Looks fairly sparse here at Amway Arena. Must be better things to do in Orlando on a Monday night.
Had a chance to talk to Nate McMillan pre-game about defending Dwight Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge vs. Rashard Lewis and Greg Oden's progress on returning from injury.
On LaMarcus Aldridge matching up with Rashard Lewis
"Rashard Lewis, I had him. He’s a good player; a very good player. He’s a small forward playing out of position, but very capable. I think it’s going to be a good matchup for LaMarcus. It’s a good challenge for him to guard a player like Rashard were Rashard will be out on the perimeter mostly.
"I’m sure they’ll try to mix up their defensive coverage’s as far as trying to front LA in the post."
Joel Przybilla versus Dwight Howard
"Joel gets the assignment of the best post player every night, whether it’s a four or a five. Somehow he is in the plan as far as how we want to defend, whether he’s defending the best post player or shadowing that guy.
"Our gameplan really is the same. We want Joel and our guys to meet those bigs early. Don’t let them just get down into the paint. For two reasons: Deep post position and also they run a ton of pick and rolls so if we force those pick and rolls out, we’ve got a better chance of defending them, as opposed to allowing them to get inside that three-point line and run those pick and rolls where once he rolls – they run a lot of their pick and roll sets to get him the ball in the post. So if we can push it out we got a better chance of forcing that post-up catch a little further out."
On Greg Oden's return
"Greg went through some running yesterday in practice. Nothing live but he ran up and down, which was a first. Hopefully he can do more tomorrow."
Will he play against Miami?
"I don’t want to go there. It’s a chance for practice, so we'll see if we can get him in practice. I haven’t heard anything from Jay as far as the running, because he ran through plays yesterday. No setbacks. So tomorrow we’ll have a taped, live practice and hopefully he can go through that. If he goes through that, we’ll see. But we’ve got to get him in a practice before we put him in a game."