- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Dwight Howard has been in India for less than four full days, but he already has a list of memories he won’t forget anytime soon. The Orlando Magic center has fulfilled a lifelong dream by seeing tigers. He has visited a butterfly park. He has met appreciative children who want to learn about basketball. Thursday afternoon, after a plane flight from Bangalore to Delhi, he saw a mother on a sidewalk with her baby and her 4-year-old sitting nearby. Howard said the mother was either cleaning or resurfacing the pavement as the older child watched over the baby. [...] Howard traveled to India to help promote the NBA and the game of basketball. League officials regard India’s population of nearly 1.2 billion people as a vast untapped market, and they hope Howard’s star power and megawatt smile will help generate interest in the sport.”
- Scott Stanchak of NBA.com conducts a Q/A with Dwight Howard.
- Josh Cohen of OrlandoMagic.com wants you to vote on what is the best NBA occasion of the year? Here’s what Cohen wrote about the NBA Finals: “After a grueling, bloodthirsty regular season and another month and a half of cutthroat playoff action, there may be nothing more electrifying than the start of the NBA Finals. While players on all 28 other teams are out golfing, fishing, in the weight room preparing for next season or in the tropical islands on vacation, the few players remaining are battling to claim the ultimate prize. Following months of analyzing the field and trying to determine which two teams will reach the championship round, it’s very stirring to finally see the best two teams square off in front of just about every NBA fan.”
- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post provides commentary on whether or not former Magic rookie Courtney Lee is approaching “journeyman” status in the league.
- Tom Ziller of NBA FanHouse: “To be a journeyman implies that there’s no place for a player anywhere, that he’s a mercenary for hire (Kevin Willis) or, less generously, a vital cog in only the Trade Machine dynamics of the modern NBA (Devean George). Lee fits neither definition; he’s a good, young player any team would love to have, but who keeps getting dealt in bigger-picture trades as an asset (not as salary cap fluff). It has to bug Lee, because, for one, always being traded is no way to build demand, and building demand is the entire goal of a rookie on his first contract. Second, it’s annoying to move and to have to meet new co-workers, learn a new system, figure out how to deal with a new coach. It’s clearly far less optimal than staying in one place and being allowed to improve organically.”
- Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook breaks down the pick and roll.
- Rey Jefferson of Dime Magazine thinks J.J. Redick is poised for a breakout season: “More minutes (with the departure of Matt Barnes), more money and for the Orlando Magic, more production. There were times in the playoffs when Stan Van Gundy had Redick on the court during the most important moments of big games, causing Vince Carter to sit the bench. After the Magic matched Chicago’s $19 million offer sheet for Redick in free agency, he knows the team values him.”
- Redick had his “breakout season” last year but hey, maybe he can do better.