Jacque Vaughn succinctly summed up what he wants the Orlando Magic to accomplish in their preseason finale tonight against the Houston Rockets.
“For everyone to be healthy at the end of the night,” Vaughn said after his team completed its shootaround today at Amway Center. “That’s the most important goal for tonight.”
Vaughn does, of course, have a to-do list.
He wants to play Arron Afflalo in five- to six-minute intervals.
“He looked good,” Vaughn said when asked what he saw on video from Afflalo in his preseason debut Wednesday.
“He added a degree of toughness for us, which is great. He made shots, which is always nice. But [he] really tried to play within the confines of what we’re trying to do, and that was the great part. He didn’t try to do too much, but he’s smart enough to easily blend into what we were trying to get accomplished in that game.”
Afflalo should benefit from the week of practice leading up to the team’s regular-season opener a week from today.
“I’ve got to be more mindful of some of my defensive responsibilities,” Afflalo said.
“That’s going to be a huge area of improvement for myself: becoming a better team defensive player and focusing on rebounding. Those are the two things that I definitely want to improve on: being more versatile defensively more so than just guarding my man one-on-one and being a much, much better rebounder this year. I expect scoring and leadership and things like that to always progress, but for me, it’s going to be the rebounding and the team defense.”
Afflalo said he’s continuing to ice and rehab his left hamstring, which caused him to miss Orlando’s first six preseason exhibitions.
Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times