- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “The [Orlando] Magic haven’t taken part in a competitive game since camp began, all their games lopsided one way or the other, speaking of the Miami Heat. [...] Strangely, [Otis] Smith said he could see it coming, given the Magic were on a back-to-back, had rolled through the preseason and were the Heat’s guest on an emotional opening night. [...] After the Magic were trounced in Miami, I wrote that they will not be fine, not at playoff time against Miami or Boston. I believed before the game that this team — this season or next — needs to trade for more star power to beat the Heat and Celtics. More than a few e-mailers agreed. Writers and fans are one thing. Then there’s coach Stan Van Gundy. Van Gundy said after the loss to the Heat that his team does not have a player who can routinely create his own shot. It was not a new observation from Stan, just a recent reminder. Smith told me Stan’s comment didn’t bother him. He didn’t totally disagree with the analysis, either.”
- Head coach Stan Van Gundy was pleased with the ball movement in last night’s game.
- Dwight Howard likes to send blocks out-of-bounds, unlike Bill Russell.
- Trey Kerby of The Basketball Jones has more on Howard’s ‘philosophy’: “We’ve all heard the stories about how Bill Russell would block shots. He’d do his best to get a hand on every shot he could. When he did, he’d try to tip it to a teammate or himself in order to start a fast break. Those shot-blocking techniques are just a part of the huge legacy that Russell built as one of the NBA’s most prominent winners. The guy was so unselfish that even his blocks were part of a team concept. Dwight Howard goes about blocking shots in a very similar manner, except for the exact opposite. Dwight’s content to toss a weak shot attempt in to the stands, even if that means the other team still gets the ball back. That’s his way of not showboating.”
- Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk chimes in on Howard’s decision to play in the 2012 Summer Olympics: “I guess we’re doing this now. It’s not like we are 19 months and basically two full NBA seasons away from the USA Basketball camps where the team for the London Olympics will be chosen. We’re asking now who wants to go.”
- Jack Jensen of Dime Magazine with a must-read article on Howard: “With so many expectations and the weight of an entire fan base and team counting on Dwight each game to produce, Orlando can only hope the pressure to succeed doesn’t wear on their young star. He does have a mean streak – any one of his flailing elbow’s victims will agree – but maybe Dwight really is too nice to get it done by himself. Maybe Superman 2.0 needs a dominant Justice League co-pilot to lead him through the playoffs and into the Promised Land. Shaq had Kobe and Dwyane. Garnett had Pierce. Duncan had Parker. Orlando has … balance. The Magic have surrounded Dwight with arguably the best collection of all-around talent in the League, but a consistently dominant go-to star has yet to emerge. Hedo Turkoglu looked like he might have become that guy during Orlando’s 2009 run to the Finals, but he bolted out of Central Florida that summer, and 33-year-old Vince Carter is coming off the worst season of his career. Still, Howard whole-heartedly believes he can lead Orlando’s current squad to a ring, despite the growing concern that he often downplays his toughness. Is Dwight too forgiving to get it done riding solo? It’s something that he’s ready to put firmly to rest once and for all.”