Denton's Notebook: Wednesday, Dec. 26
By John Denton
December 26, 2012
ORLANDO – As he pulled into the Amway Center on Wednesday for the first time with an opposing team, Ryan Anderson almost immediately began reliving his many memories from his playing days with the Orlando Magic.
Then, minutes later, Anderson received a jolt that reminded him that he’s no longer a member of the Magic and instead with the New Orleans Hornets.
``It’s different going to the visitor’s locker room because that’s probably the only part of this arena that I haven’t seen,’’ Anderson said Wednesday morning.
Anderson played with Orlando for three seasons from 2009-12. The 6-foot-10 power forward led the NBA in 3-pointers made (166) last season and won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award.
A restricted free agent over the summer, Anderson signed a four-year, $34 million contract with New Orleans. The Magic chose not to match the deal in an effort to maintain salary cap flexibility in the years ahead. The Magic ultimately traded Anderson to the Hornets for Gustavo Ayon. Anderson leads the Hornets at 17.8 points a game and he once again leads the NBA in made 3-pointers (88).
``There are a lot of great memories here. It was great to be a part of All-Star Weekend here last year. There are a lot of great friends here and a lot of great things I took from Orlando. It’s a great chapter in my life,’’ he said. ``It just feels weird. It’s kind of like I’m walking back in here in the offseason or after a few months break. I have a lot of memories here. When I first walked in here I relieved some of those memories, but we have a game tonight.’’
Anderson said he will forever be grateful to the Magic organization because of the way it helped shape his NBA career. Anderson played on a Magic team that reached the Eastern Conference Finals in 2010 and by the 2011-12 season he established himself as a full-time starter and one of the NBA’s most lethal 3-point shooters.
``This is a place I got an opportunity here and I really worked hard here,’’ Anderson said. ``I tried to work my way into the rotation and the starting lineup here. I got to know a lot of great people here. People were great to me here and have continued to be great to me whether it’s through Twitter or phone calls.’’
TURKOGLU TIMETABLE: The Magic have been leery about setting a definitive timetable on Hedo Turkoglu’s return to action. The small forward broke a bone in the outside of his left hand in the season-opening defeat of the Denver Nuggets and hasn’t played since.
Turkoglu began shooting drills last week and has steadily increased his workload this week. He went through a controlled workout on Christmas Eve and was doing more shooting and running on the treadmill on Wednesday. The game against the Hornets was the 27th in a row missed by Turkoglu, who had surgery on the hand to repair the broken bone.
Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said that he wants to see Turkoglu in a live scrimmage setting first before allowing him to play again. The Magic will conduct a full practice on Thursday before playing in Washington on Friday and at home against Toronto on Saturday, possibly giving Turkoglu a chance to see his first action since Nov. 2. ``He needs some more practice,’’ Vaughn said. ``We haven’t scrimmaged. He’s gotta get hit on that hand.’’
The Magic are also anxious to see the return of Al Harrington, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery over the summer and subsequently needed four more procedures to clean out a staph infection. Like Turkoglu, Harrington has steadily increased his workload and is to the point where he’s running and shooting now. Vaughn said he hasn’t given much thought as to how he will incorporate the two forwards into the rotation because he’s instead been focused on the team’s other healthy bodies.
``Hopefully they will make it all the way back soon,’’ Vaughn said. ``There are a numerous amount of things I can do (playing Turkoglu and Harrington). But we’ve got to wait until everybody is healthy and deal with it then. Hopefully, that comes soon.’’
ETC: Magic shooting guard J.J. Redick donated the remaining $25,000 from the Rich and Helen DeVos Community Enrichment award to the Loaves and Fishes, a nonprofit organization based in Apopka. Redick donated $25,000 of the money to the Russell Home for Atypical Children and held a contest for decide the recipient for the rest of the grant money. Redick and wife, Chelsea, ultimately decided upon Loaves and Fishes because of the work the organization is doing for those in need in Central Florida. Said Redick: ``Christmas Day is a time when giving should be emphasized. It’ about gift, giving and love, so that’s why we decided to time it the way that we did. Chelsa and I loved watching all of the videos and personal stories that were sent in and after watching all of the videos we narrowed it down to three places. And after what we had done with the first $25,000, we wanted to do something that was more immediate need-based. Loaves and Fishes, they provide care and needs for people that can’t afford it.’’ The Redicks also donated another $25,000 of their own money to ``Knight-thon,’’ a dance marathon to benefit the Greater Orlando Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. … Vaughn wants Orlando’s players to get a grip on their emotions after Josh McRoberts, Glen Davis and J.J. Redick (twice) have been called for four technical fouls in the past 12 games. The Magic were not whistled for a technical foul in the first 15 games of the season and the coaching staff has yet to pick up a technical foul. Said Vaughn: ``It’s an emotional game, guys want to win and they get frustrated throughout the course of the game. My 8-year-old gets frustrated, but I put a little more reliance on us not being like 8-year-olds. I want them to have composure and resist the temptation to be frustrated and continue to play. We can control that and let the referees do their job and we’ll do ours.’’ … Magic shooting guard Arron Afflalo has been hobbled of late by a right knee that he has repeatedly banged in the past three games. But he vowed that he wouldn’t be missing any time on the court. Said Afflalo: ``It’s one of those cases where I’ve been getting hitting in one spot over and over. I’ll wear a knee pad and it’ll be fine.’’ … New Orleans guard Austin Rivers, the son of former Magic coach Doc Rivers who starred at Winter Park High School, needed 80 tickets for friends and family members at Wednesday’s game.
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