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Daniel Orton Experiment: Day Two

Game 2 for the Magic has come and gone.  It was another ugly game for the team which managed just 73 points on 37% shooting in a losing effort against Gordon Hayward’s Jazz team.  Daniel Orton had another very poor game today putting up only 2 points after going 0-6 from the field in 17 minutes.   The main issue remains his energy level when on the court or rather his lack of it.  He needs to make his entire body stronger when he steps on the floor.  He is a big strong guy and he needs to play that way whether he is 2 feet from the basket or 25.  Kendrick Perkins, a player with probably less offensive skill, does a great job of doing this.  You never see Killer Perk take a play off or failing to use his weight and strength to his advantage.  In his post-game press conference, Patrick Ewing basically reinforced the same principle.  He said that Daniel needed to have a stronger presence and demand the ball when he is on the block.  To be fair to Orton, he acknowledged the same things during his press conference stating that he needs to do better at demanding the ball.  Orton also expressed yesterday that he hadn’t quite gotten his legs back under him yet and when I got to chance to ask him if that had anything to do with his performance today, he said “absolutely”.  Orton is clearly struggling to grasp the new system and style of play, but the main issues remain his court presence.  The good news is that he said he will be staying in Orlando all summer to work out and get better.  A summer working with Dwight can only improve things.  Two other big positives have come out of his first two games as well; Orton leads the league in both airballs and ejections.  A noble achievement.

More breakdown and observations from day two after the jump…

The other players on the Magic roster continue to do little to impress.  The only player that seems to be able to score consistently is Patrick Ewing Jr.  He again led the team in scoring today with 17 points and showed good effort on both ends of the floor.  The only other players in double figures today for the Magic were Paul Davis (13) and Donell Taylor (12).  2nd round pick Stanley Robinson had 4 points and 3 rebounds in only 15 minutes of play.

Other random observations from day two:

  • Sitting right next to the TV announcers can literally frighten you when coming out of timeouts.  The whole gym will be quiet and then Mr. Announcer busts into his cheesy over-hyped announcer voice to proclaim, “ANDDDDDD WERE BACK TO ORLANDO SUMMER LEAGUE 2010!!” Please relax, sir.  Please.
  • James Harden is rocking a mo-hawk for the summer league.  Great combination to go with his Pakistani beard.
  • Gerald Henderson is the only NBA basketball player I have ever seen that breaks the socks with sandals stereotype.  I felt this needed to be commended.  These are things you need to know.
  • Sherron Collins is basically the identical twin of Jameer Nelson.  He walked into the gym 10 feet away from me and I did a triple take before I realized that Jameer wasn’t wearing a Bobcats shirt.
  • Runner up in the lookalike contest is Jermareo Davidson who showed up doing his best Mikki Moore impersonation.
  • Byron Mullens of the Thunder has convinced me that just by being 7 feet tall, Rival.com will rank you as a 5-star recruit.
  • Gonzaga graduate Jeremy Pargo drained a runner in the lane at the buzzer to help the Bobcats beat Oklahoma City.  That shot brought about the following tweet from me, “Jeremy Pargo just nailed a game winning shot. Told sideline reporter, “Spokane SON, SPOKANE”. #ronartesttweets”.  Even better was when Pargo sat down in the chair next to me 30 minutes later and I got to share it with him.  Ohhhh the joys of the Airtran Orlando Pro Summer League.

Check back tomorrow evening for Day 3 notes.

Brian Serra is a contributing blogger at Howard the Dunk and the founder of MagicBasketballOnline.com.  You can follow/add him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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Tags: Byron Mullens Daniel Orton Donell Taylor Gerald Henderson Jameer Nelson James Harden Jeremy Pargo Jermareo Davidson Patrick Ewing Jr Paul Davis Sherron Collins Stanley Robinson

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