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Orlando Magic Week in Review 2/28-3/4

Posted By Warren Shaw On Mar 4 2012 @ 8:29 pm In Orlando Magic | No Comments

The Orlando Magic started their post All-Star run with a respectable 2-1 week with relatively easy wins against the the lowly Wizards and struggling Bucks.

The lone Orlando loss came against the Thunder on Thursday night.

The Magic showed they can compete with the league’s best but also showed how far they need to go to do more than just compete with a team such as OKC.

Orlando blew another double digit lead allowing the All-Star duo of  Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to seize victory on the Magic’s home floor. The win gave the Thunder a sweep over the Magic in the regular season.

Here is a snap shot of the week’s games and some of the key  stats to go along with it:

Game:

Magic’s Key Performers

Opponent’s Key Performers

Orlando at Washington: 102-95 [1] Win

Ryan Anderson 23pts &15rebs,

Dwight Howard 14pts,12rebs & 5blks

John Wall 33pts,4ast, & 3rebs

Jordan Crawford 18pts, 5ast, &4rebs

Oklahoma City at Orlando: 105-102 [2] Loss

Dwight Howard 33pts & 9rebs

Jameer Nelson 15pts,9ast, & 6rebs

Kevin Durant 38pts & 8rebs

Russell Westbrook 29pts & 10ast

Milwaukee at Orlando: 114-98 [3] Win

Dwight Howard 28pts, 14rebs & 4stls

Hedo Turkgolu 16pts, 9ast , & 5rebs

Brandon Jennings 27pts & 5ast

Ersan Ilyasova 18pts & 7reb

Despite their moderate success on the court, the bulk of the Magic headlines came from the rumor mill and status of Dwight Howard as the March 15 trade deadline approaches. Howard has reportedly been contacted by management to determine who he thinks they should go after and bring on board to play alongside him.

Unfortunately for the Magic, Howard has champagne taste and the Magic have beer money with minimal player assets per the salary cap restrictions.

Howard’s wish list includes friends Josh Smith and Stephen Jackson as well as Steve Nash, and Monta Ellis. One can’t knock Howard for wanting to play with quality players but Orlando has little chance at adding any of those players with the exception of Jackson (I outlined the reasons against these additions early in the week) [4]

All of the trade chatter is taking a toll on the club causing Howard to admit:

“It’s been affecting me all season. Everybody is feeling it, from top from myself to the last one on the team, but I still have my job to do. I still have to go out and play as hard as I can, and there are a lot of nights when I don’t sleep. That’s all year. I just have to fight through it.”

Ryan Anderson also added the following in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel [5]:

“I think we just have to block it out…but just the fact that we have the biggest story and the guy that obviously is such a big part of this team and this community, we’re magnified. It’s something we can’t focus too much on or else it’s going to alter the way we play. Ultimately, we’re having a good year and we have a good team. We just need to build off of that. Who knows what’s going to happen. What if we’re worried about this so much and then nothing happens?”

Anderson could very well be included in a deal for Howard or in a deal bringing back the pieces Howard wants.  As he noted the Magic are still doing very well for a team with so much drama and unwanted attention surrounding them.  Standing at 24-14 and 5th in the Eastern Conference the Magic are about where they have been for the past two seasons.

But in there lies the problem for Howard. This isn’t a championship team.

Looking ahead the Magic will play 4 games this week against Toronto, Charlotte, Chicago, and Indiana.  Realistically they should finish no worse than 2-2 with their stiffest competition coming against the Bulls and Pacers to close out the week.

No matter the outcome more rumors and speculation are sure to emerge.

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URL to article: http://www.prosportsblogging.com/2012/03/04/orlando-magic-week-in-review-228-34/

URLs in this post:

[1] Orlando at Washington: 102-95: http://www.nba.com/games/20120229/ORLWAS/gameinfo.html#nbaGIboxscore

[2] Oklahoma City at Orlando: 105-102: http://www.nba.com/games/20120301/OKCORL/gameinfo.html#nbaGIboxscore

[3] Milwaukee at Orlando: 114-98: http://www.nba.com/games/20120303/MILORL/gameinfo.html#nbaGIboxscore

[4] (I outlined the reasons against these additions early in the week): http://www.prosportsblogging.com/2012/03/01/help-wanted-magic-looking-to-add-pieces-to-keep-howard/

[5] Orlando Sentinel: http://www.prosportsblogging.comorlandosentinel.com

[6] Subscribe to author's RSS feed: http://www.prosportsblogging.com/author/wshaw/feed/

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