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Media Notes: Magic @ Spurs


After a win over the San Antonio Spurs that snapped a four game losing streak, the Magic players and coaches were obviously in high spirits.

The team appears to have a new attitude since they made the deal and it’s especially noticeable with Stan Van Gundy. After giving what had to be his first ever “moral victory” press conference Tuesday night, Van Gundy was again happy with his team’s performance Thursday.

“That was pretty good,” Van Gundy said. “I thought our energy on the offensive side of the floor was fantastic.”

Van Gundy has continuously said he would like this Magic group, which is obviously loaded with offensive firepower, to push the ball down when they come down the court. The Magic obviously pushed the pace and wound up scoring 123 points in the game.

“We’re running hard, pushing the ball up and throwing it ahead,” Van Gundy explained. I really like the way we played offensively.

On two separate occasions, the Magic got a rebound and immediately found a streaking player for an easy basket. Jason Richardson was the recipient of one pass and finished with a dunk while Hedo Turkoglu opted for a layup, not wanting to repeat his blunder from Tuesday night.

The Magic are hoping that this is a glimpse of what they will eventually be able to do throughout the season and into the postseason but the Magic know there is still a lot of work to do.

“I think tonight’s game shows what’s possible with this group of guys,” Van Gundy said. “We still have to get a lot better on the defensive end of the floor. We still have to get better in our half court execution. We still have a long way to go.”

After the jump, you can read more of what Van Gundy and the Magic players had to say about this victory and their big showdown with the Boston Celtics Saturday.

  • Greg Popovich weighed in on the Magic’s performance, saying “They’re hard to cover, you’ve got a lot of guys who can score.”
  • Gilbert Arenas’ 14 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds overshadowed the performances of several of the other players and maybe deservedly so. He provided a great lift off of the bench and did a great job of getting his teammates involved.
  • Here are some of the Spurs postgame quotes in reference to Arenas’ performance

“He changed the game in the first half. We were in the game and things were going back and forth. I was actually kind of surprised we were still in the… thing. Gilbert spread it. He hit two or three bucks in a row and he made a big difference.” – Greg Popovich

“When Jameer got into foul trouble, he came in and ran the team well. He looked like he is picking his spots. He is a natural scorer, but with all those weapons around he looked like he was mixing it up well trying to find guys. He almost had a triple-double so he is distributing the ball well.He is always in attack mode so it will take a little time and he will be fine.”  – Ime Udoka

“Gilbert was a huge difference. I thought he probably made the biggest difference. He came in and scored a bunch of points for them. He shot the ball really well and extended the lead for them.” – Tim Duncan.

  • As for Arenas, he was extremely happy:

“I’ve been waiting for it since November. This is a great feeling.”

  • All of the Magic continued to talk about their high energy throughout the night, citing it as the biggest difference in their last two games. In fact, J.J. Redick thought the Magic “built” off the energy they played with against Dallas Tuesday night.
  • The Magic will get Friday off to spend Christmas Eve with their families.
  • The Magic have now turned their attention to their Christmas Day game against the Boston Celtics and they are excited to renew this rivalry (sure, it’s no Lakers-Celtics) but it’s been very good over the past few seasons.
  • I’ll leave you with Van Gundy’s comments regarding the Celtics.

“Boston is a pretty damn good team. They’ve won 14 in a row. They have the best record in the east. It’s a hell of a team… We will hopefully play with great energy and we will get our first look at them. We just want to keep getting better. It doesn’t really matter who we’re playing, we just need to get our game together.”

(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).