Gentry: Magic still good without Dwight Howard
But while Phoenix will face an Orlando team Sunday without perennial All-Star center Dwight Howard after August's blockbuster trade sent him packing to Los Angeles, Alvin Gentry said Jacque Vaughn's squad is still a talented team.
"I think everyone looked at that team and thought oh they got rid of Dwight Howard," Gentry said. "But they play extremely hard. They are going to be well-coached, because [Jacque Vaughn] has been under great coaches."
Vaughn played for five teams during his 14-year career, learning under the likes of Jerry Sloan and Greg Popovich. The former NBA point guard was hired to replace Stan Van Gundy in July.
In addition to a new coach, the Magic's trade of Howard brought them new pieces in Al Harrington, Aaron Afflalo, Mo Harkless, Josh McRoberts and Nikola Vucevic.
While they've only played one game heading into Sunday's home contest with the Suns, Gentry came away very impressed with the Magic's opening night 102-89 victory over the Nuggets.
"I watched them play last night," said Gentry after practice on Saturday. "They play really hard. They execute extremely well. And at the end of the day, they have some pretty damn good players."
Message being that if the Suns are expecting a cake walk heading into Monday night's clash with the reigning NBA champion Heat, they have another thing coming to them.
Sunday night's game is the start of a three-game road swing for Phoenix. They will head to Miami Monday, before wrapping up their first road trip of the season in Charlotte Wednesday.
- Alvin Gentry, former Suns head coach - Tuesday May 14Gentry talks to Doug & Wolf about the NBA Playoffs, the Suns coaching search and his future
- Denise McDonough, Ryan McDonough's mom - Friday May 10Mrs. McDonough talks to Doug & Wolf about raising the new Suns GM
- Melinda Dudley, Jared Dudley's mom - Friday May 10Mrs. Dudley tells Doug & Wolf what it was like raising the Suns fan favorite
- Tom Chambers, Suns legend - Friday May 10Chambers tells Doug & Wolf who he'd like to see hired as the new head coach of the Suns
- Ryan McDonough, Suns general manager - Thursday May 9McDonough talks to Doug & Wolf about what he's looking for in a new head coach