Along with his throat lozenges and greaseboard, Magic coach Jacque Vaughn agrees he might need to add another item to his pre-game arsenal. "An abacus?" he said. Vaughn will now need to figure out how to really do the math. With the return of Tobias Harris in Sunday night's 104-96 loss to the Phoenix Suns, which piggy-backed the return of Glen Davis on Saturday night, there are now far more serviceable players than minutes available. And there's certainly not enough basketballs to go around, considering Harris and Davis require shots, getting in a line that forms behind Arron Afflalo, Jameer Nelson and Nik Vucevic. Then you have the real underlying questions: 1)How much better could Davis and Harris make the Magic, who, um, have one eye on a talented 2014 draft class? 2)Will many (or any) of the veterans be traded before the serious positioning for draft picks begins? This is about to get interesting. Of course, the mathematical answer to Vaughn's predicament can be found in the coach's handbook. He'll get traction with subtraction. "There'll be times when guys will not play," Vaughn said. And the process began in earnest Saturday night in Miami when Davis came back after a 10-month layoff. Jason Maxiell disappeared as the power forward after 10 consecutive starts, receiving no playing time against the Heat — or the Suns. Small forward Maurice Harkless moved to Max's power-forward spot in Miami as the Magic gave rookie Victor Oladipo his second start and played two other guards, Nelson and Afflalo. Davis was so good in his return from a broken foot that he almost willed the Magic to an upset of the Heat. He came in with his shooting arm in a locked and upright position, getting up 17 shots in 27 minutes for 20 points. Vaughn brought Davis in to replace Vucevic. It's certainly better for Davis to be playing than for him to have too much time on his hands. A Travelodge computer keyboard is still listed as doubtful.
Distributing minutes Vaughn's challenge now
Orlando Sentinel | Nov 25