You really do need a program to keep up with who is starting at small forward for the Magic. It practically changes by the game now. Magic coach Jacque Vaughn has started Arron Afflalo – normally the starting shooting guard – at the small-forward spot the last two games. J.J. Redick has come off the bench to start at shooting guard. After 42 games, Vaughn has started five different players at the position: Afflalo, DeQuan Jones, Maurice Harkless, Josh McRoberts and Hedo Turkoglu. There's versatility – and vulnerability – at the position. Afflalo, 6-feet-5, is undersized as a 3-man at times. Jones and Harkless are 6-8 rookies – Jones an undrafted rookie at that. McRoberts, 6-10, has been a power forward during his five-year career. Turkoglu won the job at small forward during the preseason, as expected. But Vaughn has been forced to mix and match since Turkoglu sustained a broken hand (which required surgery) in the season-opener Nov. 2. Apparently, he hasn't recovered enough --- or played well enough --- to reclaim his spot, even though Turk returned Dec. 29 and came off the bench for five consecutive games. Harkless, 19, acquired in the Dwight Howard trade, has made the most starts, with 20 consecutive games. He then was surprisingly benched for Jones, who had made the next 10 starts until Vaughn returned to the Afflalo-Redick duo against the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night. Moving Redick into the lineup and sliding Afflalo to small forward provides the Magic with more scoring punch. But it makes them a smaller team and not a particularly potent defensive unit.
Big challenges at Magic's small-forward spot
Orlando Sentinel | Jan 27