Nov 30, 2001 8:30 AM EST
George Diaz and Jeff Case of the Orlando Sentinel report: Grant Hill will have another checkup on his bothersome left ankle Saturday when the team visits Washington to play the Wizards. Hill is scheduled to meet with Dr. Mark Myerson of Baltimore. Myerson performed the second surgery on Hill's ankle in January.
"We're going to re-evaluate it," Hill said. "Everyone -- doctors and therapists -- have said that coming back is a process. There are going to be good days and bad days, and there will be storms, and you have to weather those storms. This is a little storm right now."
Hill wore a protective boot on his left foot Thursday night, when he sat out for the second time in three games. He predicts he will be back in the Magic's lineup by Monday. Hill has a sprained ankle, although a bone scan Wednesday confirmed the previous findings that the soreness is not related to the surgically repaired fracture that caused him to miss all but four games last season.
Nov 30, 2001 8:26 AM EST
George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel writes: A short story in the New York Post intimating that Orlando Magic guard Tracy McGrady wants to pursue a baseball career with the New York Yankees was viewed as one of the lighter moments in a frustrating week for this franchise.
Although McGrady hasn't played baseball since pitching for Auburndale High School in 1996, his agent, Arn Tellem, told the Post that the Yanks are interested in McGrady.
"He is a very good pitcher, is looking to start a two-sport career and is a big Yankees fan," Tellem said.
Although McGrady does have the natural skills to pursue a two-sport career, it seems unlikely. "Man, they're digging that stuff up again?" McGrady said. "My agent put me out there."
McGrady does have a love for baseball. In an interview with the Sentinel this summer, McGrady said he could pitch in the big leagues.
"For sure," he said. "I'm ready for the Yankees. Right now I can throw about 90 mph. I've got it all. Knuckleball. Curveball. Slider. And I can hit. No joke."
Nov 30, 2001 8:10 AM EST
Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel reports: He's known as Shaq Diesel, Shaq Daddy and The Big Aristotle.
Perhaps coming to a town near you someday: Sheriff Shaq.
Los Angeles Lakers star Shaquille O'Neal says he wants to become a sheriff in either Florida or Louisiana after he retires.
O'Neal is participating in training sessions with the Sheriff's Department in Los Angeles to become a harbor patrol reserve officer and says his aim is to run for sheriff either in Louisiana or Florida.
He has a home in Isleworth and played college basketball at LSU.
"In the role of sheriff, you really don't need police experience because it's like a political position," said O'Neal, 29. "However, if I'm going to do it and be with the troops and get respect from the troops, I want to do what the troops have done."
O'Neal started weekly training classes in September. He already has a custom-made police uniform and size 22EEE officer's boots.
Maybe Shaq's new nickname will be The Big Badge.
Nov 30, 2001 8:01 AM EST
The scene was all too familiar. Too much like last year.
After the events of Sept. 11, a near-universal craving to roll back the calendar exists.
The Magic have actually done it. They have returned to uncertainty and mediocrity. Their progress has stalled out.
"It felt like last year for a little while," Magic head coach Doc Rivers said after the game.
How about all night?
Early in the evening, there was Grant Hill, relentlessly cheerful in spite of everything, limping down the hall toward the locker room with that same left foot in the same sort of plastic boot he was seen in so often last season.
There was Tracy McGrady on the court, trying to carry the Orlando Magic on his shoulders, while triple-teamed, just like he did last year.
Nov 30, 2001 7:59 AM EST
For two-plus seasons as Orlando's head coach, Doc Rivers predominantly has refused to publicly criticize his Magic players. But a slow start to this season apparently has changed his thinking as Rivers has had some harsh words of late for Horace Grant and Mike Miller.
Rivers has been unhappy with Grant's rebounding and interior defense, while he repeatedly has criticized Miller's progress defensively. Grant entered Thursday's game averaging just six rebounds in 27 minutes a game. The 36-year-old forward, who was signed as a free agent along with Patrick Ewing to shore up the Magic's frontline, has had six or fewer rebounds in 11 of the 14 games he's played in.
"We need him to play better defense, rebound and make some shots," Rivers said. "He can do it and we know that he will. But it's getting late in the season to still be waiting. I don't know what it is-- maybe it's that new-team thing. But even if you're on a new team you still can rebound and play defense without knowing the offense."
Miller's offensive play has been stellar of late, but his defense has been suspect. He has allowed lightly regarded players such as Bobby Jackson, Jon Barry and Dana Barros to hit key shots late in games against him.
"Right now he has a big X on his back and every team is attacking him," Rivers said. "They don't seem to care who he's guarding, they go right at him. They feel they can beat him off the dribble and get to the basket.
"Is he ever gonna stop Allen Iverson? No, I'm not asking him to be somebody he's not. But he can be a much more physical defender."
Nov 30, 2001 7:57 AM EST
With Grant Hill sporting a walking cast on his sore left foot, Darrell Armstrong was back in the starting lineup Thursday night for the Orlando Magic against the Boston Celtics. Mike Miller slid over to Hill's usual small forward spot and Armstrong opened at point guard, like he did in the Magic's first 14 games.
"You've got to start Darrell," coach Doc Rivers said. "That's a no-brainer for me."
"It doesn't matter if you start or if you come off the bench," Armstrong said. "The biggest thing is you've got to produce. And sometimes I get tired of telling everybody that. You've got to produce."
Armstrong had 22 points in 34 minutes as a reserve against the Detroit Pistons but missed seven of his nine field-goal attempts during the fourth quarter of the Magic's 105-100 loss.
If Hill was expected to miss at least five games, the Magic would have considered placing him on the injured list and activating Monty Williams, who has not played since Nov. 6 because of a strained right hamstring. But they are holding to their projection of Hill being ready by the time the Memphis Grizzlies come to the TD Waterhouse Centre on Monday night.
Nov 30, 2001 7:55 AM EST
It wasn't the 30 three-point shots that bothered Doc Rivers. It was the fact that only six of them went in Thursday night in a 99-89 loss to the Boston Celtics.
"Mike Miller and Pat Garrity can shoot a three anytime they want to," Rivers said. "Everyone else, I would prefer they put the ball on the floor and try to drive."
Miller and Garrity got into foul trouble early and Grant Hill is still out with his foot injury.
"That just leaves me," said Tracy McGrady, who led the Magic with 22 points -- none in the fourth quarter. "It's real tough because the defense was just keying on me the whole game."
Antoine Walker scored a season-high 33 points for the Celtics, hoisting 16 three-point shots of his own, just four short of the NBA record. The combined 60 three-point attempts for both teams was also four short of the league record.
But the Celtics hit a decent percentage (.357). The Magic were tossing up bricks.
"We did a good job of penetrating and drawing the defense, then hitting people out by the three-point line," said Boston Coach Jim O'Brien.
Nov 30, 2001 7:50 AM EST
The Orlando Magic continue to show as much muscle as the Pillsbury Doughboy.
Soft in the middle and mushy on the outside, the Magic lost their third consecutive game at home Thursday night. Following losses to Charlotte and Detroit, the Magic got thumped 99-89 by the Boston Celtics before an announced crowd of 14,519 at TD Waterhouse Centre.
Fans booed toward the end of the game as the Magic were unable to sustain a run to stay within striking distance. They trailed by as many as 13 points and never got within seven points of the Celtics after the 3-minute, 44-second mark of the final quarter.
"It was frustrating for us," guard Tracy McGrady said. "Fans obviously didn't like what they saw."
Their defensive liabilities again came into play as the Magic just escaped allowing 100 or more points for the fifth time in six games, reflecting a soft defensive look that is the worst statistically in the NBA.
The Magic, losing three games in a row at home for the first time since November 2000, fell to 7-9.
Nov 29, 2001 8:41 AM EST
Tim Povtak of the Orlando Sentinel reports: Grant Hill was wearing a protective boot on his troublesome left foot Wednesday, but he predicted his return to the Orlando Magic's lineup would come no later than Monday after sitting out the next two games as a precaution.
Hill underwent more testing Wednesday, and a bone scan confirmed the previous findings that the soreness in his left ankle is not related to the surgically repaired fracture that caused him to miss all but four games last season.
After meeting Tuesday in Baltimore with Dr. Mark Myerson, who did the second surgery on Hill's ankle in January, and Dr. Joe Billings, the Magic's team physician, Hill said his return will come quickly. "My gut feeling, after talking to everyone, is that the soreness is just the joint again getting used to playing an NBA season," Hill said. "It just needs a little rest. This is nothing major."
Hill left Monday's loss to Detroit limping midway through the fourth quarter, then flew to Baltimore to be examined by Myerson, who told him that past bone spurs at the front of his ankle had become inflamed by a sprained ankle.
"Those bone spurs, that's nothing new, and that's not the problem," Hill said. "He was optimistic, which made me feel optimistic about everything. I could play as early as Saturday [against the Washington Wizards], maybe, but it's more likely Monday [against the Memphis Grizzlies]. Let's just see how it responds. Going up there just gave me a little piece of mind. We're all just being a little cautious."
Nov 29, 2001 8:33 AM EST
Grant Hill is not practicing or playing. His left foot is in a boot. The ankle is "inflamed," and at least one paper has reported that Hill "has developed bone spurs" in it.
The Orlando Magic know what you are thinking -- this sounds suspiciously like last season, which
ended for Hill in early January.
Hill and the Magic spent much of Wednesday insisting his new injury has nothing to do with the one that required surgery almost 11 months ago.
"My gut feeling -- and I'm certainly no doctor -- is that . . . the joint is just getting used to building up the endurance and getting used to an NBA season," Hill said. "We've had a pretty horrific schedule already and . . . my ankle is just getting used to the pounding. Rest will be good for it and then we'll re-evaluate."
The 29-year-old Hill is averaging 16.8 points and a team-leading 8.9 rebounds. He sat out Saturday's loss to Charlotte and took himself out of Tuesday night's loss to Detroit, complaining of soreness in the ankle.
Orlando Magic Archives
Older Wiretap Articles »
Basketball Wiretap Headlines