Denton: Final "Garbage" Minutes Important to Vaughn

By John Denton
Jan. 22, 2014

ORLANDO – Whereas to most the final few possessions in blowout games are mostly meaningless and insignificant to the final result – hence the distinction of ``garbage time’’ – Orlando Magic coach Jacque Vaughn couldn’t disagree any more vehemently with that assessment.

In Vaughn’s eyes, those minutes are still very useful because the young Magic are still testing players and working on various scenarios – whether they are way ahead in games or way behind. Vaughn said he can tell a lot about a player’s preparation, mental approach and will with how they respond at the end of lopsided games.

``For me, there are no garbage minutes. I didn’t relate to that as a player,’’ Vaughn said. ``There are 48 minutes where guys are earning a living and every second counts. So when a guy is in at the end of the game for 1L14, I’m watching. I’m not zoned out thinking about the next game. I want that guy to get better in that 1:14. That is the type of people that I want around in the locker room.’’

Vaughn had to like what he saw on Tuesday night in Brooklyn when the Magic started the fourth quarter with five reserves, and the group played quite well despite the 17-point deficit. Led by a hustling Kyle O’Quinn and E’Twaun Moore, the Magic made 13 of 17 shots and outscored the Nets 34-28 in the fourth period. O’Quinn was especially impressive, making all four of his shots and scoring 10 points while grabbing three rebounds in the fourth quarter alone. It was the capper on another strong night for O’Quinn, who has taken more seriously his preparation and approach to games of late.

``It’s his second year, his preparation (is better) – whether it’s more detail in the scouting report, knowing who he’s going to guard, watching film or staying after with coaches – all of that comes with being in the league,’’ Vaughn said. ``When you are a guy who started late playing basketball and you are a second-round pick, those things have to become a priority for you.

``Kyle’s role is going to be established with toughness, rebounding the basketball, being a great teammate, having the ability to knock down the perimeter shot and using his ability to pass the ball,’’ Vaughn continued. ``Each game you watch (O’Quinn) he makes the correct pass. That’s something that he possesses in his game.’’

TOBIAS TREND: Magic forward Tobias Harris got off to a promising start on Tuesday night in Brooklyn, knocking down a 3-pointer on his first shot of the game and scoring seven first-quarter points. The problem, however, is those were his only points of the game.

For whatever reason, that’s become somewhat of a trend for Harris – getting off to fast starts and then fading away offensively as the game progresses. For the season, Harris has scored 19 more points in the first half than he has in the second half. On Tuesday, he made three of his first four shots in the first quarter. However, he got just four shots the rest of the way and did not register a field goal.

Harris was unhappy with the team’s ball movement in the second half, saying that it totally ruined whatever flow the team had going offensively. Orlando shot 50 percent in the first half and then opened the third quarter by missing 10 of 11 shots.

``We can control moving it around, and that’s when I think we’re at our best as a team,’’ Harris said of the Magic’s ball movement. ``We got away from that ball movement in the second half and it’s going to be tough for us to win games when we do what’s helping us. We’re just not going to win games playing like that.’’