Remember, this is only the preseason. People named Darren Henrie, Howard Wright and Trevor Wilson may not be around when the Atlanta Hawks play host to the Orlando Magic in the regular-season opener Nov. 2. With those preliminaries out of the way, it's time to take a good look at the Magic, which improved to 5-1 after Wednesday night's 122-101 victory over Atlanta before 14,113 fans at Orlando Arena.
Orlando continues to play steady defense, forcing 20 turnovers and limiting the Hawks to 37.7 percent shooting from the floor. The Magic outscored the visitors 39-22 in the decisive third quarter.
"That was as good a defense as we've played in training camp," Magic coach Matt Guokas said. "We capitalized with defensive rebounds and ran the break well. I was really pleased with our defense in the second half."
Eight players scored in double figures as the Magic shot an impressive 56.2 percent.
Point guard Sam Vincent keyed the run with three rebounds and three assists in the third quarter. Vincent finished the game with 10 points, six assists and four rebounds.
Scott Skiles, who continues to push Vincent for playing time, collected 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
Vincent and Skiles both played 24 minutes, leaving few minutes for Morlon Wiley (5), the team's defensive specialist.
Another position of note is power forward, where Jeff Turner started for the fourth game ahead of incumbent Terry Catledge. Turner played 23 minutes and had 15 points and four rebounds. Catledge scored 16 points in 20 minutes.
Guokas said Turner will continue to start as long as he does the "little things well."
"A lot of times (last year) we were out of games early because we don't do the little things early," Guokas said. "Who knows how long this is going to last."
Catledge, who led the Magic in scoring and rebounding last season, said he enjoys the competition from Turner.
"He's playing well. He's getting those quality minutes. I'm glad he's playing well," said Catledge, who has been slowed by a sore knee. "It gives me a chance to get my legs up under me and get ready for Nov. 2. I'm not worried about starting. I'm worried about getting healthy."
Atlanta (4-3) was playing its fifth game in eight nights, and looked the part. Center Moses Malone was injured and didn't make the trip. Forward Kevin Wills led the team in scoring (17 points) and rebounding (12), while the infamous trio of Henrie, Wright and Wilson combined for six points and five rebounds off the bench.