Vucevic started at center and produced 12 points (4-13 FG, 4-4 FT), 12 rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal across 30 minutes in Thursday's 114-111 preseason win over the Pelicans.
Magic coach Frank Vogel stated prior to Thursday's preseason finale that he would treat the game as a dress rehearsal and held true to form, as all three of the team's starters eclipsed 30 minutes. Vucevic was the low man in that group as fellow center Bismack Biyombo came off the bench to play 26 minutes, suggesting that a true timeshare exists between the two players. While Vucevic figures to start at center in the Magic's regular-season opener by virtue of Biyombo serving a suspension that carries over from the prior postseason, it's unclear if Vucevic retain those duties in the following game when Biyombo is available. In addition to being a liability on the defensive end, Vucevic uncharacteristically had a miserable preseason from an offensive standpoint, averaging 8.6 points on 19-for-56 (33.9%) shooting from the field across six games.
Vucevic will be held out Sunday against the Hawks for rest purposes, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Vucevic has been an underwhelming performer in his prior four preseason appearances, averaging 8.0 points and 6.5 boards in 22.2 minutes per game while shooting 32.3 percent from the floor. Magic coach Frank Vogel has primarily utilized Vucevic as a starter in the preseason, but if Bismack Biyombo impresses Sunday in his opportunity with the top unit, Vucevic could end up sliding down a spot on the depth chart.
Vucevic registered seven points (3-8 FG, 1-2 FT), four assists, two rebounds and one block across 27 minutes in Friday's 114-106 preseason win over the Pacers.
Considering how much run he saw Friday, Vucevic's stat line was disappointing, and that's even before taking into account his five turnovers and four fouls. Vucevic and the Magic frontcourt also struggled to contain Myles Turner (17 points, six boards) and Thaddeus Young (15 points, eight boards), a development that wasn't too unfamiliar last season. While Vucevic is one of the NBA's top offensive centers when he gets consistent post feeds, he remains a liability on the defensive end, which will likely result in a downgrade in playing time this season. The Magic didn't sign Bismack Biyombo to a huge contract in the offseason just to let him collect dust, so he'll likely cut heavily into Vucevic's workload in what could turn into an even timeshare between the two.
Vucevic started at center and provided 11 points (4-12 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 2-2 FT), nine rebounds, five assists and one steal across 23 minutes in Monday's 102-97 preseason loss to the Grizzlies.
With Serge Ibaka (knee) sitting the contest out, there was room for both Vucevic and Bismack Biyombo in the lineup, but the latter two players will continue to compete for the starting center role throughout camp. As his high shot total and team-leading assist mark indicate, Vucevic is an force on the offensive end, but he lacks the length, mobility and rim protection of Biyombo. If the Magic decide to make upgrading their defense a greater priority heading into the upcoming season, Vucevic could be forced to settle for a bench role to open the season.
The offseason signing of Biyombo to a four-year, $72 million contract would seem to pose a legitimate threat to Vucevic's starting role, but the 25-year-old continues to maintain a positive outlook, despite trade rumors circulating around him. Biyombo brings more to the table than Vucevic as a rim protector and defensive presence, attributes that the Magic were sorely lacking at the back end a season ago, so even if he continues to serve in a bench role with his new team, there's still a good chance Biyombo will be used heavily. If that's the case, Vucevic's minutes from last season (31.3 per game) would almost certainly go down, and his scoring (18.2 points per game) and rebound outputs (8.9 rebounds per game) could head in a similar direction. The Magic should officially name their starting center in training camp, but no matter how that situation shakes out, Vucevic's fantasy value will take a hit so long as Biyombo remains healthy and available.
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
| 16 |
| 17 || 18 |
| 19 || 20 |
W 114-111 (OT)
| 21 || 22
| 23 || 24 || 25 || 26 |
| 27 || 28 |
|Career Shooting Stats|
|More Postseason Stats|
|College Career Shooting Stats|
|More College Stats|
Mens Orlando Magic Penny Hardaway adidas Black Hardwood Classics Swingman Jersey Shop Now!