- Dave McMenamin, ESPN.com
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LOS ANGELES -- While the reunion on everyone's mind Sunday was Dwight Howard facing off against his former team, Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said that the real emotional meeting with the Magic for Howard won't come until March 12 when Los Angeles plays in Orlando.
By D'Antoni's reasoning then, Sunday's game was actually a big one for Orlando forward Josh McRoberts, who played for the Lakers last season before being traded away during the summer as part of the Howard deal.
McRoberts, who came in as L.A.'s marquee free agent signee a year ago and only ended up averaging 2.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game as he fell out of favor with former coach Mike Brown, is making the most of his time with the Magic.
"He's been great," said first-year Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn before Sunday's game. "He's given us a lot of versatility. I've asked him to guard 2-guards, (small forwards), 4-men. ... He's given us a lot of versatility and his ability to pass the basketball has been good also. He's done a good job for us."
McRoberts' numbers have improved across the board from a year ago, chipping in 4.2 points and 3.9 rebounds in 16.0 minutes per game as a reserve.
"I'm kind of the utility man," McRoberts said.
A utility man who is OK with being part of the trade that sent him from the home of Disneyland to the home of Disney World because he wasn't being traded for a household utility.
"It wasn't like they traded me for a washing machine or something," McRoberts said. "It was a big-time deal for them."
McRoberts is in a contract year. He's looking to fit into Orlando's young bunch and find some long-term stability after suiting up for the fourth team of his six-year career this season.
Even though he's just 25, one way he already has distinguished himself is assuming the role of savvy veteran for the Magic.
"I think the biggest thing for me is that they treat me like I'm an old guy on this team," McRoberts said. "We got a bunch of young guys, so, going from last year when I'm one of the youngest guys on this team to this year when I'm like a super vet is a little bit different."
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.
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