A lot of time on this blog has been spent talking about what Dwight Howard has been up to, what Gilbert Arenas needs to do and where the heck a lot of these players will be playing. The Magic have a lot of work to do and a lot of time will be spent trying to figure out exactly what they can do once the rules of the game are set.
The hope has been that every player is working hard to get better so the Magic can make up for last season. Howard is among those that has said the team needed a training camp and some time to gel to really reach its full potential. That never happened (obviously) last year.
This has been a strange summer. The lockout has prevented us from reaching the normal point of the season. There have been no free agent signings, no trades, no movement. The players have had no contact with their teams, leaving players to manage themselves. A number of them have taken to street-ball like tournaments. But aside from random remarks from Howard and Gilbert Arenas’ since-deleted Twitter account, there has been little news from the members of the Magic.
Justin Harper signed with a team in France with an opt out clause. DeAndre Liggins considered playing in China. Hedo Turkoglu fought off rumors that he was going to Turkey for the lockout. What has everyone else been up to? It has been relatively quiet from the Magic’s other players.
Aside from Dwight, Turkoglu has likely been the most active, at least on the basketball court. Turkoglu is playing for his national team in Eurobasket, trying to help Turkey qualify for next year’s Olympics. Turkoglu helped guide his team tot eh finals of the World Championships, hosted in Turkey. The loss to the U.S. forced Turkey to qualify for the Olympics through the European basketball championship tournament.
Turkey is grouped with Spain, host nation Lithuania and Poland. They are expected to get out of their group with NBA players Ersan Ilyasova and Enes Kanter on the roster. Through Thursday’s game, Turkey is 2-0, defeating Portugal and Great Britain. Turkoglu is averaging 10.0 points per game in 20.7 minutes per game through the two games. He scored seven points on 3-for-7 shooting in Thursday’s win over Great Britain. Through two games, he is shooting 47.1 percent (8 for 17) and has a 55.9 percent effective field goal percentage.
But his nine-point, 2-for-7 performance in Friday’s loss to Lithuania is more in line with the Turkoglu we saw in a Magic uniform last year.
We will definitely keep an eye on how Turkoglu is doing and hope that this efficient shooting continues. He usually takes a more active role on his national team. If he can keep this efficiency up, that will be a good sign for his play next year. It might be a sign that he is getting back to a 2009-level of play. Remember though, in the World Championships last year, Turkoglu averaged 12.3 points per game with a 52.4 percent effective field goal percentage.
Every Eurobasket game is available online through ESPN3.com and FIBA.com.
Jameer Nelson has been quiet this offseason. There has been no Making Magic group workouts to plan. The latest on Nelson is that Hakim Warrick is trying to recruit Nelson, among others in the Philadelphia area, for a big exhibition game in the City of Brotherly Love. Nelson has given no word on whether he would participate or who else might be playing.
J.J. Redick has kept himself relatively busy around the Orlando area. You may remember the article Josh Robbins of Orlando Sentinel followed Redick around during a day of his life. Redick’s daily routing keeps him pretty busy, but he has also been all over the place too.
Redick created a Twitter account this summer to promote a charity golf event he held in his hometown, Roanoke, Va., to start the J.J. Redick Foundation. Redick has been working hard on rehabbing that abdominal injury that limited him in the Playoffs, but he has also worked on kicking off his foundation. A few weeks ago he had an Orlando kick-off party downtown at Ember and the golf tournament was the official kick off of the J.J. Redick Foundation. The Foundation’s aim, according to Redick’s Web site, is to benefit underprivileged youth in his hometowns in Virginia and Orlando.
Aside from enjoying the occasional 4Rivers, Redick has been traveling around with his wife. He recently took a trip to Northern California and has also taken a trip to New York this offseason.
Jason Richardson also held a charity golf tournament this summer in his hometown of Saginaw, Michigan. And Ryan Anderson is having some fun this summer as well (but you can go to Perez Hilton to find out more about that).
Yeah, I think we need the season to start.
Photo via DayLife.com.