- Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: “Dwight Howard is a better defensive center than Bill Russell. Matt Guokas, the color analyst on Orlando Magic telecasts on Sun Sports and Fox Sports Florida, said that on the air last week and I wrote a column about it over the weekend. As you might expect I have been getting hammered by readers and blogs all over the country for this basketball blasphemy; for even suggesting that there’s a chance Howard may be better than the iconic legend of the Boston Celtics. [...] Guokas, an astute observer and student of the game, is a former NBA player and coach who actually played against Russell. This is not to say Guokas’s opinion is right, but his opinion is much more credible than the opinion of many of critics who have e-mailed me to tell me how stupid Guokas is for saying what he said and how idiotic I am for writing a column about it. I’m willing to bet that 95 percent of those e-mailers never saw Russell play a single game.”
- Tania Ganguli of the Orlando Sentinel: “Every Magic player went through shootaround this morning at RDV Sportsplex, Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said, so minor bumps to Magic guards Vince Carter, Jameer Nelson and Anthony Johnson won’t be an issue when the Magic take on the Washington Wizards tonight at 7 p.m. What will be an issue is the Magic’s ability to stay focused and take some momentum into the playoffs. With just five games remaining on the schedule, Orlando has clinched the second seed in the Eastern Conference and clinched the Southeast Division.”
- Rob Mahoney of ProBasketballTalk chimes in on the Magic clinching the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.
- Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus looks at the five best and worst teams in the NBA “in terms of fewest marginal dollars spent for each marginal win. The statistic, derived from the one pioneered at Baseball Prospectus for the MLB by the late Doug Pappas, measures how much teams are spending above the NBA’s salary floor (75 percent of the cap) for each win above what a replacement-level team could muster.” Unlike last year, the Magic are not an economically efficient team this year.