The Magic have jumped out to a 6-2 start this season despite the fact that much of the core they’ve featured this season is a carryover from last year’s team that finished just 29-53. The X-Factor that’s helping the team perform so much better in 2017/18 could very well be Jonathon Simmons, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders writes.
Simmons signed a three-year deal worth $20MM this summer and has earned the trust of head coach Frank Vogel early in his Magic career.
“He has earned the trust. You know, when we put the ball in his hands, typically, he makes good things happen,” Vogel said. “He’s a good decision maker, and he’s a threat going to the basket. I mean, he really attacks the rim and will get to the free throw line and will finish. He does a good job making the extra pass, too. I do have a lot of trust; he’s earned it very early with me in his stay [with the Magic].”
Through eight games with the Magic so far this year, Simmons has averaged 15.8 points and 3.6 rebounds.
There’s more out of the Southeast Division:
- According to the man himself, Nicolas Batum could be cleared to practice in the next nine days. Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, caught up with the Hornets swingman as he recovers from a torn ligament in his left elbow that has sidelined him since early October.
- The Heat have looked thin on the perimeter thanks to a rash of injuries at the position. In a question-and-answer with readers, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel discusses whether or not the team ought to have considered using the money spent on Kelly Olynyk to pursue a wing, like Rudy Gay.
- The Wizards parted ways with Carrick Felix earlier today but have no immediate plans to fill the vacant roster spot, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post tweets.