Insider: Orlando struggles with injuries
Injuries keep pilling up for the Orlando Magic.
Lets start with Hedo Turkoglu who broke his left hand in early November and is slowly transitioning into the starting line up. On Saturday, Turkoglu played for the first time since November against the Toronto Raptors.
Turkoglu didn’t have much time to practice with the team and it showed when he stepped on the court during the first quarter of the Magic Raptors game. Turkoglu played a little over 23 minutes and shot 3-for-8 and 0-for-2 behind the arc. Needless to say it might take a game or two before Turkoglu gets in what he calls ‘game shape.’
“I was nervous in the beginning, excited to get back and with my team. I was expecting [my] first game to be different but I guess the next games I’ll try to do the best that I can and get in better shape. Because as you guys know, game shape is different than practice shape,” Turkoglu said after the game Saturday night.
Turkoglu is a player that brings a high basketball IQ to the court and 12 years of NBA experience. This is an advantage to the young players in the Magic locker room.
The Magic struggled throughout the month of November to find their identity and they seemed to find a rhythm in early December but was brought to halt when Glen Davis suffered an injury.
Up to Dec. 19th the Magic were led on the court by captains Jameer Nelson and Glen Davis. During the Magic’s game against the Wizards on Dec. 19th Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis went down with a left shoulder sprain with seconds left in the fourth quarter. Even though Davis hasn’t been able to play he still continues to encourage and lead the team from the locker room.
If losing one captain weren’t enough, minutes before Saturday’s game against the Raptors Jameer Nelson was ruled out because a left sore hip.
E’Twaun Moore who usually backs up Nelson in the point guard position is also out with a left sprained elbow. Therefore Ish Smith served as the Magic’s starting point guard during Saturday night’s game against the Raptors. It is unknown how long Davis and Moore will be out and Nelson is listed day-to-day.
The undermanned Orlando Magic will take on the Miami Heat on Dec. 31 at 5 p.m.