MINNEAPOLIS – The drama is three months behind them in Orlando, and maybe it’s helped. The Dwight Howard-less Orlando team is 2-1, and early on, it’s posed a bigger challenge than most would have imagined.
Yes, Glen Davis is the focal point of their offense. Yes, they’re hardly deep. But the Magic have been solid early, especially in terms of 3-point shooting; they’re third in the league in 3-point percentage (.489), though they’ve been selective with their shots, shooting only 45 from long range thus far.
The Timberwolves saw their fair share of 3-pointers in Brooklyn – the Nets sunk 13 and attempted 23 on Monday – and they themselves have struggled from long range. Defending Orlando’s 3-point threats, Arron Afflalo, J.J. Redick and E’Twaun Moore, will be key to success on Wednesday, but Rick Adelman has confidence in his team’s ability. Maybe it learned a bit about how to defend at the wing two nights ago.
In turn, Adelman didn’t seem too worried about his team’s own long-range shooting. It was solid in that final quarter Monday, when Chase Budinger finally displayed the skill he’s most lauded for, but wing play will need to continue to improve.
“We’ve had some games where we’ve had some pretty good looks at shots,” Adelman said. “I don’t worry about that three games into it. You have to, if you have good ball movement, you’ll get good opportunities there, and if you have them you have to take them.”
Post-concussion Barea: After suffering a mild concussion on Sunday, J.J. Barea was cleared to play on Monday in Brooklyn. He finished with six points and six assists in nearly 30 minutes, and he was crucial in the final quarter that secured the win.
Asked about his point guard’s resiliency, Adelman had only one caustic conclusion:
“He told me he felt fine, didn’t have any problems at all. I think I told him, ‘I think you play better when you’re confused.'”