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Aaron Falk, Tony Jones and Steve Luhm cover the Utah Jazz and the NBA for The Salt Lake Tribune. The Tribune on Twitter - Aaron Falk: @tribjazz, Steve Luhm: @sluhm, Tony Jones: @Tjonessltrib

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Stan Van Gundy: Defending Jazz big men a huge concern

It's already been well publicized that the Orlando Magic will be without Dwight Howard for the remainder of the season, as he was forced to have surgery on a balky back that refused to heal.

The Magic, however, will also be without Earl Clark tonight, who had carved out a role as Orlando's third big man and a nice, versatile option coming off the bench.

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Without Clark, who has a sore knee, Daniel Orton will play big minutes, and rookie Justin Harper becomes the fourth big man.

"It's not about progression with Daniel," Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy said. "He has to play, period. He went from not playing to playing. He's got to play, and play well."

Offensively, the Magic can still score. They can still shoot, and without Howard, Van Gundy said, they are slowly develping an us-against-the-world mentality.

Defending Al Jefferson, and Paul Millsap, and Derrick Favors, and Enes Kanter? Well, that's another story all-together.

"It's a huge concern," Van Gundy said with a laugh. "We're much smaller than we normally are. We just have to hold up and do the best we can."

The Magic are without Hedo Turkoglu, who is on the inactive list, as well.

Tony Jones

On twitter: @tonyaggieville

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