ORLANDO - Marcin Gortat, who made the Magic last season as a rookie power forward/center from Poland, is expected to be in the rotation when the season begins tonight against the visiting Hawks (7, Sun Sports).
"I feel good I get this playing time. The coach trusts me," said Gortat, 24.
Gortat, 6 feet 11 and 245 pounds, was largely known as a summer-league trainee for three seasons. He got his big break late last season in the playoffs, seizing Adonal Foyle's minutes behind center Dwight Howard.
Gortat has stayed ahead of Foyle as the second big man off the bench behind Tony Battie.
Coach Stan Van Gundy is "intrigued" with the athleticism of Gortat, once an amateur soccer goalie in Poland who won a bet from assistant Pat Ewing that he could dunk from the free-throw line.
Jazz: Point guard Deron Williams will miss tonight's opener against the Nuggets because of a left ankle sprain.