Oh Really ?
Coming into the season I fully expected the Orlando Magic would be a team that would certainly be one of the main contenders within the Eastern Conference . But such has been the inconsistent play of the players and the very fact that it would appear that Dwight Howard’s days with this organization could very much remain numbered . In spite of the there being no movement of the player by way of a trade , it would appear that the front office led by CEO Alec Martins and GM Otis Smith could still seek to orchestrate a trade of the center .
Slide show for your perusal .
With that being said, it is hard to understand how this team could be playing without any passion and having lost three straight at an average of 23 points per game . Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy and his coaching staff have their work cut out for them if this roster is to succeed and make their way into the NBA’s postseason . Dwight Howard in large part is a one man army with there being little support coming from his surrounding cast . Hedo Turkoglu , Glen Davis , JJ Redick , . Brandon Bass and Jason Richardson have to step up their play if the team is to have any chance of making the postseason .
On Thursday night the Orlando Magic played host to the Boston Celtics but the game itself could be best described as a lopsided event with Doc Rivers’ ….. team prevailing in match-up that saw the Magic give a monstrous performance . And if Stan Van Gundy believes that his players’ next game gets any easier then they should consider the fact their next opponents the Indiana Pacers are themselves having a very credible season having posted a 12-7 in the Central Division of the Eastern Conference .
I have always maintained that while Dwight Howard is a phenomenal player but he will never fulfill his ambition of winning an NBA title with the Orlando Magic ! The team simply isn’t good enough and their coach Stan Van Gundy simply doesn’t possess the prerequisite skills as a coach to lead this or any other franchise within the NBA to a title . To my mind the NBA’s best center will have to leave this organization and resume his career elsewhere . And given the fact that a number of teams around the league are said to be interested in the services of Dwight Howard it remains to be seen what will transpire between now and the trade deadline comes into being . Rod Thorn , team President of the New Jersey Nets knows that if he is to retain Deron Williams then acquiring a player of Howard’s magnitude will have to be his first priority .
As to the ambitions of the Orlando Magic what has become all the more befuddling is that this organization, while appearing to eager to prove themselves amongst the elite teams within the NBA but it would appear that owner Rich De Vos and the senior executives of the franchise’s sole intent might just appear to be to cultivate a business template simply to make a profit rather than looking for on-court success .
For all of this talk about the New York Knicks now being once again relevant in the NBA the team’s style of play and the very fact that they’re amongst the worst defensive teams within the league . And it is something that Mike D’Antoni and his coaching staff simply hasn’t addressed , in spite of the front office having acquired Tyson Chandler from defending NBA champions the Dallas Mavericks this off-season.
Team owner James Dolan knows that if the organization and in particular Madison Square Gardens , home to his NBA franchise is to have any type of resounding success then the on-field product has to be one that simply resonates with the fans . At 7-12 by all counts reflects the play of the team being five games under .500 reflects what this over-hyped organization is simply about . Amare` Stoudemire may well have joined the Knicks to further his career but to my mind he simply left the Phoenix Suns not just for the money but also because of the fact that he had to play “second fiddle” to veteran point guard Steve Nash .
Now , even with Carmelo Anthony alongside Stoudemire the primary assets to this team , it has been their offensive capabilities with these two prominent scorers that this team still remains a topic of conversation . It is becoming abundantly clear that D’Antoni knows that the team can only play to its strengths and that has to be their offense ,whereas , from a defensive aspect this simply isn’t a unit can play with that type of mindset . Even with such players as Landry Fields , Iman Shumpert , Tyson Chandler , Carmelo Anthony and Amare` Stoudemire , I do believe that as a cohesive unit they are a good regular season franchise but I have my doubts as to how capable they might be in the postseason . As good as the Knicks’ fans may well think that this team might be one can simply has to look at the their record to realize that this roster isn’t as good as advertized .
It’s funny but once the trade of Chris Paul from the New Orleans to the Los Angeles Clippers took shape the belief was that the shape of basketball within the city of Los Angeles was about to take change and head in a new direction . Clearly, some people have really short memories as it relates to the history of the Clippers and the mere fact that franchise hasn’t made the postseason much less had a winning season in almost two decades . Such has been the ineptitude of the franchise that even with a change in ownership under Joe Lacob and Peter Guber , one has to be patient and face the inevitability that it may well take a while before we see Vinny Del Negro’s players rise to the level of expectation and potential many believe that this team will simply have .
The growing partnership of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul will augur well for the franchise and most notably for the front office of this organization . Gone are the days of former owner Donald Sterling and his henchman in arms former GM Elgin Baylor that the Clippers in their present guise are simply looking to up the ante in terms of their presence within the NBA .
If the Los Angeles Clippers are looking to gauge their progress then their most recent game against their neighbors the Los Angeles Lakers clearly shows that they are going in the right direction albeit , that the end result was a 96-91 loss for Del Negro’s players. Ryan Gomes , Randy Foye , Caron Butler and Chauncey Billups make up a great complement of a roster that at some point in the future will have their say within the NBA .
With the NBA season just past the quarter mark of its 66 game schedule of what has been a truncated schedule due to the league mandated stoppage that delayed the season’s regular start. At this point we now see the Los Angeles Clippers leading the Pacific Division within the Western Conference . There is a growing sense that although the Clippers’ star might be on the rise they are going to play second fiddle to the likes of the reigning champions the Dallas Mavericks , Oklahoma City Thunder , Memphis Grizzlies and quite possibly the always dangerous San Antonio Spurs . The Spurs at this point however , do seem to be no better a team than they were last year when we saw them parlay their season into becoming the one seen in the Western Conference only to fall in the first round of the playoffs to the Memphis Grizzlies .
This season during the San Antonio Spurs’ schedule they have struggled away from from home while being near invincible at their home venue. Gregg Popovich in knowing that he has lost Manu Ginobli for what appears to be an indeterminate period due to injury now knows that he has rely on Tim Duncan and Tony Parker to lead this team if they are to have any chance of succeeding this season .
Though Duncan is now playing in a diminished role for the team has to be more of a leader than ever before . With that in mind it would also be in Popovich’s best interest if he could see more of an effort from the likes of Thiago Splitter , Kawhi Leonard , Dejuan Blair , Danny Green , Matt Bonner and most notably from Richard Jefferson . The latter of whom I believe has never fulfilled his potential as a player in spite of his career with the New Jersey Nets when he was a prominent player during his tenure there and also be becoming an All Star . Since that time , his journey through the NBA, wherein , he has become something of a utility player for the Spurs , his contributions at best could described as being sporadic .
Picture gallery for your perusal .
As the NBA season undulates down its path it remains to be seen how the teams will progress over the course of their respective schedules . I simply look at the play of the teams over the season thus far and considering what I have seen , to put it mildly I’m not exactly impressed by what I have seen ! The NBA is said to be back with a bang but in all sincerity David Stern and the teams hierarchy have served up an irrefutable dud this season ! What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? By all means do leave a comment as you see fit .
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert , left, posts up against Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012. AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack ….
(2) Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, left, and guard J.J. Redick sit on the bench during the final seconds of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012. The Pacers won 106-85. AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack ….
(3) Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, left, looks on as head coach Stan Van Gundy, right, reacts late in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012. The Pacers won 106-85 . AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack …..
(4) There’s a reason why D’Antoni hasn’t won ##it in the NBA ! He was never that good a coach to begin with ! New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni yells at a referee in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012, in Houston. The Rockets won 97-84 . AP Photo/Pat Sullivan ………
(5) Houston Rockets’ Chase Budinger (10) tries to block a shot from New York Knicks’ Jeremy Lin (17) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012, in Houston. The Rockets won 97-84 . AP Photo/Pat Sullivan ….
(6) New York Knicks’ Amare Stoudemire (1) and Houston Rockets’ Courtney Lee, right, fight for the ball in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012, in Houston. AP Photo/Pat Sullivan …….
(7) San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (9) closes his eyes and listens to coach Gregg Popovich during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012. The Mavericks won 101-100 in overtime . AP Photo/LM Otero ………
(8) San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan (21) looks to shoot against Dallas Mavericks center Brendan Haywood (33) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012. The Mavericks won 101-100 in overtime. AP Photo/LM Otero ……..
(9) San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) dribbles past Dallas Mavericks guard Vince Carter (25) as Spurs center Tim Duncan watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012. AP Photo/LM Otero …..
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