Insider: Orlando Magic Notebook

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Ryan Anderson Crashes The Boards

After the Orlando Magic grabbed just 28 total rebounds and were out-rebounded by 11 in an 89-78 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Monday night, head coach Stan Van Gundy made rebounding a point of emphasis leading up to Orlando’s game against the Washington Wizards Wednesday night. The Magic answered the call, grabbing 54 rebounds to Washington’s 44 in a 103-85 win.

“Coach made it a big focus to go out and get rebounds and help Dwight out because he’s rebounding the ball like crazy right now,” Anderson told the collected media following the game.

Dwight Howard has been doing most of the heavy lifting on the glass and Wednesday, he finally got some help (Howard still pulled down 20 rebounds). Ryan Anderson, who’s defense and rebounding have been called into question by Van Gundy, had 15 boards while Hedo Turkoglu grabbed five himself, giving Orlando’s starting front court 40 rebounds, just four less than the Wizards had in the entire game.

“Much, much better, ” Van Gundy said of Anderson’s work on the boards.

Seven of Anderson’s 15 rebounds came on the offensive end, which is impressive. Despite all of their deficiencies, the Wizards do have some size along their front line.

“Seven offensive rebounds, that’s fantastic,” Van Gundy said during his post game press conference.

“Tonight, we just came out with a little more focus to crash the offensive glass,” Anderson added.

Anderson’s work on the glass has been underrated and undervalued since he entered the league (his career total rebounding rate is 14.0%), but rebounding well on a consistent basis will be the key for him.

“Ryan has been great,” Dwight Howard said of Anderson. “He just needs to be more consistent, just keep it up.”

He’s averaging 7.4 rebounds per game, which is fantastic and exactly what Orlando needs, but it’d be nice if he was right around seven or eight every night, rather than being so up-and-down. So far this season, his game-by-game rebounding numbers look like this: 10, 5, 3, 8, 5, 6 and 15. Orlando would prefer not to see 3′s and 5′s in his stat line.

“We didn’t get as many open looks as normal,” Anderson told the media following the game. “Instead I tried to crash the glass a little bit.”

Van Gundy hopes Anderson crashes the glass more than “a little bit,” especially Friday night when the league’s best rebounding team, the Chicago Bulls, come to town.

Glen Davis Continues To Struggle

Since being acquired by the Magic, things have been tough for Glen Davis.

Due to a hold up with FIBA because of Von Wafer’s overseas status, Orlando’s trade with the Boston Celtics sending Davis to Orlando wasn’t finalized until after training camp had already started.

“He had to miss the first three days of camp,” Van Gundy told the media following Wednesday night’s win over the Wizards. “Then we only had two exhibition games, so he’s only been out there with us nine times.”

Since getting back on the court, things have continued to go down hill for Davis. He’s averaging just 6.9 points per game and his shooting percentages are in the tank. He’s shooting 33.3% from the field and has only gotten to the free throw line nine times (66.6%).

“He’s not playing well,” Van Gundy said. “And I’m not sure his mind is in the right place.”

Van Gundy wouldn’t delve any deeper into where Davis’ mind might be, but clearly something is wrong with the reserve power forward.

“[He needs to] rebound better than he’s rebounding,” Van Gundy said when asked about Davis’s potential improvement.

Davis is averaging just 3.9 rebounds per game – he grabbed 5.4 boards per game for the Boston Celtics last season. Over his career, Davis has grabbed 11.9% of all available rebounds. This season that number is down to 10.1%.

One thing that had the Magic excited about Davis was his passing ability and the way he keeps the ball moving, something former Magic power forward Brandon Bass didn’t exactly excel with. This season, Davis hasn’t moved the ball nearly as well as he did in Boston. Instead, the play often stops when the ball gets to Davis and he settles for long, contested jumpers.

Van Gundy pointed out that 65% of Davis’s shots have come from beyond 12 feet so far this season while just 50% of his shots came from that distance last season.

“[He needs to] move the ball,” Van Gundy explained.

Davis isn’t too worried about his performance yet, since it’s only been seven games. His teammates don’t appear to be worried either. Dwight Howard did tell reporters he was going to talk to Davis about his troubles so far this season, but wouldn’t say what that conversation would sound like.

“We’ll talk,” Howard told reporters. “That’s something that has to stay in the locker room.”

The comments weren’t all negative – Van Gundy did praise Davis’ defense.

“What we need him to do is defend, which that he has done pretty well,” Van Gundy explained.

With the experience of Davis and his teammates and coaches behind him, the Magic expect Davis to correct his mistakes sooner rather than later.

“We’ll keep working on it, I’ve seen the guy play pretty well,” Van Gundy told reporters. “He’s a good player, he’s a smart guy and he should be able to figure it out.”

“It takes time,” Van Gundy added.

News & Notes:

  • Click here to watch Carson Ingle and I review last night’s game and preview Friday’s game between the Magic and the Bulls.
  • Wednesday marked the first time Rashard Lewis played in Orlando since being traded to Washington last December. He scored six points and grabbed four rebounds in just under 29 minutes of action.
  • Afterwards, Lewis praised Orlando and their organization:
  • “I thought everybody was a part of making this organization one of the best teams in the league as well as Dwight Howard, myself, Stan Van Gundy.It was a team effort. They played as a team and that is what we (Washington) have to get to.”
  • The Magic will host on the Chicago Bulls Friday night at 8:00 pm EST. The Magic were just 1-3 against the Bulls last season and 0-2 at home. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN.
  • Dwight Howard was suspended for the second home game against the Bulls last season, a game Orlando dropped 102-99 on April 10.  Ryan Anderson, who is averaging 19.7 points and 7.4 rebounds per game this season, scored a career-high 28 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in that game against the Bulls last season.
  • Van Gundy referred to the Bulls as the best rebounding team in the league after Wednesday’s game. Chicago led the league in both rebounding and defensive efficiency last season.
  • The All-Star ballots were unveiled in Orlando Wednesday afternoon. Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson and Jameer Nelson appear on the ballot, while Ryan Anderson was unjustly, but unsurprisingly left off.

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