Monday's Magic Word | Magic Basketball



Nov 29

Monday’s Magic Word

  • Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel: “There’s little question Dwight Howard is the best center in the league and one of the league’s most dominant players along with LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul. But there’s one discernible difference between Howard and those other guys, if you ask Stan Van Gundy: Howard gets criticized much, much more. His free throws. His perceived lack of a low-post game. His foul trouble. His turnovers. Many are fair criticisms — some, maybe not. But they’re always topics of conversation in the national media. […] Those other guys, meanwhile, produce very tangible results. Durant and Kobe fill up the points column, and do it beautifully. Chris Paul racks up the traditional point-guard stats — points, assists and steals — better than any player in the NBA. LeBron and Wade make racket in every statistical category. Howard, meanwhile, is the league’s best rebounder, but bulldogs such as Reggie Evans and Kevin Love are close behind. Nobody in the NBA blocks shots better than Howard, but Darko Milicic and Javale McGee aren’t bad. That’s not exactly elite company, at least in the traditional sense. Howard’s far and away the best at skills that go overlooked by the casual NBA observer. His highlight dunks and blocks make YouTube, but it’s his less aesthetically pleasing abilities that make him the best big man in the NBA.”
  • Tracy McGrady doesn’t think the union between LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will work.
  • Dwight Howard for MVP? Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel is on board: “I wrote a few weeks ago that there are few players more important to their team than Dwight, and he might be THE frontrunner. In my mind, he’s never had a better start in The Chase. His scoring — always a factor in MVP voting, as overrated as it is — is up to No. 12. It would be even better if he could bump up his free-throw shooting. The two-time Defensive Players of the Year is in the top 5 in rebounding and blocks. He’s older, more mature and has expanded his offense to satisfy some critics. I do think he has been the MVP so far in the East after the first month of the season. It definitely feels as if there’s no other lead-horse candidate.”
  • Are the Orlando Magic going to wear their alternate uniforms too much?
  • The Magic are ready to make a trade if a superstar is made available.
  • Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “It’s tough to figure what a trade package built around Carter’s semi-expiring contract, a young rotation player or two, and future draft picks likely to be late first-rounders could net. It is, however, safe to assume Orlando has targeted reasonably young perimeter players who can generate offense.”
  • Royce Young of “Orlando isn’t satisfied with its current scoring punch and is searching for a reliable go-to option. That’s the biggest scratch on the Magic’s armor and Vince Carter hasn’t been able to fix it. Against premier defensive units, Orlando’s drive-and-kick offense can easily be shut down. Dwight Howard’s post game is much improved, but there has to be an isolation option. There has to be a guy that can score eight straight points when shots aren’t dropping. Great big men are the foundation of a championship team and the Magic have that. But they need the walls and a roof still. And apparently, they’re willing to deal the furniture to get it.”
  • Dwight Howard is excited about hitting a game-winner on Saturday.
  • Are the Magic flexible or flawed? Bethlehem Shoals of NBA FanHouse attempts to find an answer to that question: “Orlando has the perennial Defensive Player of the Year in the middle, a system that seems to work, a coach whose basketball mind is matched only by his scrappy ardor, and a seemingly bottomless vat of good-not-great rotation players. It’s a formula of sorts, albeit one that will only take them so far.”
  • UPDATE: Henry Abbott of TrueHoop points out that Howard takes his time when shooting free-throws. Perhaps too much time: “NBA rules state that from the time the player catches the ball at the free throw line, he has ten seconds to shoot it. Most players have no trouble with this rule. But there are some exceptions. Most assuredly Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard is one of them. You can see for yourself by watching the seconds tick off on the little clock at the bottom of any number of YouTube videos of Howard shooting.”