Daniel Orton learning from his mistakes
From the Orlando Sentinel…
All season long, big man Daniel Ortonwanted playing time.
He has that opportunity now, but there’s just one catch: He’s receiving on-the-job training in the middle of a playoff race.
Orton didn’t play a single second last season, and he had played sparingly this season before DwightHoward’s back injury pressed him into meaningful minutes. Orton has shown some promise, but he struggled when he faced much more experienced Al Jefferson in Saturday’s 117-107 overtime loss to the Utah Jazz.
In 11 minutes, Orton scored two points, collected three rebounds, missed a pair of free throws and, worst of all, piled up five fouls. Magic Coach Stan Van Gundy said afterward that “Daniel gave us nothing.”
Orton, who is only 21 years old, said he took the critique in stride.
“Somebody asked me, ‘Were you offended by what Stan said?’ ” Orton recalled as the Magic’s game Sunday against the Denver Nuggets approached. “I said, ‘No, because he told the truth.’ Everything he said was true. I understand where he’s coming from, and it’s honest.”
Van Gundy said Sunday that he wants Orton “to be a lot more disciplined” and not bite on shot fakes.
“Look, the guy has very little experience, and now we’re putting him in meaningful games at the end of the year,” Van Gundy said. “It’s not where he should be right now, quite honestly, but it’s where we are. Hopefully, he’ll come back and learn from it.”
One of Orton’s closest confidantes is his older brother, Terrence Crawford, who played basketball at Oklahoma State. After the game against Utah, Orton texted Crawford, and Crawford said Orton did not play well.
“I know not many people expect much from me, but I know what I’m capable of, and so does he,” Orton said. “So I just kind of needed his honest perspective.”
For those of you who may not be aware of what that evil man Stan Van Gundy said about Daniel Orton, let me tell you. Following the Magic’s overtime loss to Enes Kanter and the Utah Jazz on Saturday, Van Gundy had this to say about Orton’s play.
“Daniel gave us nothing. He went for every shot fake, he fouled every time.” Van Gundy continued, “he didn’t even give us minutes that we needed to give [our starters] some rest.”
It’s not like he called him a son-of-a-biscuit-eating-bulldog, but he wasn’t very nice about the whole thing. It’s good to see that Daniel is taking it in stride.
The Orlando PinStriped Post spent a lot of time and put together a complete breakdown of Orton’s defensive defencies against the Jazz, which you can read here, but just know that it wasn’t Orton’s best game.
Hopefully Orton can learn from his mistakes and make a name for himself in the playoffs, his future in this league depends on it.