The revamped Magic have sputtered out of the gate, but new coach Frank Vogel isn’t ready to make lineup changes, writes Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. Vogel has used the same starting five in each of Orlando’s games this season, including a blowout loss to the Bulls Monday that had him considering a shakeup. But Vogel decided to be patient with the group he has in place. “I’m not a knee-jerk coach,” Vogel said before tonight’s game. “If it’s needed, we’ll see it. I wouldn’t expect it anytime soon.”
There’s more from the Southeast Division:
- The Magic are facing the Timberwolves and new coach/executive Tom Thibodeau tonight, which brings back fond memories for reserve point guard D.J. Augustin, Robbins notes in the same piece. Thibodeau was Augustin’s coach with the Bulls in 2013/14, and was an important influence on his career. “He gave me an opportunity to play and play a lot of big minutes,” Augustin said. “He gave me confidence. And that’s exactly what he’s probably doing with those young guys over there, and you could tell by the way they’re playing.”
- Bulls guard Dwyane Wade reiterated to reporters tonight that he hasn’t had any contact with team president Pat Riley since leaving the Heat in free agency, relays Nick Friedell of ESPN.com. Wade, who is preparing for his first game back in Miami on Thursday, said he’s not sure if he will try to contact Riley before the contest. “I know who Pat is,” Wade said. “It’s no secret to me. I was there 13 years, I’ve seen a lot of players come and go. I know how he is. If you’re not with him, you’re against him. That’s just the way he is. You got to understand that, man. And I’m cool with it. I’m fine, 100 percent. I was there 13 years so I’ve seen a lot of video tributes, seen a lot of players come in and go out. And I’ve seen the way he’s responded to them. And I know if you’re not with him, you’re against him.”
- Center Al Jefferson may be gone from the Hornets, but coach Steve Clifford told Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer that his 2013 signing is still helping the franchise. Clifford said Jefferson, who joined the Pacers over the summer, gave Charlotte a sense of legitimacy around the league when he came to the city. “This league, in terms of things like that, is important, how you’re perceived by the players,” Clifford said. “The players talk, and the fact that he came here has opened the door” for other signings.