The Orlando Magic are off to a pretty good start, with a 9-3 record despite playing the season’s first 10 games without Rashard Lewis and also enduring injuries to Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson.

The team faces an even bigger challenge now that starting point guard Jameer Nelson is injured once again and out for weeks.

Aside from great coaching, Dwight Howard wants a bit less negativity coming from Stan Van Gundy.

Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel reports:

Dwight Howard asks Stan Van Gundy to stop the negativity

Orlando Magic superstar Dwight Howard told the Sentinel on Thursday that he asked Stan Van Gundy in a private meeting to quell what he perceived as the coach’s recurring negativity.

The fiery, demanding Van Gundy confirmed that he met with Howard, who was speaking on behalf of the team.

“I think, as a team, there was a lot of negativity and it’s not like Stan’s a negative guy,” Howard said before the Magic left for Boston to face the Celtics on Friday night. “But it’s like there’s always some clashes and focusing so much on our mistakes. Instead of bringing each other down, we have to pull each other up.

“That’s the only thing I wanted from coach.”

Van Gundy told the Sentinel that his negativity was “draining the enthusiasm” from his team. He vowed to change his tactics — from practices to press conferences to the bench on game nights — after listening to Howard’s concerns.

A ton of pressure now rests on the aging shoulders of backup point guard Jason Williams, who with Nelson out will start and play a very key role on the team. And old Anthony Johnson must regain some youth and contribute as well.

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