- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Dwight Howard hears the sales pitch all the time. Team owner Rich DeVos has spoken with Howard to explain why he thinks Howard should remain with the Orlando Magic. Chief Executive Officer Alex Martins talks or texts with Howard almost every day, though not always about Howard’s future. And many of the 18,000 people who pack Amway Center during home games shout at Howard or wave signs or do both. But perhaps few things carry as much weight as the kind of victory that occurred Wednesday night. Fueled by an avalanche of 3-pointers and Howard’s power game near the basket, the Magic beat the Miami Heat 102-89. [...] Howard sounded unswayed and, to be sure, he hasn’t said anything publicly that would indicate he has moved off his trade request. And, remember: The Magic split their regular-season series with the Heat last season, but Howard still decided he wants to move on to a larger market.”
- Dwight Howard is chasing LeBron James when it comes to rings.
- The Orlando Sentinel make their picks for the All-Star reserves in the Eastern and Western Conference. I disagree with the selections of Luol Deng and Tim Duncan, given that there are more deserving players (Joe Johnson in the East, Paul Millsap in the West, among many others) that should be chosen, but the remainder of the two lists are spot-on.
- The Orlando Magic have revenge on their mind against the Atlanta Hawks as the two familiar foes prepare to play each other on Friday.
- Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk: “At his age, DeVos is not a guy who wants to start over with anything. That includes trading Howard for picks and young players and rebuilding the Magic. Even in talks of trade other teams have suggested what the Magic want back are veterans so that the team can continue to win. But what the Magic really want is to keep Howard, for him to look around and see the grass is not always s greener and remain with the Magic. Things like a win over the Heat — which the Magic had Wednesday — can help. But in the end if he really wants out, he can get out. He can opt out and bcome a free agent.”
- A look back at the Magic’s win against the Miami Heat.
- Matt Moore of CBSSports.com: “Orlando did not stomp the Heat. But they did throw them up against the lockers, shook their lunch money out, and bloodied their clothes a bit. The Magic essentially had a two step process. Challenge the Heat at mid-range in face-up and passing situations defensively, and hit a metric ton of threes. It’s nothing we haven’t seen from Orlando before, just against a very good team. The occasional lapse to let the Heat back in it, even as good as Miami is, keeps them from an A, but a very solid performance for Orlando and a huge win.”
- Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com: “It is very rare to see the Miami Heat lose. It is even more rare to hear Rich DeVos speak. Both happened last night in Orlando, where the Dwight Howard trade situation again took center stage in what has been a circus of a season for the Magic.”
- Howard elbow-chopped LeBron James in the throat last night.
Eddy Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of Magic Basketball. Follow him on Twitter.