Southeast Notes: Isaac, K. Thompson, Gill, Bridges

The Magic got to experience a playoff-style atmosphere on Friday in New York, and even though it didn’t turn out well, Jonathan Isaac believes it was a valuable lesson for his young teammates, writes Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel. Orlando was limited to a season-low 74 points, but Isaac said the physicality of the game and the raucous Madison Square Garden crowd are things his team needs to prepare for.

“Coach’s message after the game was that this was good for us to face this as a group,” Isaac said. “We didn’t get off to our best start, our best footing and that kind of set us behind for the rest of the game. Over the course of the game, we learned what playoff basketball is like. I’ve experienced it before and not everybody has. We know how to move going forward.”

Beede points out that Isaac is a major reason why the Magic are in the thick of the playoff race after finishing 13th in the East last year. He’s part of the team’s four best defensive five-man lineups and he  has been able to stay on the court, appearing in 43 games so far, which is the second-highest total of his seven-year career.

“It means I’m healthy,” Isaac said. “I look forward to continuing to play meaningful minutes in big games and keep moving forward. I’m not worried about injuries or looking back, or anything.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Magic expressed interest in acquiring Klay Thompson from the Warriors before last month’s trade deadline, sources tell Ian Begley of SNY. He notes that Thompson is heading toward free agency, and Orlando projects to have more than $30MM in cap room.
  • Anthony Gill was only on the court for 2:23 in Friday’s game, but he played an important role in helping the Wizards snap their 16-game losing streak, observes Chase Hughes of Monumental Sports. Gill has done most of his work behind the scenes during his four years in Washington, Hughes adds, and teammates are thrilled any time the 31-year-old power forward gets a chance to contribute on the court. “I just want to continue to be a light to people,” he said. “This basketball world can seem kind of small sometimes and it can seem kind of isolated. This world can pull you in many different directions. I just always want to bring people back to really what matters and that’s being a good person overall. Everyone has it in them. I just want to consistently show that every single day.”
  • Hornets coach Steve Clifford singled out Miles Bridges for his competitiveness tonight on the second game of a back-to-back (video link from Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer). Bridges has put together a strong bounce-back season after not playing last year and figures to be one of the most intriguing names on the free agent market.
View Comments (2)