- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “The NBA named Dwight Howard its 2009-10 Defensive Player of the Year this afternoon, making the Orlando Magic center just the seventh player in league history to win the award in consecutive years. [...] Magic General Manager Otis Smith said it’s “just short of amazing” that a Magic player has won the award in back-to-back years. “He promised me more than this Defensive Player of the Award,” Smith said. “We like other trophies, but especially the gold one, and he’s promised in the not-so-distant future that that would happen here in Orlando. And he’s pretty much set the table for that, so I am as proud of him as a young man as I’ve been proud of any other player who’s accomplished anything else in this organization or in any others.” Howard finished the 2009-10 regular season as the league leader in rebounding (13.2 per game) and blocked shots (2.78 per game). He became the first player to lead in both statistical categories in consecutive seasons. (The NBA started keeping the blocked shot statistic during the 1973-74 season.)”
- Imagine a world where Emeka Okafor is the starting center for the Orlando Magic.
- John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com has been on fire today, writing articles on a variety of topics. Here they are: Dwight Howard repeating as NBA Defensive Player of the Year, the keys to the game for the Orlando Magic against the Charlotte Bobcats in Game 2, and Jameer Nelson‘s reemergence in the playoffs.
- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post looks at three adjustments the Magic can make against the Bobcats: “If I’m Van Gundy, I’m showing film of the Magic’s March win against the L.A. Lakers to [Vince] Carter as a blueprint for how to approach Charlotte in Game 2. Against L.A., Carter attacked early and often, and finished the first period with 15 points on 2-of-2 shooting from the floor and 10-of-10 from the foul line. That effort came against Ron Artest, one of the league’s best perimeter defenders. If he can toast Artest like that, he can certainly do the same to Wallace and Jackson, who are no slouches themselves.”
- Thomas “Big Pooh” Jones of Little Brother, a critically acclaimed hip-hop group from North Carolina, chimes in on the series between Orlando and Charlotte: “I had a back and forth with a few of my Twitter friends about this series. Plenty people told me I was crazy for saying that Charlotte could surprise the Magic so I will keep this one short. Vince Carter was 4-19 yesterday. Sounds like the Vince we all know and love during big-game time. Dwight Howard was effective on the defensive end for a little while, but the three centers the Bobcats have kept Howard at the foul line and the rest of the team kept him in foul trouble. Jameer Nelson coming out and having that monster first half coupled with [Mickael] Pietrus going 3-3 after taking his first three 3-point shots, then we might be talking about a Magic loss. Larry Brown played it ultra safe with Stephen Jackson and his knee, believing that this would be a long series and it may come back to be a very important move later on. After all, the Bobcats have no expectations outside of their locker room. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain in this series. Can’t say the same for the Magic, who have championship aspirations.”
- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel has more on Howard becoming the Defensive Player of the Year for a second consecutive season.
- There’s a reason why Rashard Lewis is nicknamed Ice-O: “With SG Vince Carter and C Dwight Howard having off-nights offensively, Lewis played perhaps his best game in a month, scoring 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting. [Stan] Van Gundy took advantage of Lewis’ hot night, calling isolation plays for Lewis when the rest of the offense struggled in the second half. Last year’s playoff run to the NBA Finals also might have calmed Lewis. He felt unusually relaxed for a playoff opener. ‘I used to have chills, but for some reason in that first playoff game I was just ready to play,’ Lewis said. ‘I know what the intensity level’s going to be like. I know the level of play is going to go up. It’s not going to be an easy win. I wasn’t nervous at all. I felt more comfortable going into that first playoff game.’ ”
- Will Jason Williams be in a Magic uniform next year?