Jacque Vaughn Says No Starting Spots are Guaranteed

by September 03, 2012

The Orlando Magic are desperately trying to cultivate a new culture within the organization. To do so, management is making a concentrated effort to foster a competitive environment. And for newly appointed coach Jacque Vaughn, the best way to do that is to make sure the players realize that every minute of playing time is up for grabs. When camp opens up at the end of the month, past success will render meaningless, and everyone on the Magic will be on a level playing-field. Go hard or go home, fellas. Via the Orlando Sentinel: “‘I have no preconceived thoughts about guys here,’ Vaughn said. ‘I have to judge these guys on what they show me. Not on past games, not on other people’s opinions, but from my opinion. I will give them the opportunity to show me.’ He certainly wants to foster competition in this watered-down sequel to Heart & Hustle, 1999-2000. And for those vets who might believe they are entitled to playing time, Vaughn set the tone with a message to Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis. ‘Be ready,’ he told the only Magic player who has a championship ring (Celtics, circa 2008). Point guard Jameer Nelson might be the only player with a starting job locked down, given his competition is from young bucks Ish Smith and E’Twaun Moore. The other four spots might be up for grabs. Hedo Turkoglu has been a regular at small forward in two Magic stints, but Al Harrington certainly will challenge. Rookie Maurice Harkless would have to be sensational to win the job. Harrington also could start at power forward over Davis, second-year man Justin Harper and rookie Andrew Nicholson, which would leave Turk at the 3. Arron Afflalo arrived as the best piece from the Howard deal, but he’ll have to outplay J.J. Redick to claim the shooting-guard spot. Then again, all this lineup speculation better be for recreational purposes only. Winning can’t be the be-all and end-all, not when the Magic must strive for the highest lottery pick possible. Player development must move to the forefront. Harkless, Harper, Nicholson, Ayon, Vucevic and KyleO’Quinn need seasoning.”