Magic Players React To Jamison Trade


The acquisition of Antawn Jamison by the Cleveland Cavaliers has made the Cavs, who currently look like Orlando’s biggest competition in the Eastern Conference (although we should not sleep on Boston), the favorite to win the NBA Championship in many pundit’s eyes (if they weren’t already).

Most of the players didn’t have a lot of interesting in talking about the deal or the Cavaliers in general but here is what the Magic had to say about the situation:

Stan Van Gundy

"“Obviously, Antawn Jamison’s a great great player and gives them another guy – they’re already the best three-point shooting team in the league. They get another guy who can stretch the floor with Shaq inside and LeBron on the perimeter, so it’s pretty formidable. But, they were darn good before, they probably get better with the trade and game plan and all that stuff will have to change but we’ll see.”"

Matt Barnes

"“This takes them to another level. They already have the best player in the world, but now they have another go-to guy. It allows them to stretch the floor. They got better, but we’ll see. It takes time to work a new guy into the lineup.”"

Vince Carter

"“I think he helps them. He can shoot the ball. He’s a shooting four. I’m happy for him.”"

On if they will play differently.

"“You’d have to go ask them. I don’t care. We still have a job to do. They’re minus a big man right now so it’s important for us to just be in attack mode and their second unit has to guard Dwight.”"

Rashard Lewis

On if the Magic have enough right now to win the title.

"“No doubt, most definitely. They made themselves a better team by getting Antawn Jamison. They already were a good team – best team in the Eastern Conference, by far. Best team in the NBA again. They did nothing but make themselves better. At the same time, we’re not going to hold our heads down. We still have to come out like we can beat that team.”"

On if they made the move to offset him.

"“Yeah,they want to match up with me, match down to me, but I don’t think I’m the match up problem, it’s the big fella over there (Dwight Howard). I mean, if you look at game six last year, the closing game, he had 40 and 20-something. I’m just a guy trying to help our teams win ball games. They have to worry about the big fella, not me.”"

How Jamison allows them to play differently.

"“They’ll be able to spread the floor a little bit more. Jamison can shoot threes as well as post up. Obviously, you have to worry about LeBron James. Jamison is going to be the number one factor or the guy we have to worry about so much. LeBron James is just a great player.”"

If Cleveland is tougher to beat.

"“I don’t know. We’ll have to see how their chemistry gets. Jamison has to learn the offense and their defense, which I don’t think will be hard for him, but at the same time, you never know how the chemistry is going to work.”"

Dwight Howard

"“I’m just going to continue to worry about the Orlando Magic and what we want to accomplish as a team. We want to win a championship and we can’t focus in on what other teams are doing. We have to focus on what we’re doing to get better. I don’t think we’re going to do any trades or anything like that so we’re just looking forward to the rest of the season, looking forward to battling every day in practice, making each other better and coming out in the game and getting the job done.”"

Tim Povtak of NBA Fanhouse, who was in attendance Wednesday night, offered his thoughts on the deal.

"Lewis averaged 18.3 points — and shot 48.4 percent from 3-point range — in the conference final against Cleveland last spring, guarded mostly by Anderson Varejao. Lewis now will be matched against Jamison, a much-better offensive weapon who will create even more space for LeBron James."

You can find that story here.

Twitter was abuzz last night after John Schuman of wrote that Rashard Lewis has scored 12.8 points per game on 38% shooting over his last nine matchups with Antawn Jamison.

Later, he made Magic fans feel a little better.

"Watching some of these Jamison vs. Lewis games in Synergy. Can’t say that AJ’s defense is much of a factor in RL’s shooting %. AJ is definitely long and mobile, but he makes a 1/2 effort most of the time. RL just missing a lot of open looks in these games.Only once has Jamison been on a top-18 defensive team: Rookie (lockout-short) season. GS was 12th. 7 times AJ has been on bottom-5 defense."

(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.)