The Magic believe their lack of toughness last season was one of the main reasons they were eliminated in six games by the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.
It has also contributed to some of Orlando’s early season struggles.
“That’s another thing we’ve talked about, just being tougher,” Magic guard J.J. Redick said. “Not just physically, but mentally. That’s going to be huge for us this year.”
Toughness is something the Magic are counting on Quentin Richardson to bring them. The Magic signed Richardson to a three-year deal worth about $7.5 million during the offseason. Richardson has also been faced with the task of replacing Matt Barnes, who became a fan favorite during his one and only season in Orlando last year.
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(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, co-host of CB Sports Radio from 5-7 pm week days (1420sports.com) and ESPN 1080’s Magic Insider (http://espn1080.com). 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).