After earning wins against both the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls in the last two weeks and hearing the news that Dwight Howard had decided to waive his Early Termination Option, Magic fans were on top of the world.
However, after losing three of their last four games, with the only win coming at home against the lowly New Jersey Nets, the optimism may be fading.
Losses to the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat on the road are certainly understandable, but after the Magic were blown out by the Chicago Bulls, who were missing the reigning league MVP Derrick Rose, at home Monday night, words like “effort” and “accountability” were thrown around in the locker room.
“That’s it, they played harder than us,” Dwight Howard told reporters following the game. “One through 15, whoever stepped on the court, they played harder than us.”
“Tonight specifically, they played harder than us for most of the game,” J.J. Redick explained. “And they were a lot more together executing their stuff.
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(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. 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)