- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “J.J. Redick and Gilbert Arenas will not play when the Orlando Magic face the Indiana Pacers at Amway Center in their regular-season finale tonight. Dwight Howard and everybody else will not have the night off. Redick, one of the key cogs on Orlando’s bench, has missed the Magic’s last 16 games because of a lower abdominal strain, but he is inching closer to a potential return. [Stan] Van Gundy said Redick took part in the team’s offensive drills during this morning’s shootaround. That’s the first time he’s did any work with teammates since he sustained his injury on March 11. Redick will get more work tonight and probably play some one-on-one. […] He hopes to be available to play when the Magic begin their first-round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night. Arenas had an MRI Monday on his sore right knee, and Van Gundy and Arenas said the results of the exam showed no damage. Van Gundy said he has no doubt that Arenas will be ready to play in the playoffs, and Arenas added that he’s sitting out to rest the knee and also his left knee.”
- Head coach Stan Van Gundy talks about Dwight Howard’s leadership qualities.
- Should Howard sit out of tonight’s game against the Indiana Pacers?
- The Orlando Magic may surprise in the 2011 NBA Playoffs.
- Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reveals his awards ballot.
- Matt Moore of CBSSports.com: “Howard’s MVP case starts of course at the defensive end. Watching defense isn’t just unpopular, it’s difficult. To really get a sense of what Howard does, you have to not watch the ball move. You have to focus on Howard, how he keeps his spacing, reacts to not just the ball’s movement, but how the offense shifts to try and create opportunities with the extra pass. How many times has an offense drawn help against the Magic, rotated the ball the corner where the offensive player attempts a pump-and-go baseline drive, only to find Howard have rotated from the far side over and completely cut off the lane? To put Howard into the simple context of just blocks is to ignore the real work of a defender, dissuading field goal attempts, disrupting passing lanes, and suffocating possessions. No one does it better than Howard.”
- Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus: “At this point, the notion of any other player winning Defensive Player of the Year while Howard is in his prime seems almost laughable. Howard no longer blocks shots at an exceptional rate (his 4.9 percent block rate ranked 12th in the league), but the tradeoff is that he’s improved his foul rate and can stay on the floor for almost 38 minutes a night. The strength of Howard’s game is his glass cleaning; he’s almost single-handedly responsible for Orlando leading the league in defensive rebound percentage. Overall, Howard is the biggest reason a Magic team that did not put any other players in consideration for my All-Defensive Teams ranked third in the league in Defensive Rating.”
- Jason Richardson screws up on a possession against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.