Orlando Magic News & Notes: A Lot of Talk About Brandon Bass


Both Jameer Nelson and Mickael Pietrus practiced on Thursday.

"PG Jameer Nelson and SF Mickael Pietrus practiced Thursday, but coach Stan Van Gundy said their availability tonight would depend upon how they feel today following the workout.“It’s the next-day reaction we look at,” Van Gundy said.Nelson and Pietrus missed the Magic’s last game — against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday — to recover from minor injuries sustained in last Sunday’s game in Detroit.Nelson hyperextended his left knee and Pietrus sprained his right ankle. Van Gundy said both players went through the entire practice.Nelson said his knee felt better and hoped to play. He has missed 17 games this season, 16 of them while recovering from knee surgery.Pietrus sounded as if he definitely would play tonight against the Washington Wizards. “I thought it would be worse than it was,” he said. “That (the Milwaukee game) was the first game I missed all season.”Pietrus said he doesn’t count the two games he missed in November because of flu-like symptoms.“That wasn’t an injury. That was normal. A normal sickness everybody gets,” he said."

You can read this and other notes here.

Brandon Bass is growing increasingly frustrated with his lack of playing time this season. Brian Schmitz goes as far to say that Bass may push for a trade.

"Bass, admittedly frustrated and disappointed, was asked if he still wanted to be in Orlando.“Do I want to stay here? If they feel like I can help them, sooner than later, I’d love to stay here. If something changes. … If they say I can’t help the team and they don’t want me here … then maybe I have to do what’s best for myself,” said Bass, who also was courted last summer by Charlotte, Detroit, Chicago and Portland, among others.“I signed here because I wanted to win championships. I took less dollars because I wanted to win. But it eats at me, because I can’t contribute to the team.”Dutt said he plans on speaking with Magic General Manager Otis Smith sometime during the upcoming all-star break to get a feel for Bass’ future in Orlando."

You can read that story here.

Tim Povtak says that this is not what Bass expected.

"The Magic wanted him for front-court depth, giving them a physical presence to help center Dwight Howard, an option beyond a lineup with mostly 3-point shooters.It just hasn’t happened.“The majority of nights, we can beat a team stretching the floor (with 3-pointers), so guys couldn’t dig on Dwight,” Bass said. “But other nights I think it would be better if we played differently. We could give teams different looks, but we don’t necessarily use it.”"

You can find Povtak’s story here.

John Denton says that Bass is just trying to improve.

"The extra work that Bass was putting in and the beads of sweat pouring from his brow just showed that he hasn’t given up on making a big impact on this season just yet.“It’s been hard and I’ve been battling with it, but I just try to improve upon my game,’’ Bass said following Thursday’s extra session before his Magic (33-16) host the Washington Wizards (16-32) tonight at 7 p.m.“But if I just stay down, I feel like that will hurt myself. I just want to be prepared and ready when coach does call my name.’’"

You can read that here.

About one-and-a-half months ago, Bass told me that all he wants to do is contribute.

Josh Robbins caught up with former Magic sharpshooter Dennis Scott.

"He thinks this season’s Magic sometimes don’t feed Howard the ball enough.“You live by the jump shot, you die by the jump shot,” Scott says. “That sounds crazy coming from me, because I’m a shooter. But we made it a point to get it inside to Shaq and Penny [Hardaway] first to establish the inside game, and then we got our 3-point shots out of the inside-outside game.“I’ve said this a thousand times: There’s no way Dwight Howard should play 48 minutes of basketball and only have two shots in any game regardless of the situation. I don’t care if he was shooting 10 percent from the free-throw line. There’s no way the guy should go 48 minutes only getting two shots, seven shots or I think in one game nine shots. That’s just mind-boggling to me.”"

Find that story here.

Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy brings experience to the All-Star game.

"“You’re just managing people in and out of the game,” Van Gundy said. “I’m not coaching people. I’m not going to be yelling and screaming at guys.“Maybe Dwight,” he added, smiling and referring to Magic C Dwight Howard. “It’s their game. And they’ll figure it out. . . . You maybe diagram a play at a timeout, trying to get somebody something. But, really, I’ve got a very good seat for watching the 24 best guys in the league play. That’s really what it is.”Prior to the 2005 game, Van Gundy did some research and found that some players in previous games had played for just four to six minutes.That won’t happen this time. Van Gundy said everyone will play at least 12 minutes, though Van Gundy added he will speak with every player before the game to determine if anyone wants to play sparingly in order to nurse nagging injuries."

You can read about that here.

Friday’s Magic opponent, the Washing Wizards, won’t have an easy road to recovery.

"“You never actually recover. Not only did it derail that year, it knocked the floor from under us, organization-wise,” O’Neal, now with the Miami Heat, said of the brawl. “It was a cloud over the organization.”The Pacers made a playoff run despite Artest missing the final 86 games of the regular season and postseason, but the Wizards (16-32) are just 5-11 since Arenas was suspended on Jan. 6, even though they were preparing to be without him before Commissioner David Stern decided to sideline him for the rest of the season three weeks later.“It takes a lot of mental toughness to stay focused and not be distracted by what’s going on outside,” reserve point guard Earl Boykins said. “Right now, we’re a struggling basketball team, so the distraction has affected us.”"

Michael Lee of the Washington Post has the story 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.)