Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk wonders if the Magic can beat the Heat inside.
Nobody is going to be better than the Miami Heat at the two, three and four spots.
But picture them playing Orlando. Jameer Nelson has the ball (guarded by Mario Chalmers) and Dwight Howard (covered by Joel Anthony) comes out to set the high pick. That is a hard-to-stop P&R combo for any team, and the undersized Anthony is really going to struggle to stop the strength of Howard rolling to the rim. LeBron, Wade and Bosh are going to have a hard time helping out because you can’t leave Orlando’s perimeter shooters (especially when JJ Redick is in for Vince Carter).
You can find that story here.
Dwight Howard is a steal.
Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel says the Magic need to get used to playing second fiddle.
James owns the state of Florida now. He’s clearly the biggest athlete in the peninsula and will be for the next decade. The Heat will win some titles, likely knocking out the Magic to get there.
This is Howard’s worst nightmare.
And there’s no escaping it. The Heat hype is going to be suffocating — all season, from start to finish. All Heat, all the time. Until, oh, 2020.
Howard and the Magic are reminded practically every day they are the second city — and regular-season tip-off is still more than two months away.
You can read that story here.
Just how good was Tracy McGrady in Orlando? Eddy Rivera of Magic Basketball tells us here.
Austin Burton of Dime Magazine discusses the NBA’s marquee names.
Orlando at Miami (Oct. 29, ESPN) — Although the rest of the schedule hasn’t been released, I’m thinking this will be the home debut of the Super-Friends. This will also be the first meeting in what should be a fierce cross-state rivalry for the next decade. Dwight Howard has been working on his post moves with Hakeem Olajuwon this summer, and will try to break some out against the team that’s hi-jacked all of his hype in the state of Florida. Dwight and Chris Bosh have always had a competitive, high-scoring rivalry, and LeBron has his own scores to settle with the Magic.
You can read more of Burton’s thoughts here.
Where do the Magic rank in Chad Ford and John Hollinger’s future power rankings?
Shannon Owens of the Orlando Sentinel says Boston’s acquisition of Shaquille O’Neal adds to the Celtics-Magic rivalry.
Even an aged version of Shaq still provides a very intriguing storyline in what could be the final NBA season for the big guy. How befitting for Shaq to end up with a veteran franchise where he’ll have to beat up on three of his former teams, the Orlando Magic, Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers, in order to (likely) face another former team, the Los Angeles Lakers, in the Finals to get another ring?
You can read that story here.
Our first look at #1 overall pick John Wall comes against the Orlando Magic.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, a contributor on the Fansided Front Page, and co-host of CB Sports Radio from 5-7 pm week days (1420sports.com). Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).