- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “The season is winding down, meaning every game is big when you are chasing the leaders and jockeying for playoff positions. With 25 games left, the [Orlando] Magic are hunters instead of the hunted this season. Circle March 3 and 4 on your calendar. It’s likely a tell-tale back-to-back. The Magic are at Miami on March 3 and then home to host the Bulls March 4. They currently are chasing them both in the Eastern Conference race, trailing co-leader Miami by 5.5 games and Chicago by three games. We’re at the point of the season where head-to-head battles are critical. The Magic can take care of business themselves, not having to rely on help from others. But losses would increase the deficit, and in the case against Miami, give the Heat the season series 3-1 and playoff tiebreaker. Oh, and state bragging rights. A loss to the Bulls would put the Magic behind them 2-1 in the season series, perhaps forcing them to beat Chicago in Orlando on April 10 to salvage a tie in the four-game season series. While it looks as if the Magic are a long-shot to catch the Heat, who basically share the top spot with Boston, you never know, especially since injuries can change things quickly.”
- Dwight Howard is going to be busy during All-Star weekend, but he won’t be the other one. Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel explains: “Point guard Jameer Nelson said he’ll spend time with family. Power forward Ryan Anderson expects to go on a trip with his brother-in-law and a few friends. Point guard Gilbert Arenas wants to lose six pounds and get down to 210 by playing pickup games.“
- The Orlando Magic and the city of Orlando are prepping for the 2012 NBA All-Star Game.
- Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “With that said, I think Simmons is fair to rate Howard behind James. Most sane fans would do the same, to to claim Howard is “underrated,” and not “properly rated,” is, on some level, tantamount to saying Howard should top Simmons’ list. That’s not what I’m getting at, though, because I agree with Simmons that James is terribly underrated despite the exposure the media give him, in addition to the exposure he brings upon himself. My point is that James and Howard are so far away from the proverbial field, at least in terms of affecting basketball games, that no one really stands a chance of challenging them. [...] We ought to be able to agree, like most reasonable folks, that James and Howard are, in some order, the league’s top two players, and that it’s not close. My hope here is that we’ve at least got a better appreciation for how truly great Howard is, particularly as a low-post scorer.”
- A look at where the Magic stand compared to the rest of the NBA.
- David Stern wished the media didn’t speculate about Howard’s future.
- Is Orlando still a title contender?
- A sneak peak at the shoes Howard will be wearing for the All-Star Game on Sunday.
Hopefully by losing some weight Arenas gain regain of the explosiveness that made him one of the best players in the league a long time ago.