NBA Preseason: Orlando Brings The “Magic” With Win Over Spurs

By Gregory Moore
Updated: October 15, 2006

SAN ANTONIO – The Orlando Magic stayed undefeated in preseason as they beat the San Antonio Spurs 92-87. Travis Deiner had 23 points in the win.

The Spurs were led by Manu Ginobili’s fourteen points.

Although the game doesn’t count in the record books, the Spurs did want to have a good look at several players who are vying for the final roster spot on the team.

“Eighteen players played and two couldn’t play because of injury,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said in post-game interviews. “The ones who did play did a real good job. I was pleased with all of them.” With twenty players in camp, the Spurs are looking for one of six players to possibly fill a final roster spot. This year, the NBA is allowing teams to carry fifteen players on a roster. Twelve will only be active in any game.

“It’s tough,” Popovich said. “It’s the worst part of coaching in the NBA. To have to tell a young man you’re going to let him go, you have to be honest and let him know where he stands what his abilities are.” Orlando’s Brian Hill concurs to some extent with this premise.

“Tonight’s game was very hard to evaluate for both teams,” Hill said. “Lucky, Pop knew we were weak and gave most of his starters minimal playing time so that he could evaluate other players on his team.” GAME HIGHLIGHTS When it comes to evaluating talent, the Spurs do have some decisions to make. With Beno Udrih nursing a sore hamstring, Popovich had to use Brent Barry at the point guard position. Popovich has made it known that he is not happy with Udrih’s lack of being able to bounce back from injuries and this latest setback could hurt the player not only in development but later down the road as teams want players to be able to heal properly but also fight through some nagging injuries that pop up from time to time.

Players that may be cut by the end of week are the following: Jared Reiner, Olu Famutimi, and Jamar Smith. Charles Lee looked good in his eight minutes on the floor and Melvin Sanders could have been a little better in his eleven minutes of work.

The coaching staff has been impressed with how Jackie Butler looked so far. Although he only played eight minutes, the second year player has done Yeoman’s work with a seven-point effort to coincide with two steals and two rebounds.

Next game for the Spurs will be the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 19th.