- Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel: “Dwight Howard is 6-for-10 on mid-range jumpers this season, a promising statistic for the future of his offensive game. After making more than half of his jumpers during the preseason, it’s looking more and more like it’s a real part of his game. Howard himself is tired of talking about the jumpers. When a reporter asked Howard about his newfound jump-shot today, Howard responded, ‘Can we talk about something else, please?’ Howard’s been hearing about the jumpers since training camp, and he’s grown tired of the same questions. But that doesn’t mean others aren’t willing to talk about the exciting portion of Howard’s expanding offensive repertoire. Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said the jumper’s an evolution of Howard’s game that will continue for years, the same way other great players saw their game move away from the basket later in their careers.”
- Dwight Howard will play in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
- Dan Savage of the OrlandoMagic.com: “There are few superstars in any sport that are as media friendly as Dwight Howard. He’s engaging, humorous and will answer just about any question thrown at him. But there’s one question that’s becoming a little redundant for the All-NBA center this season: ‘How’s your jumper coming along?’ As someone who covers Orlando’s Superman day-in and day-out, I must admit, even I’m sick of hearing the question. At nearly every media session it comes up, usually with someone completely shocked that he now has this weapon in his arsenal. Howard is a talented basketball player, who has been able to accomplish nearly anything he’s set his mind to during his NBA career. So why is it a surprise to everyone that he’s starting to develop a mid-range game?”
- Michael Beasley is expected to play later tonight.
- Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse: “The Orlando Magic were both a little surprised and amused Wednesday to hear LeBron James already being touted in Miami for Defensive Player of The Year. Magic center Dwight Howard has won the award the last two seasons, but the Heat crushed the Magic last week in Miami with an impressive performance. [...] The mini-debate stemmed from comments made Tuesday by Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, who mentioned the award when discussing the defensive prowess of James. [...] Both James and Howard have been first-team All Defense each of the last two seasons. Howard has led the league in both blocked shots and rebounding those two season. James is considered one of the league’s premier perimeter defenders, capable of smothering opponents in the open court.”
- Tom Haberstroh of ESPN Insider defends the Magic as title contenders: “So, if the Magic are dominant on both ends on the floor, what’s holding them back from winning it all? When it comes down to it, they’ve picked some pretty awful times to turn ice cold. The Magic shot just 30 percent from downtown in Games 1 and 2 against the Boston Celtics and lost by a combined seven points. As trivial as it sounds, the fate of the Magic has been decided by some missed free throws here and a rimmed out 3-pointer there. That’s how narrow the margin for error is in the playoffs. When great regular season teams come up short in the postseason, we tend to attribute non-random factors for their demise — lack of toughness, lack of heart, lack of leadership. But more often than not, these intangible indictments are nothing more than journalistic shortcuts that intentionally gloss over the inherent randomness of sport. Randomness is equally boring as it is real. And the reality is that if luck were on Orlando’s side, they’d have been just a series away from a Finals rematch with the Lakers.”
Re: Tom Haberstroh of ESPN Insider defending the Magic as title contenders
Luck? Really... I know the Magic have a big chance to win it all, and the players are hungry to prove themselves... But if years past and they don't get there, I won't use "luck" as my explanation of why they didn't. Sorry.