Despite his early struggles, Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy is ..."/> Despite his early struggles, Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy is ..."/> Despite his early struggles, Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy is ...","articleSection":"","author":{"@type":"Person","name":"Andrew Melnick","url":""}}

Orlando Magic News & Notes: Nelson’s Clutch, Lewis Finds His Offense, Howard the Duncan


Despite his early struggles, Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy is happy with Rashard Lewis’ energy.

"“Rashard’s going to shoot his percentage,” Van Gundy said. “You’re going to have slumps. When it’s at the first of the year, it looks ugly, because your numbers don’t come down from 47 percent to 42 percent. All you’ve got’s the slump, and it looks ugly. But he’s too good a shooter to continue shooting that way. If he continues to play hard and play with energy, he’s going to shoot the ball well.”Lewis made five of his seven 3-point attempts against the Pacers.He’s now shooting 36.2 percent from beyond the arc.“We don’t care how many shots he misses,” C Dwight Howard said. “We just want him to be aggressive. By being aggressive, that gives you chances to get a good rhythm going. But when you’re not shooting and then you try to make a couple of shots after not shooting for a quarter or two, then you’re cold.”"

Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel has that story here.

Like Dwight Howard, Lewis worked with Hakeem Olajuwon this summer.

"“We worked on footwork, which is where a lot of his moves came from,” Lewis told “We also worked on post moves, facing up and isolation plays. But it was mostly about the footwork, how to make those moves. He showed me a lot. I haven’t necessarily used it a lot yet; usually when practice starts you’re working on a lot of team concepts and not individual stuff. But I’m still working on it when I do get a chance. I’ve been playing a little bit in the post and have tried to add [some of what I learned] to my game.”Lewis, a Houston native, has known Olajuwon for years. In fact, Olajuwon got Howard’s number from Lewis three years ago, Olajuwon told Josh Robbins last week."

Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel has that story here.

Lewis found his offense with 21 points against the Indiana Pacers Saturday but the Magic, as a team, are still trying to revive their offense.

Dwight Howard is trying to emulate Tim Duncan.

"Like Duncan, Howard knows that his legacy will be dependent more so on his championship hardware than any rebounding titles or dunk contests awards. Howard looks at a center like Duncan who is nearing the twilight of his career and knows that now is his time to grab the NBA by the throat and strangle every bit of success out of it as possible.Criticized at times for his playful nature, Howard turned serious this season as he chases a championship. And he became a student of the low-post game in the offseason, doing more listening than talking, more thinking than laughing. He drilled with Hakeem Olajuwon and Karl Malone on the court, and away from it listened to words of wisdom from seasoned big men like Dikembe Mutombo and Tony Battie.“(Mutombo) was talking to me about getting the best out of myself now while I’m young and have all of the things that I have,’’ said Howard, whose Magic (9-3) face Duncan and the red-hot Spurs (11-1) Monday night in Texas. “He wasn’t just talking about jumping, dunking and blocking shots. He was talking about a guy like K.G. (Kevin Garnett), whose best years came when he got to Boston. Even those he’s faced a couple of injuries, he won a title and got to The Finals. I don’t want to say that (Garnett) waited too late … but my window of opportunity is now and I want to take advantage of it. I want to take advantage of all my gifts, and that’s what I have to do.’’"

John Denton of has that story here.

Is Jameer Nelson Orlando’s “Mr. Clutch?”

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, co-host of CB Sports Radio from 5-7 pm week days ( and ESPN 1080’s Magic Insider ( Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).