Jacque Vaughn hopes to see his team improve its transition defense when it enters the second half of its preseason schedule tonight at home against the Indiana Pacers.
“I think the transition defense is always going to be the core of our basketball team,” Vaughn said after the team completed its shootaround at Amway Center. “That’s your initial chance to stop the basketball and make guys play in front of you.”
On the offensive end of the court, Vaughn and his coaches are stressing moving the basketball.
“The 33 assists the other night [against the Cleveland Cavaliers], that’s how we want to play: unselfishly and getting everyone involved,” Vaughn said.
Meanwhile, swingman Christian Eyenga, who has not played this preseason because of a right-hamstring strain, did some post-shootaround shooting drills.
Eyenga is a player who likely is competing for the 15th spot on the Magic roster, and his injury can’t help him. But, at the same time, Vaughn doesn’t want to put any player on the floor if that player isn’t healthy.
“I think you always want to be present in the eyes of a coach,” Vaughn said.
“You know, injuries are a part of basketball, and it’s not like he wanted to get injured. He’s been at practice, being involved, talking to guys. So his involvement has been really good. He’s an athletic individual, and you see that as soon as he steps out on the floor, and that’s something a lot of guys in this league don’t have.”
In other notes:
• Vaughn was asked whether he wants his 0-4 team to “taste a win” and to “taste success.” Vaughn responded: “I haven’t tasted an In-and-Out Burger in a while, and I know what it tastes like. So, for us, it’s the improvement and guys to play with each other. Those are the crucial things for us moving forward.”
• Vaughn said he’s looking forward to seeing how his team handles the physicality of the Pacers’ big men.
Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.