First, and most importantly, reigning MVP Derrick Rose and his coach, Tom Thibodeau, say Rose will play tonight. Rose injured his left elbow Wednesday night, but Rose said his elbow is improving and he participated fully in shootaround this morning.
In other news:
• Stan Van Gundy says the biggest difference between last season’s Bulls and this season’s Bulls is this year’s group is running much more. The Magic will have to get back quickly tonight on defense and try to prevent easy baskets on the break.
• The Magic will attempt to keep Rose out of the paint. “That’s obviously not an easy thing to do,” Van Gundy said. “If it were, he wouldn’t have been the MVP last year.”
• Rose and Howard are friends and they both endorse adidas, but Rose said he and Howard have not talked since this past summer and have not talked about Howard’s contract situation at least since then. “I know it’s been crazy for him, just seeing what’s been going on, and I can only imagine what he’s been going through,” Rose said.
• Bulls power forward Carlos Boozer is one of Howard’s closest friends in the NBA. Boozer would not address Howard’s situation at length. Asked if he’s given Howard any advice, Boozer responded, “Dwight’ll be fine. You guys are going to have to get the ticket and watch the show. You guys are going to have to sit there and wait and watch, like everybody else, to see what happens. But Dwight will be fine.”
• Let’s eliminate any confusion here before it begins. When Boozer said “watch the show,” he was not saying that Howard plans any sort of TV special to announce his intentions, a la LeBron James’ “Decision.” Boozer was just alluding to the fact that all the speculation about Howard is a circus.
• Asked about Glen Davis, Van Gundy said he wants to see Davis play “the way he plays when he’s successful.” In other words, Van Gundy wants to see Davis resume doing the high-energy dirty work that prompted the Magic to acquire him. All that stuff — talking on defense, setting multiple pick-and-rolls per possession and moving the ball — won’t show up in a box score, but it is integral to what the Magic are attempting to do.
• Van Gundy said Quentin Richardson has something akin to a chemical burn after Richardson hurt his ankle Thursday. Apparently, Richardson did some self-treatment, using some Icy Hot and then exposing that skin to ice water.
• Tonight’s refs: Ken Mauer, John Goble and Derek Richardson.
• HBO’s “Real Sports” is in town to collect footage for its upcoming feature on Van Gundy and his brother, Jeff, who will be ESPN’s in-game analyst tonight. The segment is scheduled to air Jan. 24.
Follow Josh Robbins on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins and e-mail him at email@example.com. Subscribe to our Orlando Magic newsletter at OrlandoSentinel.com/joinus.