Magic coach Jacque Vaughn started Gustavo Ayon against the Jazz Sunday night, sending Andrew Nicholson back to the bench.

It was the right move, given the match-up --- a battle of the bigs.

Nicholson got his first pro start in Toronto, replacing injured Glen Davis. He didn’t have a great game, seemingly losing confidence after a rough start.

Nicholson isn’t quite big enough or experienced enough to handle Jazz forwards Paul Millsap and/or Derek Favors.

Ayon squared off against Millsap to start the game and Nik Vucevic against Al Jefferson.

Millsap was tough to stop, finishing with 18 points and seven rebounds.

Vucevic did as good as job as possible against Jefferson, not leaving his feet when Jefferson pump-faked. Jefferson had 12 points on 6-of-14 shooting – a little under his season averages.

Now the question: Does Vaughn mix and match his big men now according to matchups?

“I have an idea,” he said, but, of course, wasn’t willing to share it with the media.

He could do that. The New Orleans Hornets are next up on Wednesday night, featuring bigs Robin Lopez, Ryan Anderson and rookie Anthony Davis.

No real power players, but the Magic will need somebody to come out and check Anderson near the 3-point line. That assignment might go to Josh McRoberts coming off the bench.

I’d stay with Ayon at power forward. He does a lot of little things that Nicholson doesn't. He had nine points and 12 rebounds in 37 minutes, coming one rebound short of his second consecutive double-double.


Arron Afflao was hot, radioactive, in fact.

Then Vaughn took him out.

After hitting 6-of-7 shots in the first period, playing just over 10 minutes, he did not sat for the remainder of the opening period and then for the first six minutes of the second.

He finished with seven points after his torrid first period, going 3-of-12.

Don’t you ride your hot hand until he cools off?


Whether they are out of the country or back home the past three days, the Magic still brought their problems with them.