A Magic Blue Bell Coming in Handy During Training Camp
ORLANDO - At Orlando Magic training camp, it’s the “winning plays” that are getting some extra attention.
They are the hustle plays – the things that don’t show up in the box score such as drawing a charge, deflecting a pass, and diving on the floor for a loose ball.
When they occur, a bell gets rung. It’s a blue bell with Magic décor on it and it’s positioned on a corner of the practice court at Amway Center.
A couple of notable “bell moments” have happened already. On the first day of training camp, R.J. Hampton ran over and chimed the bell after he himself stepped in the paint and drew a charge during a team drill.
On Wednesday, the bell sounded after rookie Jalen Suggs deflected a pass off another player’s legs and dove on the court to claim possession.
Mosley and his players are confident this reward system in practice is going to translate under the bright lights.
“We want to be disruptive. We want to make sure that teams when they come into the building that they understand they are going to feel us,” Mosley said. “We’re going to be into the basketball. We’re going to fly around with five guys on a string covering for one another.”
No surprise considering it was Mosley’s forte at his prior coaching stops, but defense has been the primary focus at training camp so far. Some of it is tactics and execution, but effort, hustle, and intensity are what great defensive teams take pride in. The Magic’s players seem all in on becoming a great defensive squad.
Cole Anthony, for instance, has no problem sacrificing his body for the betterment of the team. He took six charges last season, second most on the team behind Michael Carter-Williams’ eight.
“Yea, why not? I like charges. I’ll take charges every now and then, especially with what we want to do,” the 6-foot-3, 191-pound guard said. “I’ve talked to everyone on the team. That’s what we want to do. We want to defend. Taking a charge is part of defense, so yea, why not?”
Another player known for making hustle plays throughout his career is Gary Harris, a 27-year-old hoping to show this season that injuries are behind him. For a couple seasons with the Denver Nuggets, he led the team in deflections and was second in loose balls recovered.
Being one of the more seasoned guys on this Magic team, he’s looking to set the right examples and use his voice to guide others. No matter what is asked of him, he’s ready to answer the bell (no pun intended).
“Each and every day, I’m just trying to do whatever I can to help this team win,” he said. “Just making sure we are all on the same page. It’s a process. Sticking together and staying strong. Going out there and competing each and every night, and it starts on the defensive end. If we come out and play defense, we are going to give ourselves a chance to win every night.”
The more ding, ding, dings bouncing off the practice court walls, the more likely it will be that the Magic will play with passion and enthusiasm in games. That’s what they are going to have to do to make strides this season.