“Just an opportunity to try something,” Vaughn said. “We got some good looks out of it.”
He put in small forward Moe Harkless for point guard Beno Udrih and replaced starting point guard E’Twaun Moore with power forward Andrew Nicholson, leaving Afflalo at the point with Al Harrington and Tobias Harris.
Afflalo said the move wasn’t a big deal. He played some point when the Magic lost at Memphis last month when they were short-handed after the trade deadline. He said he also played at the position sometimes in high school and college.
The experiment didn’t last long – about four minutes or so, when Udrih returned. Down by 13 when Udrih went out, the Magic didn’t make a run with Afflalo at the controls.
“It’s fine. It’s just basic ball-handling. I ran point guard a lot up until college,” Afflalo said. “It’s all about initiating a play, hopefully using my size. Me being the smaller player on the court, at 6-5 or whatever, trying to create mismatches. But it’s fine.
“The last time we played Memphis, we had to do it. It was because we were shorthanded. But, basically, it’s just bringing the ball down, initiating the offense.”
I like Vaughn trying something, anything, going unconventional. Even if it didn’t matter on this night: Memphis 108, Orlando 82.
…..I asked Vaughn if second-year center Nik Vucevic was tired. Although he grabbed 19 rebounds Monday in Philadelphia against the 76ers, his play has tailed off as of late.
A double-double machine for most of the season, Nik has had five games in the past nine games of six, four, six, four and six points. He scored just six against the Grizzlies in 23 minutes, going 3-of-7 and managed just four rebounds.
Vucevic is playing his first full 82-game season after appearing in 51 during the lock-out shortened season in Philadelphia.
“He feels good,” Vaughn said. “He takes care of his body. I’ll ask him all the time and I’ll be honest with him and he’ll be honest with me.”
…. Maurice Harkless picked up a technical foul to start the fourth quarter, throwing down the ball hard in frustration. Good for Moe. I like to see some emotion from a team that’s getting its butt kicked during a forgettable season. Shows they care.
“He sees that minus sign next to his paycheck he’ll be a lot smarter about it,” Vaughn joked.
No need for Harkless to apologize. The Magic could use a little more fire.Brian Schmitz is the Magic Insider for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him at email@example.com. And you can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@magicinsider.