- John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “Even now, some eight months later, Orlando Magic superstar center Dwight Howard has flashbacks to July and August when he would spend two to three hours a day in gymnasiums all over the world shooting jumpers and perfecting his hook shot with both hands. Howard was a man in demand last summer, twice traveling to China for promotional appearances, making a third trip to India for the NBA and also spending time in New York and Los Angeles furthering his acting and musical aspirations. But regardless of where he was, Howard would always seek out a gymnasium – usually at U.S. army bases – to perfect his craft and prove that he was far more than just the NBA’s premier defender and rebounder. Howard and the rest of the basketball world see the fruits of all of that work now on a nightly basis as he has boosted his scoring average to easily the best mark of his career (23.2 points per game) while also carrying his Orlando Magic across those broad shoulders of his. “
- How many wins have the Orlando Magic lost due to injuries and illnesses?
- Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk: “When the Magic do stumble in the playoffs, know that it’s not your fault. It may be the midseason trades that didn’t provide much useful debt, especially at point guard (but did tie up future cap space). It might have something to do with inconsistent three point shooting. It might have something to do with teams being able to slow the Magic because they can single-cover Howard.”
- Ironically enough, following the Kendrick Perkins trade and Dwight Howard’s continued development on offense, the Orlando Magic have become the Boston Celtics’ kryptonite according to Tom Haberstroh of ESPN Insider: “The Celtics had an answer for Dwight Howard, but now he plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Perkins was pivotal in neutralizing Howard in the Eastern Conference finals last season, but the Celtics don’t have that weapon in their arsenal anymore. In the two games the Magic played against the Celtics with Perkins in street clothes, Howard and the Magic held the Celtics to 78 points in an eight-point win on Christmas and lost by just three on Boston’s home court in January. Luckily for the Celtics, the playoff seedings likely will keep Howard far, far away from TD Bank Garden, because the earliest the two teams could possibly meet is in the Eastern Conference finals, a would-be rematch of last season’s East title bout.”
- Ken Berger of CBSSports.com: “Magic coach Stan Van Gundy might be right: Some in the media may have already made up their minds that Derrick Rose is the MVP, all evidence be damned. Personally, I haven’t. Even if you’re like me and have been leaning that way for a few weeks, there is plenty of time for careful, thoughtful, and informed analysis before the ballots are due in the NBA office April 14 at 3 p.m. ET.”
- Howard implores Magic fans to believe in the team.