This will be a collection of information leading up to Orlando's opening ga..."/> This will be a collection of information leading up to Orlando's opening ga..."/>

Magic-Wizards Notes: Arenas Out, J-Will Active


This will be a collection of information leading up to Orlando’s opening game against the Washington Wizards. As news continues to break and stories are published, Brian and I will update this page accordingly.

Per Chris Miller, Gilbert Arenas will miss the first two games of the regular season.

"Gilbert Arenas will not play thurs. Or Saturday. Gil is in a walking boot Wizards are calling it a strain tendon in ankle."

Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel offers up a Wednesday practice report.

"The Wizards will look to create opportunities for super-athletic rookie PG John Wall in transition, and one way to do that is by forcing turnovers and pushing the tempo after misses. So, the key for the Magic will be getting back on defense and protecting the ball. Not exactly original focus points, but they’ll be extra important against a young and fast team such as Washington.“They were trapping a lot in the preseason,” Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. “They’ve got really quick, athletics guys and I think they’re trying to disrupt things and force turnovers.”"

You can read that story here.

Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel previews the game here.

AP writer Antonio Gonzalez has a story about former first overall draft pick Dwight Howard and this year’s first overall pick, Wizards point guard John Wall.

"“It wasn’t easy,” Howard said of being the first pick in 2004. “You can try to do too much. Everybody’s going to want you to do this and do that. But you just have to learn how to play your role.”The major difference between Howard and Wall — other than their size and position, of course — is that Wall had the benefit of a season at Kentucky while Howard came straight out of high school.The rest couldn’t be more similar.Wall comes to a team that has been the Southeast Division doormat the past couple seasons and faces a long road back to even be considered contenders. The Wizards have centered their marketing campaign around the rookie point guard and are relying on him — much the same way the Magic did with Howard — to lift the franchise back to prominence.The anticipation is almost overwhelming.“It’s exciting. I probably can’t sleep as much at night,” Wall said. “At the same time, I’ve just got to go out there and play, don’t try to do stuff that I’m not used to doing, do the best thing I can do to help myself do good and help my teammates. That’s the key thing.”"

You can read the full story here.

Kyle Weidie of Truth About It offers an informative preview of the matchup.

Thursday Afternoon Update (noon):

Flip Saunders tells Josh Robbins the Wizards need to handle the haymaker early.

"“The biggest thing tonight is that we’ve got to deal with the haymaker early,” Saunders said a few minutes ago, before the Wizards started their shootaround.“There’s going to be an unbelievable amount of energy in this building with the new building. Orlando, they’re playing extremely well. They’ve got something to prove, and they’ve been one of the top three teams in this league the last three years and not a lot of people are talking about them right now.”"

You can read that story here.

Robbins also reports Jason Williams is active.

Dwight Howard is ready for the season opener.

Speaking of Howard, his new commercial will debut Thursday night.

Michael Lee of the Washington Post wonders if John Wall can become the face of the Wizards with Gilbert Arenas still around.

Evening Update:

The Wizards are going to let Howard shoot midrange jumpers, reports Zach McCann.

"“We hope he takes a lot,” Saunders said. “That’s part of his progression, but right now if you give me a choice I’m going to rather him take that. It’s a lower percentage shot than his dunk, I know that. With him you try to get him as far away from the basket as you can.”Saunders mentioned Karl Malone as a player who expanded his game from the low-post to out away from the basket. He believes Howard could become “nearly unstoppable” when he progresses his offensive game to that point, but right now he’s not all that afraid of Howard’s jumpers.“Dwight is just so strong and so good around the basket, as long as we can get him a little bit away from the basket, we’ll continue to do that,” Saunders said. “We just need to contest those shots.”"

You can read that story here.

Wizards Resources:

DC Pro Sports Report

Wiz of Awes
Bullets Forever
Truth About It
Washington Post

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, a contributor on the Fansided Front Page, and co-host of CB Sports Radio from 5-7 pm week days ( Subscribe to his RSS feed, follow him on Facebook and add him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).