After Orlando blew a 14-point first half fourth quarter lead Thursday night against the Portland Trail Blazers, Dwight Howard made some very interesting comments.
“They threw everything they had at us, and we folded,” center Dwight Howard said later, after the locker room opened.
“We shouldn’t fold. Nothing should break us and it did. Until everybody steps up on the team and mans up, then teams are going to throw their best punch at us and we’re going to fold.”
With Howard playing at the highest level of his career, Magic struggling (this was their third straight) and contenders like the Boston Celtics cruising through the early part o the season, it’s easy to see why Howard is frustrated.
Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel thinks it’s a good sign.
Dwight Howard curtailed his Superman act and got more serious this season.
So it was good to see him call out his teammates and not mince words after the Magic melted against the Trail Blazers Thursday night in Portland.
All too often — way too often, actually — it is coach Stan Van Gundy who has been the voice out of the lockeroom. And when it is not Stan, it sometimes is the media who weighs in.
But that’s the duty of your leader and, often, your best player.
I think Schmitz is absolutely correct and I agree 100%, but what if the Magic just don’t have the players to get the job done?
Most Magic fans think this team has to make a trade if they want to have a realistic chance of winning a championship and it looks like they’re probably right.
Rather than focus on the big names like Chris Paul or the New Orleans Hornets and Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets, who look don’t look like realistic options, Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post listed some alternate candidates for the Magic to trade for (and no he didn’t include Gilbert Arenas). He compiled his list by looking at some of the names others have brought to the table and a couple of suggestions he came up with himself.
Another name that has been connected to the Magic is Philadelphia 76ers wing Andre Iguodala. After the Sixers drafted Evan Turner with the #2 overall pick, it made him expendable. The Sixers would love to unload his contract – he is owed $12,345,250 this year, $13,531,750 in 2011-2012 and $14,718,250 in 2012-13.
Iguodala is having a rough season, averaging just 13.9 points per game on 42.7% shooting but he’s averaged 15.8 points per game and has shot 46.3% over the course of his career. He’s also shot 32.0% from beyond the arc in his career and is just 26 (he’ll be 27 in January). He’s an explosive athlete and could be a nice compliment to Howard.
Although he’s not quite a premiere scorer, Iguodala has made several clutch shots (just ask the 2008-’09 Magic) in his career and proven to be a a big time clutch scorer, which is the something the Magic currently lack.
Iguodala is not the ideal player for the Magic, but he’d serve as a big upgrade.
Of course, this is a player who’s had a very good young career and is owed a lot of money so it’d be a difficult deal to pull off and should be seen as fairly unlikely at the moment (but far from impossible).
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, co-host of CB Sports Radio from 5-7 pm week days (1420sports.com) and ESPN 1080′s Magic Insider (http://espn1080.com). Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).
Tags: Andre Iguodala Andre Miller Carmelo Anthony Chris Paul Dwight Howard Jameer Nelson Lou Williams O.j. Mayo Orlando Magic Portland Trail Blazers Rashard Lewis Tayshaun Prince Troy Murphy Utah Jazz Vince Carter