Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday night as they attempt to win for the seventh tim..."/> Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday night as they attempt to win for the seventh tim..."/>

Orlando Magic News & Notes: Magic Believe in Vince Carter

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The Orlando Magic will take on the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday night as they attempt to win for the seventh time in eight games. You can see a preview for the game here.

As reported earlier, it looks like Jameer Nelson and Mickael Pietrus will play in Tuesday’s game.

"Smith said that Nelson hyperextended his left knee — the knee he had surgically repaired last November.Nelson was injured in the first quarter and did not return as a precaution, Smith said.“I’d be surprised if he doesn’t play (Tuesday night),” Smith said.Pietrus sprained his ankle and said after the game that he might miss a week.But Smith spoke with Pietrus on Monday and said, “He’s feeling better. Swelling is minimal. Where it goes, I don’t know. It looked good. I don’t expect him missing any time.”"

You can read the full story here.

The Bucks are trying to solve the Magic puzzle.

"On Tuesday night they will be facing a Magic team which has won six of its last seven games, including victories last week over Boston and Atlanta.The Bucks held a 49-41 halftime lead when they faced the Magic on Dec. 30, but Orlando shot a franchise-record 78.4% in the second half while scoring 76 points.There’s plenty of talk in Orlando about slumping guard Vince Carter, who is shooting a career-low 38% from the field and has not been on the floor much in fourth quarters recently. In 14 games in January, Carter averaged 8.7 points and shot 28.4%.The Magic’s recent hot streak has given coach Stan Van Gundy the assignment as head coach for the Eastern Conference squad in the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 14. Orlando’s 32-16 record is the second-best mark in the conference."

Charles F. Gardner has the story here.

The Magic still believe in Vince Carter.

"General Manager Otis Smith and coach Stan Van Gundy said Monday that the possibility of benching Carter — even for a while — has not been broached.“I don’t know if (benching Carter) would help or hurt, but I don’t see that being the case at all,” Smith said. “It isn’t an issue with us.”Van Gundy said he can’t sit Carter if the team intends to meet their stated goal of winning a title.“I have not even thought about that,” Van Gundy said. “I never say never, but I think that for us to be serious contenders, we need Vince to be at a high level and we don’t get there by sitting him down.“I’m still very hopeful that the (Feb. 12-15 all-star) break will help him and help his frame of mind.”"

Brian Schmitz has the full story here.

The Magic hope their recent play means they’re back on track.

"“I think it’s always important to get wins under your belt,” Van Gundy said. “I don’t know if there’s really such a thing as momentum going into a break and coming out.”One of the all-stars he’ll be coaching is his own center, Dwight Howard.“I’m happy for him, but I hope we’re getting back on the right track,” Howard said. “I hope we keep it up, stay humble and keep working.”The Magic are 6-4 in their last 10 games, but have won six of their last seven games."

You can read that and other notes on the Magic here.

Alex Kennedy of Hoops World takes a look at the friendship between former AAU teammates Dwight Howard and Josh Smith.

"It all started twenty years ago when Dwight Howard and Josh Smith would get dropped off at the same Atlanta preschool every day. We always hear about how close players are with one another but few friendships go as far back as this one. Both players joke that they’ve been balling together since they were in diapers. The two remained friends as they completed grade after grade and started growing into the physical specimens we see today.“Growing up together we always talked about going to the NBA and becoming the best players to ever play the game of basketball. Looking back on day one and now is crazy,” Howard told HOOPSWORLD.“[Going to the NBA] was in our minds but at the time, it was just about playing around. You see how goofy he is. We were just joking a lot, playing with each other,” adds Smith."

The most interesting quote came later on in the story.

"As the All-Star reserves were being chosen last week, Dwight did some last minute campaigning for his friend. He talked Josh up and was excited at the thought of playing with his former teammate once again. While Smith was left off of the All-Star team, he didn’t rule out the possibility of reuniting with Howard later in their careers. “It would be nice [to reunite with Howard at some point]. I’d definitely play with him again. It’s good to talk about but it’s probably a hard task to accomplish,” he said."

You can read Kennedy’s full story here.

Ben Q. Rock wonders if the Magic already have Vince Carter’s replacement – J.J. Redick.

"Not only is he scoring efficiently, he’s doing so in key situations. Magic play-by-play man David Steele points out that Redick has averaged 4.2 points per fourth quarter this season, and cites recent performances against Detroit, Boston, and Charlotte as the most recent examples of Redick’s heroics.He also proved to be a capable secondary ballhandler, with a Pure Point Rating of 2.3 in January; for comparison, former Magic small forward Hedo Turkoglu, often lauded for his playmaking skills, tallied a Pure Point Rating of 1.6 last season and 0.9 two years ago."

You can read that story here.

Dwight Howard has received a contract renewal from McDonalds. Here’s the official word from the Magic.

The Orlando Magic will host several youth basketball camps.

"ORLANDO MAGIC HOST YOUTH BASKETBALL PROGRAMS-Spring Break Camps, STUFF’S Mini Dragon Dribblers and Parent/Child Game-Day Clinic offered-In conjunction with the National Basketball Academy, the Orlando Magic’s youth basketball programs are kicking back into gear this spring, offering three Spring Break Camps, a series of STUFF’s Mini Dragon Dribblers clinics and an Orlando Magic Parent/Child Game-Day Clinic throughout the months of February through April in convenient locations all across Central Florida.Orlando Magic Spring Break CampsRDV Sportsplex – March 29-April 2; 9 a.m.-1 p.m.Pro-Health & Fitness Center (Viera, Fla.) – April 5-9; 9 a.m.-1 p.m.Lake Mary Preparatory School (Lake Mary, Fla.) – April 5-9; 9 a.m.-1 p.m.The Magic’s Spring Break Camps are five-day camps designed to improve the skill level of any youth basketball player. Campers of all skill levels ages 7-16 will receive five days of expert instruction from the National Basketball Academy, participation in stations, drills, skills contests and live games, a camp T-shirt, giveaways, prizes, awards and a ticket to an Orlando Magic home game.STUFF’S Mini Dragon DribblersRDV Sportsplex – Every Sunday February 14-March 28; 5-6 p.m.Program enrollment includes seven instructional sessionsWhile Spring Break Camps are open to ages 7-16, anyone in grades K-3 are welcome to learn the FUNdamentals of basketball with a program known as STUFF’s Mini Dragon Dribblers. Children taking part in this series will receive seven fun, motivational and educational practice sessions, Magic prizes and a Certificate of Achievement, a ticket to a Magic home game and meet-and-greets with STUFF, the Magic’s Mascot.Orlando Magic Parent/Child Game-Day ClinicRDV Sportsplex – March 28; 1-3 p.m. (clinic)Package includes tickets for participants to Magic/Nuggets at 6 p.m. at Amway ArenaThe Magic are also offering a unique opportunity for family members to experience a day of Magic with the Parent/Child Game-Day Clinic on March 28. This fun-filled day includes a two-hour afternoon basketball clinic followed by the opportunity to attend the Magic’s home game that night against the Denver Nuggets. At the game, the group will be recognized on the jumbotron and be able to take a postgame group photo at center court upon the game’s conclusion.To sign up for any of the Orlando Magic’s youth basketball programs, visit www.OrlandoMagicCamps.com or call 407-916-HOOP."

Hoops World caught up with former Magic Guard Courtney Lee. You can find that interview here.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor at NFL Mocks Subscribe to his RSS feed and add him on Twitter to follow him daily.)