February 10, 2013; Orlando FL, USA; Orlando Magic power forward Andrew Nicholson (44) reacts after he made a basket against the Portland Trail Blazers during the second quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando Magic vs. New Orleans Pelicans: What to watch for

Will Victor Oladipo play any point guard?

All we know about Oladipo playing point guard is that it’s going to happen. Jacque Vaughn is refusing to provide answers as to when or how often, but we do know it’s going to happen sometime this season.

It’s unlikely that the second overall pick will get much of a chance to play point guard on Wednesday. Vaughn said Monday that the verterans will play a half a game at the most, and although Oladipo isn’t a veteran, he’s likely to see first-team minutes against the Pelicans.

Overall team defense

Last season Orlando forced turnovers on 11.8% of possessions, lowest of any team. The Magic also ranked 25th defensively in points per possession. Adding veteran Jason Maxiell and college co-Defensive Player of the Year in Oladipo should help bolster the Magic defensively.

Will Doron Lamb play?

This preseason presents a real opportunity for Lamb to seize the back-up point guard role from E’ Twaun and Ronnie Price. He’s more combo-guard than a pure point, but Lamb is one of the best outside shooters on a team that struggles from three. Lamb rolled his ankle in practice on Sunday, and it’s unclear if the injury will affect his playing time against the Pelicans.

Andrew Nicholson’s shooting range

During the offseason, the 6’9″ Canadian worked on extending his shooting range to behind the arc. Nicholson’s best niche in Orlando is as a stretch-four, spreading the floor so Tobias Harris and Maurice Harkless can attack the basket. If he can shoot efficiently from three, Nicholson could see his playing time increase this season.

Solomon Jones and the other non-roster invites

At this time, Jones appear to be the favorite over Manny Harris, Kris Joseph, and Mickell Gladness to make the last spot on the roster. After wrapping up training camp on Monday, Vaughn praised Jones’s performance throughout the week. “Solomon’s done a great job for us of just doing the right thing, the right plays…seems like he’s in the right position most of the time,” said Vaughn.

All four of the non-roster invites will get a lot of playing time Wednesday as they fight to make that last spot.


Tags: Andrew Nicholson Doron Lamb Orlando Magic Solomon Jones Victor Oladipo

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