Friday’s Magic Word | Magic Basketball

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Jan 20

Friday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Jameer Nelson is struggling largely because of the constant talk that Dwight Howard would love to play with Deron Williams or Chris Paul. That’s the opinion of Orlando Magic General Manager Otis Smith. [...] Nelson has started this season poorly, averaging just 8.3 points per game on 39 percent shooting. It’s still early in the season, but both are career-lows for Nelson. Nelson made just two of his 16 shot attempts in Wednesday’s 85-83 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Nelson and Howard are the Magic’s co-captains. Howard has asked the Magic for a trade, and that trade request still stands. Howard has said publicly that he has been displeased that the team’s front office has not acted on more of his personnel suggestions. One of the three teams Howard has specified as his preferred trade destinations is the New Jersey Nets, who have Williams as their point guard. According to Smith, all the talk about Howard’s future has backed up on Nelson.
  • Hedo Turkoglu will not play against the Los Angeles Lakers tonight. Jason Richardson might.
  • Dwight Howard fires back at Shaquille O’Neal’s criticisms.
  • Ryan Anderson will likely receive a contract extension soon.
  • Could Steve Nash be a trade target for the Orlando Magic?
  • More on the possibility that the Magic could make a go after Nash and other gems of information from Ken Berger of CBSSports.com: “League sources say Orlando has not ruled out making a play for Steve Nash in the event the Suns decided to trade the point guard to a contender before the March 15 deadline. Nash, even at 37 and even on a rental basis, could push the Magic back to the NBA Finals at a time when the Celtics are faltering and the Heat are showing signs of wear and tear. As for what happens if the Magic get to March 15 and Howard still has not renounced his desire to be traded, along with the accompanying threat that he could leave outright as an unrestricted free agent? Magic officials have not made a decision of what course of action they’ll take at that point, but the options are clear: Trade Howard at the deadline for fear of getting nothing if he walks July 1, or call his bluff.”
  • Even on a back-to-back, the Lakers are favored to win in tonight’s game.
  • Jameer Nelson is fading into oblivion. Zach Lowe of The Point Forward explains why: “Nelson is shooting a career-worst 39 percent, including 25 percent from three-point range. A jump in turnovers has sunk his ability to create looks for teammates — already middling for starters at his position — to below-average levels.”
  • The assertion that Andrew Bynum is better than Howard is a laughable one.
  • Check me out at ESPN.com, ESPN Los Angeles, and Forum Blue & Gold, where I talk about all things concerning Orlando and Los Angeles both in the present and future tense.
  • Kobe Bryant and Howard have been talking.
  • Additional thoughts on the possibility that Nash is traded to the Magic.
  • Bryant has let it be known to Howard that if they join forces, it’s still his team.
  • Ben Golliver of CBSSports.com on the Howard-Bynum comparison: “Of course, there’s no contest. Howard, 26, averages more points, grabs more rebounds, dishes more assists, gets more steals, blocks more shots and shoots a better field goal percentage than Bynum. Howard has missed seven games in 7+ NBA seasons while Bynum has repeatedly been sidelined with injuries. Here’s a statistical side-by-side if you need convincing. Howard is a 5-time All-Star, 3-time Defensive Player of the Year, 4-time All-NBA first team. Bynum, 24, is having a career year and will make his first All-Star game, but his best individual achievement to this point was making the 2005 McDonald’s All-American game. He’s probably the league’s second-best big man, but he’s a distant second.”
  • Shaun Powell of NBA.com: “Obviously, it’s really not up to the Lakers; Orlando must pull the trigger, although Bynum is about the best the Magic can expect in a trade at this point. But the Lakers would be foolish to keep Bynum over Howard. As good as Bynum looks right now, he’s not in Howard’s league defensively (who is?), and other teams don’t have to gameplan for Bynum as they do for Howard. Besides, Howard stays in terrific shape and mainly injury-free. Do you trust Bynum’s knees in the long run? Thought so, too. Bynum is only 24, but his body seems much older.”
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