Recap: Raptors 123, Magic 88

December 29, 2012

There’s no doubt that Magic General Manager Rob Hennigan has a long-term vision to rebuild this franchise and bring Orlando back to championship contention.

At some point during this rebuilding phase, becoming active in free agency will play a role in reconstructing the team from the ground up. A huge positive for this franchise is that among NBA players, Orlando remains an extremely attractive destination.

Talk to nearly any former member of the Magic and chances are they’ll praise the city, staff and organization as a whole. Even Shaquille O’Neal, who took shots at Orlando on his way out the door, wanted to return to the Magic near the end of his career and still maintains a home in the City Beautiful. Perhaps, even one day, Dwight Howard will do the same.

The Magic recently hosted two key former members of their franchise, New Orleans’ Ryan Anderson and Toronto’s Mickael Pietrus. Anderson was part of the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals squad, while M.P. played a huge role in Orlando’s 2009 NBA Finals run.

Both were quick to shower the city and organization with praise and reflect on their good times in the city.

“Orlando is going to be my home forever,” Pietrus said. “I still have a lot of love for the organization and all the love for the fans.”

Anderson was equally as complimentary.

“There are a lot of great things to take from Orlando,” he added. “It’s a great chapter in my life.”

And they’re far from the first players to do so. Remember what Rashard Lewis had to say in his first trip back to Amway Center after being traded?

“I think it’s a first-class organization,” he explained. “One of the best in the NBA.”

"I was nervous in the beginning, excited to get back and with my team. I was expecting the first game to be different, but I guess the next games, I'll try to do the best that I can and get in better shape. Because, as you guys know, game shape is different than practice shape." - Hedo Turkoglu on his eight-point, five-rebound, three-assist performance in his first game back from a hand injury.
This Statline of the Night goes to Andrew Nicholson. The Magic rookie was a bright spot for the team on Saturday, recording a career-high 22 points to go along with seven rebounds. He was extremely efficient from the floor, knocking down 10 of his 14 shots.
Photo courtesy of Fernando Medina. | Photo Gallery




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