debler are scheduled to attend the event. … Davis said he’s not the type to go back and study his performance after particularly good or bad games because he doesn’t want that clouding his thoughts as he heads into the next game. Davis, who took Tuesday’s loss especially hard, said he can vividly remember each shot he took on against the Pistons on Tuesday, and he’ll keep taking those shots in future games. Said Davis: ``I’m a think-without-thinking type of guy. I like to play in the flow of the game. A shot is a shot and I remember every shot that I took. They were great shots. There were probably four that I shouldn’t have taken. But that was just me wanting to make a shot because I had missed so many shots. I took great shots, but I just missed them. (Sunday) night (against the Dallas Mavericks), I was efficient taking 16 shots and making 10. You are going to have nights like (Tuesday night) and I have to be mindful of doing the necessary other things to affect the game.’’ … The Magic headed into Thursday’s game against Orlando with a winning record (9-7) when they score 100. However, they are just 4-13 this season when the opposition scores 100 points. In the past nine games when Orlando has allowed a foe to score at least 100 points, it is just 1-8. Said Vaughn: ``I’ve been on teams where you try to hold teams to certain numbers per quarter, but we don’t do that. We’re more focused on getting consecutive stops and having a more overall offensive and defensive approach.’’ … The Magic will host the Detroit Pistons on Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Amway Center. Orlando won the first two meetings of the season against the Pistons before falling 105-90 on Tuesday in Auburn Hills, Mich.

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