Denton: Injuries Piling Up

By John Denton
December 29, 2012


ORLANDO – Just as the Orlando Magic finally got Hedo Turkoglu back Saturday night following an eight-week absence, they lost two more crucial pieces in point guards Jameer Nelson and E’Twaun Moore.
It was two more crippling blows to a team that has been without Glen ``Big Baby’’ Davis for the past 10 days.

Nelson didn’t play on Saturday against Toronto because of a sore left hip that he hurt Friday night in Washington. Moore is likely out for an extended period of time with a sprained left elbow that he also injured against Washington on Friday.

The injuries to the two point guards left the Magic with just one point guard on the roster – Ish Smith – and J.J. Redick and Turkoglu needing to assist with the ball-handling and play-making duties.

Nelson’s hip injury is thought to be day-to-day, and he reported after Friday’s game that he thought he would be well enough to play on Saturday. The hope is that by resting on Saturday, he will be back by Monday when the Magic host the Miami Heat.

As for Moore, he injured his arm in the final seconds of the first quarter Friday night when Washington’s Cardier Martin dove onto him during a scrum for a loose ball. A MRI on Saturday showed no structural damage, and Moore’s return will be based on how he responds to treatment. Losing Moore is a blow to the Magic because of the many ways he’s been used this season.

``We’ll miss him,’’ Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. ``We’ve done a lot of things with E’Twaun. Sometimes he’s guarded the opposing perimeter player, we’ve had him in our small ball lineup and he’s really done a good job on both ends of the floor.’’

Turkoglu was back on the floor for the Magic Saturday night after breaking his hand in the season-opening defeat of the Denver Nuggets and not playing since Nov. 2. Turkoglu was originally projected to miss four-to-six weeks, but his rehab stretched to eight weeks after a setback required Turkoglu’s hand to be re-casted another two weeks.

Because Turkoglu can play multiple positions defensively and can both orchestrate pick-and-roll plays and serve as a spot-up shooter, Vaughn is eager to get the 13-year NBA veteran back onto the floor.

``He’s always been a guy who could play pick-and-roll, great decision-making-wise, can spot-up and make threes and knows how to play,’’ Vaughn said of Turkoglu.

``Over the years, he’s shown the ability to slash, cut, run off screens and pass the basketball. Everybody throws out the term, `Basketball IQ,’ but you see it from him. Even in a limited practice time, he’s been able to pick up the plays even though he hasn’t been on the floor with us. It’s a direct sign of him understanding basketball.’’

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