Fear & Loathing in Charlotte
I don't buy into the theory that wins and losses do not matter in preseason. It seems bad form to practice losing at any time. So the good news is that the Magic dominated the last three quarters and beat the Bobcats in Charlotte 109-90.
But there is a whole list of things to worry about:
1. Garrity started and played 15 minutes of his now patented inefficient game. Like last year, someone needs to Gilooly him, and IT CAN'T HAPPEN SOON ENOUGH!
2. Only 8 of 74 shot attempts were 3 pointers which is half the league percentage. 5 of those came from Diener who will be buried on the bench once the season starts.
3. Redick out with soft tissue injury on his foot. Great, we seem to have another serial-injury victim from Duke on the team.
4. Turk has a mysterious "fever of unknown origin" that requires bed rest, blood tests & urine tests. This is scary. Internet speculation is all over the place including lyme disease, malaria, imuno-deficiencies, etc.
5. Battie has sore knees already. He's 30 and has sore knees. His could turn out to be a hell of a long 5 year contract.
6. Arroyo has a hurt groin and didn't play either.
7. Jameer has a concussion and will miss three games. Brain injuries are mysterious and can linger for up to year.
8. Ariza didn't play either with a bruised foot and expects to miss a week.
9. Bogans started and played 31 minutes. I'd say his performance was Stevenson like (14 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 TO) except that he tried 2 threes which is as many as Stevenson shot all last year.
10. Hill played 18 minutes. It will be interesting to see if he can play in back to back games.
Yes they won and Howard shows signs of coming of age and driving for a max extension due next summer. But the rest of the above is not good.
Training camp is the time for the team to gel and prepare to start the season strong. This is the time for Redick to learn to play with NBA teammates. It's the time for Ariza to continue to improve. It was supposed to be Arroyo vs. Jameer killing each other every day, and for Turkoglu to lock down the starting SF position so the team doesn't waste time there with a fragile Grant Hill who has NEVER finished a season healthy for the Magic.