The Magic will still be without Nikola Vucevic on Wednesday when they travel to Charlotte to take on the Bobcats in a game with major lottery implications, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Vucevic did not participate in the Magic's light practice and will not travel for the team's road game tomorrow night.
Nik Vucevic (concussion) won't be making the trip to Charlotte, but he expects to play again this season.— Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) March 26, 2013
This is a moderately big blow as the Magic have seen the last few games as they have few bodies to throw out there. With Glen Davis and Vucevic out, the Magic are down the two post players they started the year with and have a thinning bench. Tobias Harris, Andrew Nicholson and Kyle O'Quinn make up the Magic's post rotation right now with Al Harrington effectively shut down for the year.
It is still unclear the extent of Nicholson's sprained ankle except that he is day-to-day. Nobody knows whether he will play tomorrow night. That leaves Orlando with a very very thin bench. Monday against Miami, the Magic were using Beno Udrih at what would have been power forward with just Maurice Harkless or Tobias Harris in at "center."
Orlando was desperate for a post body.
Vucevic has been a big boost for the Magic this year, averaging 12.4 points per game and 11.5 rebounds per game. Since Glen Davis' injury on Dec. 19, Vucevic is averaging 13.8 points and 12.6 rebounds per game. He has continued to show improvement and consistency, becoming the new daily double-double guy for the Magic.
He had played every game this season until last Wednesday when he sat out with a concussion suffered in Orlando's previous game against Indiana when Roy Hibbert accidentally popped him with an elbow to the jaw.
Vucevic is going through the NBA's concussion protocols and must pass that before being cleared to play and before being allowed to return to action.
Orlando has played hard in his absence, but it is clear that the team is a bit undermanned down low. The rotation has been completely thrown off.
Some reinforcements may be coming in the form of Hedo Turkoglu.
Turkoglu's 20-game suspension ended after Monday's game with the Heat and he is eligible to return Wednesday against the Bobcats and play the remaining 10 games this season. Turkoglu told Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel that he is uncertain how much Jacque Vaughn will use him or what his long-term future is with the Magic, but he said he will approach his job professionally and try to contribute where he can.
HTurkoglu is eligible to play now. Jacque Vaughn said Hedo will be in uniform 2moro night but wouldn't say if he'd play.— Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) March 26, 2013
In theory, Turkoglu could provide a nice little boost for the Magic. But this season has been the worst of his career and he has struggled to stay healthy or find any footing this season. Turkoglu, at this point, is just another body on the roster. Turkoglu will be in uniform Wednesday, but it is unclear whether he will play.