Magic Recap: Savage's Six Sideline Statements

By Dan Savage
October 11, 2012

1) Digging Deep: In the preseason, it’s not all about wins and losses. It’s about setting up the team for success for the start of the regular season.

Magic Head Coach Jacque Vaughn has gone deep into his bench in both of Orlando’s outings thus far, while the opposition has given more minutes to veteran players.

Rookies Andrew Nicholson, Kyle O’Quinn and DeQuan Jones played a combined 52 minutes on Thursday night, while second-year standouts Nikola Vucevic and Gustavo Ayon tallied 38 minutes on the floor.

It’s clear that Vaughn wants to see what he can get out of his young players, while also giving them valuable experience in the process.

2) Rising Rookie: Speaking of youngsters, one of the key bright spots for the Magic against the 76ers was the play of Nicholson, who fired off 14 points in just 20 minutes on the court.

He displayed a few fine touches around the rim, some fancy footwork and this two-handed jam (WATCH).

3) Focused on the Center: After coming off the pine in the Magic’s preseason opener in Mexico City, Vucevic switched roles with Gustavo Ayon and got the start against his former squad.

The 7-footer out of USC took advantage of the opportunity, notching 12 points, 10 rebounds and this sweet shot around the basket.

Ayon turned in an all-around effort with eight points, six rebounds and five assists. He spoke to the media after the game, en Español, of course.

4) Turned It Up: Glen Davis took the world by storm with his one-hit wonder Big Baby Gon Turn It Up earlier in the week and followed it up with an impressive 16-point, 12-rebound contest against Philadelphia on Thursday.

As’s John Denton pointed out, the Magic’s bigs all stood out in the team’s preseason home opener.

5) J-Rich Returns: In some ways, it was a forgettable return for former Magic guard Jason Richardson, who was sent to Philadelphia as part of the Dwight Howard deal.

He managed just three points on 1-for-5 shooting from the floor.

However, Richardson was happy to be back in the building, see some of his old teammates and reflected on his time here.

“It was definitely a pleasant experience here in Orlando, but I wish I could have done more,” he said. “It gave me some inspiration this summer knowing that I need to step my game up a little more. The older you get you lose a step and some people think I lost four or five steps, but I don’t think I lost that much.”

Watch his entire interview here.

6) Cinderella Story: Is the NBA due for a Cinderella story? Is the league ready for something rather extraordinary or at the very least extra surprising?

That’s the question’s Josh Cohen kept asking himself throughout the Magic’s game against the 76ers.

Trust me, he really was pondering this question. I was sitting next to him during the contest.

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