- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “It wouldn’t be shocking at all if the New York Knicks — the Magic’s opponent tonight — make a play for Dwight Howard next season, perhaps offering either Amar’e Stoudemire or Carmelo Anthony at trade deadline for the all-star center. Howard can become a free agent after next season, and the Magic will be nervously waiting for the NBA’s most dominant big man to make a decision. If they don’t want to wait and risk losing him without compensation, the Magic could listen to trade offers for Howard next season. It’s when they have some leverage. Teams in the NBA will be falling all over themselves in attempts to pry Howard away from Orlando — at the trade deadline and, obviously. next summer if, or when, he’s free. The Knicks are desperate for a center. You don’t think they’d part with either Anthony or Stoudemire for Howard? Stoudemire has had to play the role of the Knicks’ big man this season, and it has worn him down.”
- Head coach Stan Van Gundy is complimentary of a fellow coach.
- John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “The Orlando Magic are a wacky collection of characters and off-center personalities as evidenced by their recent vow to not shave their facial hair until after their playoff run is complete (hopefully in the NBA Finals, of course). But head coach Stan Van Gundy pointed out something recently about a couple of the Magic players that is a true rarity in NBA locker rooms. According to Van Gundy, Ryan Anderson is much better than even the power forward thinks he is and the coach is constantly harping on him use his talent to attack. Then, there’s the case of reserve point guard Chris Duhon, who has taken care of the ball and defended the way the Magic have hoped, but for whatever reason he’s shown a reluctance to shoot the ball. It’s gotten so bad at times that it’s been like the Magic are playing four on five offensively because of Duhon’s unwillingness to pull the trigger on shots. Begging a player to shoot more and not less? Again, a true rarity in the sometimes egomaniacal NBA world.”
- Players for the Orlando Magic state their individual goals.
- Vince Carter is not the same player that he was with the Magic. Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post explains: “While it unfolds, the whole scene is surreal to me as I watch from the comfort of my couch. Less than two years ago, the Magic acquired Carter and Ryan Anderson for next to nothing (the expiring contracts of Rafer Alston and Tony Battie, plus the youthful Courtney Lee) in a critically acclaimed move designed to put them over the top in the championship hunt. Now, following a midseason trade and a rocky adjustment period, he’s coming off the bench for a lottery team, and even then only to loiter on the weak side and wait for a kickout.”
- Marc Stein of ESPN.com: “This probably speaks more to the ongoing Boston funk and Miami’s recent 5-6 stretch against .500-or-better teams, but Orlando actually has the East’s second-best record since the All-Star break … at a modest 11-5.”
- M. Haubs of The Painted Area argues that Dwight Howard does more to help the Magic win games than Derrick Rose does for the Chicago Bulls: “Derrick Rose is a great player who has had an outstanding season. He is the best player on the best team in the Eastern Conference. He has been the driving offensive force in pulling out wins in the fourth quarter on several occasions. The Bulls offense as a whole has been excellent when he’s been on the floor. But Derrick Rose has been one of several key factors – defense (and the coaching behind it), Rose, rebounding, bench – in the Bulls’ surprising success this season. He has not been the single primary factor. [...] I was fully ready to swing to the Rose MVP camp following his performance late in the game on Saturday. However, after digging into the evidence, I feel more strongly than ever that Derrick Rose does not deserve to be the 2010-11 NBA MVP, though I have little doubt at this point that he will win the award. I’m going to withhold judgment on my mythical ballot as a whole for another couple weeks.”
- Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk: “Five straight wins and the best center in the game, solid four seed, but nobody mentions them among the contenders in the East. You’ll see more Gilbert Arenas this week, which may not be best for then Magic.”