Thursday’s Magic Word | Magic Basketball

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Dec 22

Thursday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Any potential trade between the Orlando Magic and the New Jersey Nets down the road involving Dwight Howard just hit a snag. Brook Lopez, who is New Jersey’s best asset outside of Deron Williams, has a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal of his right foot, Nets officials announced minutes ago. Lopez will undergo surgery Friday. Although it’s unclear how long Lopez will be out of action, the injury makes Lopez a less attractive trade chip and could derail a future trade between the Magic and the Nets. Already a subpar rebounder and shaky defender for a 7-foot starting center, one of Lopez’ top attributes has been his durability. He has played in all 82 regular-season games in each of first three NBA seasons. And when a big man experiences foot problems, it should immediately be cause for concern for any potential trade partner. Magic officials don’t like Lopez’ upside as much as Andrew Bynum’s anyway, although the Magic are well aware that Bynum has had knee troubles. Still, it’s possible that Lopez’ injury will work against the Magic.”
  • Larry Hughes and DeAndre Liggins have made the Orlando Magic roster. Which means you should bookmark this website from now on.
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “LeBron James must have memory loss. Did he really say that Dwight Howard ‘ain’t goin’ through what I went through?’ Wrong, wrong, and wrong. King James certainly was widely criticized by the masses for leaving Cleveland, but that tidal wave came AFTER the fact, AFTER he led on the Cavs, AFTER he winked at Miami in a sit-down with Jim Gray.”
  • Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post has additional commentary on Hughes and Liggins making the opening night roster.
  • Scott Carefoot of The Basketball Jones provides his season preview on the Magic: “As long as Dwight Howard doesn’t miss more than a few games — and he, of course, remains in Orlando for the entire season — the Magic are basically a lock to finish top-four in the Eastern Conference. They’re also a virtual certainty to get knocked out in the second round of the playoffs because Howard doesn’t have enough offensive support. Looking at their roster, Jason Richardson is the only other player likely to surpass 15 points per game.”
  • Tom Haberstroh of ESPN Insider: “After demanding a trade, Dwight Howard’s days in Orlando may be numbered. If so, the Magic are a complete wild card in the East. As is, the team desperately lacks a go-to scorer on the wing seeing as though the days of Jason Richardson or Hedu Turkoglu being a real No. 2 scoring option are long gone. This roster’s ceiling isn’t higher than a No. 4 seed in the East.”
  • Howard is handling the uncertainty behind his future whereabouts better than James.
  • Brook Lopez’s foot injury opens up a lot of trade possibilities for Orlando.
  • More on the ramifications of Lopez’s injury.
  • Zach Lowe of The Point Forward poses the question: can the Magic win enough to keep Dwight Howard happy? His answer: “Jameer Nelson is a decent starting point guard, but he has never shown elite court vision. Hedo Turkoglu has the height, vision and creativity, but he’s getting older and slower. The Magic will use J.J. Redick on the ball here and there, but he’s not a top creator. Jason Richardson is a spot-up shooter against most good defenses. Orlando’s defense will remain elite so long as Howard is there, but if its offense struggles again, this doesn’t look like a contender. And if it’s not, the situation could turn bad, and the league’s second-best player could be elsewhere.”
  • More from Lowe: “You wouldn’t blame the Magic for feeling gun-shy on Lopez now. You certainly wouldn’t blame them if they asked for more assets in any theoretical Lopez-centric Howard deal, or for re-engaging other teams whose trade packages (Andrew Bynum?) suddenly look a little better.”
  • Mike Prada of SB Nation unveils NBA Watchability Scale for the 2011-2012 season.
  • SB Nation’s NBA writers unveil their picks for preseason All-Division teams.
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