Anez: We Can Play Too

WDBO Sports Director Scott Anez has seen, or listened to, every Orlando Magic game ever played! A local boy who graduated from Lake Brantley High School and UCF, Scott began his career by covering the Magic's inaugural season in 1989 and he is known as the Voice of the Magic Fan in Orlando. This is Scott's 21st season hosting FM 96.5 and AM 580 Newstalk WDBO Inside Magic, the highest rated sports talk show in Orlando. He also serves as Broadcast Host for the Orlando Magic Radio Network. Scott shares his unique take on what's happening at Two Magic Place and beyond with ANEZ SEZ. Read more of Scott's previous blogs at the Anez Sez archive or at

Posted by Scott Anez, Sunday, November 4, 2012, 10:30 AM

We Can Play Too

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2012-13 Orlando Magic!

After all the negativity, the criticism and the ill-will that the Dwightmare produced; after firing and hiring coaches and general managers; after dealing Dwight in a deal that was viewed from afar as being extremely one-sided; after dealing for free agents most of us had never even heard of before, opening night finally arrived.

It’s great to be talking about basketball again.

Friday night, the Magic began this transitional season by dominating the Denver Nuggets 102-89.

I have been telling people for the last month that I believe this team can challenge for a playoff spot this season.

Your typical response? A rolling of the eyes, a gnashing of teeth. One guy called me a ‘homer’, which isn’t the first time that’s happened. Another waved his arms at me and walked the other way.

I realize that one game does not a season make in this 82-game marathon.

But, I see what I saw in the preseason.

I see a hungry team. I see a nice mix of youth and experience. I see depth.

But most of all, I see a team that, as crazy as it seems, that is playing loose and free without the man-in-the-middle.

Look, Dwight Howard, who by the way is 0-3 as a Laker right now, re-built this franchise into an elite team. He is the best big in the world and should be credited for taking this team to another level during his tenure.

But, here’s what I am seeing from guys like Jameer Nelson, JJ Redick, Glen Davis and Hedo Turkoglu, who, regretfully, is out at least one month after breaking his left hand in the opening night win.

I see these guys having fun, moving without the ball, setting screens for one another.

I see them all hitting the glass. I see them sharing the basketball (24 assists vs. Denver).

As the Lakers are finding out right now, it’s not always the easiest thing in the world to play with a dominant big man on the low post.

Guys have to change their games to fit that one player. They have to defer. You stand around a lot. Your entire game, both offensively and defensively, revolves around one guy.

What I sense right now is a huge piano lifted off this team’s back.

Will that translate into a better team—more victories?

I’m a little dense, but I ain’t that stupid.

Talent wins in this league. Having a dominant big like Dwight is always preferred to the alternative.

Listen, this Magic team is far from perfect. Defensively, we’ve got miles to go if we truly want to be a playoff team.

However, right now, I just get the sense that these guys are exclaiming to the world, “Hey, we can play too!”