Jeff Turner Q&A: Win over Thunder could turn Magic’s season
FOXSportsFlorida.com checks in with color analyst Jeff Turner to get the latest on the Magic.
FOX SPORTS FLORIDA: Although the philosophy of "it’s just one out of 82 games" pervades the NBA, can a win like the one the Magic pulled out Friday night against Oklahoma City serve as a springboard to greater things?
JEFF TURNER: It can. There are a lot of takeaways from it. You beat a very good opponent, so it should give you confidence. But the way that we did it, the ball movement, the getting defensive stops — particularly for the young guys who, when they’ve been in, have been up and down a little bit … to actually take where we were, down eight going into the fourth quarter and then really taking over the game, getting us a lead, it’s got to build a lot of confidence in those guys and give them a reason to continue to keep working hard. They can see it. They see what it looks like and what it feels like.
FSFla: Between Kyle O’Quinn, Maurice Harkless and now Victor Oladipo coming off the bench, what has been the biggest change in the play of the Magic’s reserves?
JT: I think there are a couple of things. They’ve had a little success, so they’re being rewarded by the coach. Obviously, if you get an opportunity, you’ve got to go make it happen when you get that. They’ve given themselves a little bit of an identity now, so they’re playing off of that. That’s the big thing — they’re getting an opportunity, they’re being successful, and they’re seeing what that feels like.
FSFla: The win Sunday night over Indiana was the Magic’s 13th at home this season, surpassing what they had all of last year. How can they carry over that type of play on the road, where six of their first seven games after the All-Star break will take place?
JT: To be honest with you, I don’t even know if they think about that. Those of us in the media, we think about those things. And maybe the coaching staff thinks about that. But for the guys, it’s just developing a belief system and a style that they know they can be successful. And wherever it happens, whether it’s home or on the road, they just build from that.
FSFla: Is this a bad time for the All-Star break to fall for the Magic?
JT: What’s interesting is a lot of older coaches — well, not older, but coaches who have been around a while — will tell you that sometimes the distractions and everything before and then right after the All-Star break are times where you can steal wins, where you can surprise people if you continue to play hard and do what youâre supposed to do.
Is this a bad time for it to come when you’ve got a little momentum? I think you can carry that momentum through, especially our young guys who probably won’t be involved in a lot of that (this weekend in New Orleans).
FSFla: On the flip side, could Arron Afflalo use the time off?
JT: Oh, absolutely. Arron Afflalo definitely could use the time. I hope he goes and has a good time in the 3-point contest and then heads out and gets a break somewhere.
FSFla: Before the two of you were honored Friday night by the Magic as part of the 25th anniversary season, when was the last time you saw Sam Vincent?
JT: I see Sam a lot. We’re both involved in the retired players association chapter here in Orlando. Sam got it going. So with him and Tree Rollins and some of the other local guys, we see each other more than youâd think.
FSFla: Has there ever been a 25th reunion of that very first Magic team?
JT: No, there hasn’t. That would be pretty cool. For 20 years, they brought a lot of us back together. And that was a lot of fun. Of the 13, 14 guys, there were probably 10 of us (in attendance).