Denton's Notebook: Training Camp Day 3


By John Denton
October 4, 2012

ORLANDO – Orlando Magic standout shooting guard Arron Afflalo’s exurberance to be on the court with his new teammates could keep him out of the squad’s first preseason game on Sunday.

Afflalo, whom the Magic acquired in August in a trade with Denver, sat out of Thursday’s training camp practice because of strained left hamstring. The injury isn’t thought to be a serious one, but it is a recurring injury that has bothered Afflalo for the last two seasons.

Afflalo reinjured his hamstring late last month while running sprints in preparation for his first training camp. After a brief rest, he returned to working out the last two weeks and he felt pain and fatigue in the leg on Wednesday.

``I’ve been through it before and sometimes I’m very hard-headed and impatient to play,’’ Afflalo said with a laugh. ``I wanted to kick-start the season right with my teammates, but I have to sit down for a few (days) to fully let it heal so that I can fully let it heal, as I had to do a couple of years ago, so that I can move forward the rest of the year.’’

Afflalo played in 62 of a possible 66 games last season and 69 of 82 the year before in Denver. He said he’s learned that he must take care of his legs better on off days to avoid a recurrence of the hamstring injury.

``When you overexert yourself without treating it properly, this is what happens. The day before I hurt it I had gone maybe 11 straight days without rest,’’ he said. ``It’s important that I get my rest, and when I don’t, these are the things that happen. I just have to fully let it heal despite feeling fine. That’s the only way I will be able to play and the muscle won’t fatigue and I won’t reinjure it. The idea is to get it stronger and I’ll be good to go.’’

MOORE’S MEMORIES OF ORLANDO: Every time new Orlando Magic point guard E’Twaun Moore walks into Amway Center his memory bank starts to churn and a wide, toothy smile comes across his face.

It was Moore who came off the bench last January who came off the bench as a little-known rookie guard and sparked a huge Boston Celtics’ second-half rally past the Magic. Amway Center was the site of the best professional game of Moore’s career as he made all four of his 3-point shots in the second half as the Celtics rallied from 27 points down for a 91-83 defeat of the Magic.

Now a member of the Magic after signing a free-agent contract with Orlando in September, Moore often flashes back to the night that helped him earn a solid footing in the NBA.

``That was definitely a great game for my career and I guess it helped to land me here,’’ Moore said recently. ``I’m just appreciative and I’m happy to be here in Orlando now.’’

The backup point guard position has been a troublesome spot for the Magic for the past few years what with the struggles of Gilbert Arenas and Chris Duhon. The Magic are now hoping that the 6-foot-4, 191-pound Moore can make sure that there’s no letdown when Nelson is out of the game.

Moore will get his shot at backing up Nelson with Ish Smith likely out until mid-November after separating his shoulder during a summer workout. Smith is back on the basketball court doing drills, but he is still weeks away from playing because of a strength issue in the shoulder.

Moore won over Boston coach Doc Rivers last season and appeared in 38 games during the regular season. He also played in nine postseason games, including three appearances against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. He was used in spot duty to defend Mario Chalmers and even Dwyane Wade because of his toughness and exceptional size at the guard position.

``It definitely helped me because (Rivers) trusted me to go out there and play against some of the best in the league,’’ Moore said. ``It gave me confidence that I can play with anyone in this league.’’

New Magic coach Jacque Vaughn, a former point guarding during his 12-year NBA career, said he thinks that Moore can help Orlando at both guard spots because of his size and versatility. Moore is eager to show his new team and Magic fans his abilities as a play-making point guard. He wants to be a player that the team can depend on when Nelson goes to the bench for a breather.

``My offensive style is I’m a playmaker first and foremost. Some people see that I can shoot a little, but I can also pass it and take a defender off the bounce. For me it’s all about making plays to help the team out,’’ Moore said. ``My goal is to be in that rotation and help out how ever I can. I’m asking Jameer questions all the time about how he guards different players and what he does off the pick and roll. Guys like him who are successful in this league I ask them all kinds of questions.’’

MEXICO BOUND: After practicing twice a day for two days and once on Thursday, the Magic will drill once on Friday before departing for Mexico City. The Magic will face the New Orleans Hornets at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. The game will be televised by NBA TV.

Magic players will take part in a clinic for Special Olympics children on Saturday before holding a practice. The team will also take part at a reception with the U.S. Ambassador on Saturday night.

Vaughn has been a part of a preseason trip to Mexico City before as the San Antonio Spurs beat the Los Angeles Clippers 100-99 in 2010. That was Vaughn’s first season as an assistant coach for the Spurs, and two things from the trip still stand out to him today.

``The trip was great. I ate octopus down at the restaurant and it was unbelievable and I’ll probably go back again. That trip was fun times for me,’’ said Vaughn, who also remembered Spurs coach Gregg Popovich turning over the design of the game-winning play to Manu Ginobili. ``That was (Ginobili’s) intro to coaching and I’m confident he’ll be involved in coaching once he’s done (playing).’’

John Denton writes for OrlandoMagic.com. John has covered the Magic since 1997. E-mail John at jdenton@orlandomagic.com or follow him on Twitter at @JohnDenton555.

ORLANDOMAGIC.COM FEATURES: Raised Expectations for AfflaloFirst Practice Filled With Energy & Enthusiasm | Roster Breakdown | Magic Not Accepting Term 'Rebuilding' | Ten Burning Questions

Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Orlando Magic. All opinions expressed by John Denton are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Orlando Magic or their Basketball Operations staff, partners or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Magic and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.


 

 




Follow John Denton on Twitter here