NEW ORLEANS — Orlando Magic coach Jacque Vaughn had a message for his players after they lost to the Memphis Grizzlies 86-81 Wednesday night and officially began the All-Star break.
The message was simple: Use the break to get some rest, but try to stay sharp at the same time.
The team won't reconvene until Monday, when they'll practice at Amway Center.
"I'll calculate the hours for the guys of how many hours they'll actually have off and how many hours I'll ask them to spend," Vaughn said before his postgame talk. "It'll seem pretty minuscule if I ask them to spend three hours out of that entire time they have off just to get a little exercise in, a little cardio or something."
According to one Magic player, Vaughn told the group they had 109 hours between the end of the Grizzlies game and the start of Monday's practice.
The team will face a few tough tests once it returns from the break. Six of the first seven games will be played on the road. The Magic own a 3-23 road record this season — the worst road record in the NBA.
In the days immediately after the break players throughout the league will face a potential distraction.
The NBA trade deadline looms at 3 p.m. Thursday.
"I'll just enjoy the weekend," Magic shooting guard Arron Afflalo said when he was asked about the upcoming deadline.
"We have back-to-back games before the trade deadline, so it's not really something I've ever thought about. Obviously, now that it's approaching, management hasn't approached me with anything in particular. So, as far as I'm concerned, I'll just assess my game within this situation here in the first half of the season month by month and see what I need to do to get to a high level for the second half."
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