After the months of turmoil and uncertainty regarding Dwight Howard and the future of Orlando, the Magic players took the floor Friday night determined to make a statement.
And they did.
They made a resounding statement that no single player defines a franchise. That amidst all of the drama and doubt surrounding the organization, this team and these players were working.
After all, there is nothing that fuels a team and a culture quite like adversity.
And while all of those points can lay claim to some form of validity, they don’t account for one thing; a will to win.
Glen Davis made it abundantly clear that he has that will this preseason. That he’s ready to seize the moment and believe in his abilities, that he’s ready to lead.
“You have to seize the moment,” said Davis.
“I’ve been around the league for a while now. I’ve seen a lot of great players play. I’ve seen what to do and what it takes to win, and I’ve seen what it doesn’t take to win. I’ve seen it. So I know the dos and don’ts, and it’s my opportunity here to seize it, and I’m letting it all hang out.
Well he certainly let it all hang out Friday night, with a staggering stat line of 29 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks. He demonstrated leadership, efficiency and patience at both ends of the floor and honestly looked an awful lot like a franchise player.
That said, Davis wasn’t alone. As J.J. Redick proved to be a huge spark offensively, shocking the Denver defense with 15 points on 5 for 7 shooting in the first quarter alone.
He continued that trend all game, racking up 21 points(7/11) and three treys(3/4).
But perhaps what was most impressive about his performance was his six assists. He showed solid decision making in the half court, and it looks as if he could be a major factor in orchestrating the rock going forward.
All in all, the Magic shot 49% as a team, they dished out 24 assists and seemed to be firing on all cylinders immediately.
Obviously there is still work to be done in Orlando, but I’d say they’ve made their statement loud and clear.