News and Notes vs. Sixers

By John Denton
Feb. 24, 2018

PHILADELPHIA -- Frank Vogel grew up in Wildwood Crest, N.J. and one of his favorite childhood memories was making the 75-minute trek with his family to Philadelphia to watch sporting events. Among his all-time favorite sports teams is the Eagles, winners of their first Super Bowl championship earlier in the month.

Vogel, who had his mother, father and 16 other members of his family and group of friends on hand Saturday night, came out for his pregame media session wearing an Eagles’ Super Bowl championship T-shirt.

``I ordered it the morning after the Super Bowl,’’ Vogel said of his Eagles’ T-shirt shirt.

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, who missed the playoff run after tearing the ACL in his knee, was on hand Saturday night as the honorary person to ring the faux Liberty Bell prior to tipoff.

Philadelphia’s other pro sports teams in season, the 76ers and Flyers, seemed to have gotten an emotional bump from the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory. The Sixers came into Saturday 6-0 since the Super Bowl, while the Flyers improved to 8-2 (both losses in shootouts) on Saturday in the same timeframe.

``As much as I love the Eagles, we hope to end that streak and I hope that the Sixers are (6-1) after (Saturday),’’ Vogel joked. ``I root for the Eagles, not for the Sixers.’’

A BIG VUCEVIC FAN: D.J. Augustin has played for the Magic for slightly less than two seasons, but he believes strongly in something regarding one of his teammates: If the Magic had a winning record, Vucevic would have been a multi-time NBA All-Star.

Vucevic, the longest-tenured player on the Magic’s roster, is enjoying another stellar season despite missing 23 games with a fractured bone in his left hand. Vucevic returned on Thursday following six-week layoff following surgery on his hand and needed just 24 minutes to score 19 points, grab six rebounds and swat two shots. Augustin, who has always admired the center’s all-around game and his willingness to put the team before himself, said it was just another example of a greatness that often goes unnoticed for Vucevic because of the Magic being outside of the playoff chase in the past six seasons.

``That was so impressive, being out for a month-or-so and coming back in and coming back in and knocking down shots and moving the way he did. He knows how to play the game, so he still has that feel for the game,’’ Augustin raved.

Vucevic came into Saturday leading the Magic in rebounding (9.2 rpg.) for a sixth consecutive season, while also averaging 17.4 points, 3.2 assists, 1.14 blocks and 1.06 steals a game.

UP NEXT: Orlando’s final game of this two-game road trip comes Monday when it will face the star-studded Thunder in Oklahoma City. The Magic whipped the Thunder 121-108 on Nov. 28 behind 40 points and 15 rebounds from forward Aaron Gordon.

In that game earlier this season, the Magic had to survive a furious, fourth-quarter charge spurred by point guard Russell Westbrook, who finished with 37 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and five steals. Westbrook has long been a thorn in the sides of the Magic and last season he averaged 49 points, 13.5 assists and 12.5 rebounds in two games against Orlando.

Orlando will be back at the Amway Center on Wednesday to face the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors are the lone team in the NBA that the Magic have yet to face so far this season.

Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Orlando Magic. All opinions expressed by John Denton are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Orlando Magic or their Basketball Operations staff, partners or sponsors.