It was supposed to be a match up between arguably the two best big men in the game.
Kevin Love vs. Dwight Howard.
What it turned out to be was an easy team orientated Orlando Magic 102-89 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Six Magic players reached double digits led by Jason Richardson’s 17 points. Hedo Turkgolu, Jameer Nelson, and J.J. Reddick all finished with 14 points each.
Howard was riddled in foul trouble and contributed just 11 points and 7 rebounds in 28 minutes. Kevin Love lived up to the minor hype and delivered another routine double double with 19 points and 15 rebounds but was unable to put his team in position to win.
The T-Wolves committed 18 turnovers which led to 17 Orlando Magic points. J.J. Barea and Ricky Rubio combined for 12 of the 17 turnovers and the lack of point guard play killed the Wolves in this game. The Magic defense was solid but many of the turnovers were unforced and the result of bad decisions by both Barea and Rubio.
The game was never really in doubt as Orlando led by double digits the majority of the game at one point leading by 2o. Orlando knocked down another 12 threes shooting 40% on the evening. One would think Coach Stan Van Gundy would be pleased with the way his team played with Howard in foul trouble, however he saw the glass half full.
“We’re making 3-point shots, enough of them, but we’re not making 2-point shots and it’s a real struggle right now,” said Van Gundy. “But when you only turn it over nine times, it gives you a chance. Twenty assists and nine turnovers— that’ll work.”
Howard chose to turn his lack of production into a chance to assert his desires to be leader and elite player.
“My point is I want to be the guy to carry the team, I don’t think that’s bad. That’s something I want to be. I want to be the guy in the fourth quarter who carries the team. Not just score the ball, but make great plays. You look at the Lakers, Kobe is that guy, Carmelo is that guy for the Knicks. And Jordan was that guy for the Bulls. And that’s what I want to be. I want to be great. Great players want to take that lead. … That’s what I want to do for this team. That’s it.”
The world of Disney continues to turn and even in a team orientated win that yielded the continued resurgence of Jason Richardson, Howard is still focused on his future (elsewhere).
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com