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7-16 FG | 6-14 FT | 24 REB | 4 BLK | 20 PTS | +18
It speaks to the high standards that Howard sets for himself that the 20-20 game he had against the Charlotte Bobcats was underwhelming. Sure, the big fella lassoing 24 rebounds is impressive but his offense was left to be desired. Howard couldn’t take full advantage of Boris Diaw and DeSagana Diop in the post, and Bismack Biyombo gave him fits in limited minutes.
8-18 FG | 5-12 3P | 2 AST | 8 REB | 23 PTS | +22
Anderson is doing everything possible to show that he isn’t Rashard Lewis but better. Anderson is a better scorer and rebounder but Lewis can still say he’s a better defender for now. Anderson is by no means a liability defensively but if he can continue to improve on the end of the floor, the Magic may have someone that’s more than just a role player.
7-12 FG | 2-4 3P | 1 AST | 3 REB | 16 PTS | +16
Richardson did his job against the Bobcats. He exploited mismatches when he was on the low block, he generated points off the dribble, and he showed off his range from the three-point line. On the flipside, Richardson battled well defensively and made Gerald Henderson work for his points, routinely contesting jumpers. It helps that Richardson had Howard as the last line of defense, of course.
5-11 FG | 3-6 FT | 3 AST | 2 REB | 15 PTS | +21
What’s the saying? Steady as she goes? Like a captain of a cruise ship, Hedo Turkoglu guided the Magic’s offense along and rarely steered it into danger. Turkoglu managed the game effectively, feeding Howard in the post when necessary, carving up Charlotte’s defense with drive-and-kicks off dribble penetration, and calling his own number for fallaway jumpers as he so pleased.
No one for the Bobcats, sans Byron Mullens of all people, really got anything going offensively. With Howard in the paint, Charlotte had to consistently settle for jumpers on the perimeter and that was a losing proposition for them. Rookies Kemba Walker and Biyombo didn’t do much on offense but they were very disruptive defensively. Just ask Larry Hughes and Howard.