Found March 24, 2013 on
Fox Sports Florida:
Oklahoma City Thunder
Norfolk State Spartans
ORLANDO, Fla. The Miami Heat are accustomed to being the unstoppable force instead of being largely powerless to stop somebody else.
Thats why it would be so devastating to the Orlando Magic if center Nikola Vucevic were to miss his third game in a row Monday night.
Vucevic has had at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in both meetings this season between the Magic and the Heat. Those numbers are a huge reason why, despite the chasm that exists between the two teams in the Southeast Division standings, the Heats two victories over their instate rivals have come by a total of three points.
But the illness that kept Vucevic out of the Magics loss Wednesday night at New York was diagnosed Friday as symptoms of a mild concussion resulting from when he was hit in the mouth Tuesday night at Indiana. That left coach Jacque Vaughn with little choice but to start rookie Kyle OQuinn against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
OQuinn, who never got in at all when the Magic faced the Heat earlier this month at Miami, finished with 11 points and nine rebounds in his first start. But it would be unrealistic to think he could duplicate the statistics of Vucevic, whose 29 rebounds Dec. 31 set a franchise single-game record and remain the most by anyone in the NBA this season.
Whatever the coach puts you out there to do, thats what youve got to do, OQuinn said. I cant predict numbers. I cant say Im going to replace Nik fully. I bring something else to the table.
Though a couple inches shorter than Vucevic, OQuinn has a comparable shooting touch from 15 feet out. His range was evident last March in the NCAA tournament, when his 26 points and 14 rebounds lifted 15th-seeded Norfolk State to an upset of Missouri.
But until the 97-89 loss to the Thunder, the second-round draft pick was among the few players on the Magic that Vaughn had never started.
I didnt go to him and talk to him and give him a big speech about starting, he said. We just said, Kyle, youve got (Kendrick) Perkins, and we just went on with our regular shootaround.
It wasnt Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem or Chris Andersen who finally stopped Vucevic when the Heat rallied for a 97-96 victory. Vucevic, Maurice Harkless and Tobias Harris all fouled out in the fourth quarter of a game when LeBron James ending up taking as many free throws as the Magic overall (12).
A similar discrepancy took place against the Thunder, with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combining for as many attempts from the line in the final 1:40 (10) as the Magic took all game. On a team that ranks last in free throws per game, Vaughn has almost come to expect to get the short end of the stick.
You control what you can control, he said. You keep going to the basket. You keep boxing out. And you let those other things take care of themselves.
Based on the concussion policy the NBA put into place during training camps, Vucevic will have to complete a series of steps to show that hes healthy and free of symptoms while the neurosurgeon hired to lead the program needs to be consulted. Its a process that could take several days or even weeks.
In addition to what Vucevic is going through, the Magic learned Saturday that their leading scorer, guard Aaron Afflalo, will miss the rest of the season with an injury to his right hamstring. Afflalo went down in the second quarter against the Thunder, forcing Vaughn to go with a backcourt of Jameer Nelson and Beno Udrih for almost the entire second half.
No matter if its Udrih or ETwaun Moore who opens in Afflalos absence against the Heat, it will be the 23rd different starting lineup used by the Magic in 71 games.
He leads by example, OQuinn said of Afflalo. He doesnt talk too much, but when he talks, we listen. So its going to be tough with him not there on the court.
BEST OF MAXIM
The Orlando Magic will end this season on a down note with news that they’ve lost their leading scorer, Arron Afflalo. The guard injured his right hamstring ending his season. The Magic’s current record is 18-52 and with 12 games left in the season, the playoffs weren’t ever a remote possibility.
Afflalo has been diagnosed with a strained hamstring, and team officials plan...
Arron Afflalo’s season ended Friday night when he left the game with a strained hamstring. He will not play in any of the team’s final 12 games.
According to the Orlando Sentinel:
Arron Afflalo, the Orlando Magic’s leading scorer, will miss the team’s final 12 games this regular season after he injured his right hamstring Friday night, team officials said.
Jameer Nelson has won the Rich and Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award, the Magic and the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation announced at tonight's 23rd Annual Black Tie and Tennies Charity Gala.
The award recognizes the community efforts of players off the court to "enhance others' lives." The past award winners are a who's who of Magic greats and include...
Arron Afflalo will miss the final 12 games of the season with a strained hamstring, the Orlando Magic announced Saturday.
Afflalo injured his hamstring when he pulled up a little lame going after a loose ball in the second quarter of Friday's loss to Oklahoma City. He stayed on the floor for an extended period of time, holding his right hamstring before Doron Lamb and Al...
Arron Afflalo's season is over. The Orlando Magic shooting guard injured his right hamstring Friday night, and he'll miss the team's last 12 games of the season, according to beat writer Josh Robbins.
Afflalo will be treated with rest and physical therapy. In 64 games, Afflalo averaged 16.5 points (shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 85.7 from the line), 1.13...
(55-14) vs. (18-52)
Time/TV: 7 p.m./ESPN, FSFlorida
Line: Heat by 12.5
Tickets: $143-$1325 on Vivid Seats
Season Series: Magic lost 112-110 on Dec. 31; Magic lost 97-96 in Miami on March 6; Tonight in Orlando; April 17 in Miami
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