- Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: “Say what you will about the Magic, but one thing you can never say is they haven’t been willing to change and do what it takes to win. Their decisions certainly aren’t always right, but you cannot deny their dedication to winning. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy should know. He says coaches — even more than players — are in tune with how much an organization is willing to invest resources into running a first-class organization. […] Sometimes to their detriment, the Magic have spent and spent in a desperate attempt to convince Howard to stay by surrounding him with pieces they thought they needed to win a championship. They have mortgaged the future to win now. They have the second-highest payroll in the league. They overspent for Rashard Lewis when he was the most desirable free agent on the market because they wanted to give Dwight the best talent available at the time. And it almost worked. Lewis was an incredibly valuable player in the Magic’s march to 2009 NBA Finals. If Courtney Lee doesn’t miss the layup at the end of Game 2 or Dwight himself doesn’t miss two free throws at the end of Game 4, the Magic might have beaten the Lakers, won a championship and avoided the Dwight Plight they currently find themselves in.”
- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “NBA preseason games rarely offer much intrigue. At their best, the exhibitions give players a chance to compete for a starting lineup spot or a place on the roster. At their worst, the matchups offer owners more home dates to gather revenue. But Wednesday night’s Orlando Magic preseason finale against the Miami Heat at Amway Center has meaning. Three nights removed from an uninspired and disjointed performance, the Magic can show they can function effectively even though superstar Dwight Howard has requested a trade. And Howard can prove to doubters that his effort will remain high for as long as he remains with the Magic.”
- Hedo Turkoglu is recovering from an injury he sustained on Sunday.
- Dwight Howard responds to his critics after a subpar performance in a preseason game against the Miami Heat.
- THe Orlando Magic are ready for their preseason rematch against the Heat.
- The days of the Magic being considered an elite team are no more.
- Britt Robson of Sports Illustrated: “Don’t expect Dwight Howard to stint on his effort during what is shaping up as his final stretch in Orlando. But team chemistry obviously corrodes when your superstar demands to be traded. And with Gilbert Arenas having been amnestied and Hedo Turkoglu being an albatross because of his contract, it’s fair to conclude that GM Otis Smith’s blockbuster trades last season didn’t pan out. Which of the Magic’s two combustible temperaments will blow first: Howard, who has precious little frontcourt beef on the roster to support him, getting baited and whistled for a slew of technicals and flagrants; or coach Stan Van Gundy, who, after four straight seasons of at least 52 wins, must now cope with the circus surrounding Howard’s seemingly inevitable departure?”
- Glen Davis is happy to get out of Kevin Garnett’s shadow.