This Is Not The House That Walt Built For Mickey And It’s Certainly Not One That The Three Little Pigs Would Wish To Live In ………… A House Of Straw
By tophatal …. 20th April 2012
It’s beginning to look like a circus within the Orlando Magic organization as it was announced today that the team’s besieged and beleaguered center Dwight Howard is going to miss the rest of the regular season schedule and will now forgo participating in the NBA Playoffs . A little over a month ago the Magic held the third seed within the Eastern Conference . But a rash of bad results , inconsistent play and the loss of Howard and several of key players over that stretch due to injury has seen them fall from grace .
Slide show for your perusal .
The injury which has seen the end of Dwight Howard’s season is one of a herniated disc in his lower back which , is apparently causing the player a great deal of pain. Given the center’s offensive prowess and the fact that he is the team’s leading scorer . The problems for Stan Van Gundy and his coaching staff will be an acute one. I’ve long-held the contention , the moment that Howard and Van Gundy began their infantile bickering , it led to simply where this organization was heading down a slippery slope . There has been a lack of respect and civility between the coach and player. Internal strife within the locker room and most certainly no clear leadership . I’ve said that Dwight Howard while being one of the game’s best players his attitude and lack of maturity has been the biggest “chink” in his armor ! He has yet to show that he has leadership abilities and I for one doubt that Howard will ever develop that trait ! Undoubtedly , Howard is the best center currently playing in the NBA but herein lies the caveat to this whole scenario , without a great supporting cast of characters the player’s game simply becomes moot. And in all honesty , this current roster of the Magic is not that impressive to begin with ! GM Otis Smith has cobbled together an ill-fitting cast of characters that simply haven’s meshed well together .
This off-season the Magic’s front office certainly has some issues to deal with as it concerns the players currently on this team . COO Alec Martins will certainly have to look at the players superfluous to the organization’s needs . Contract issues asides , if the Magic are to contend against the likes of the Chicago Bulls , Boston Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks , then most certainly Alec Martins will have to upgrade the player personnel. Stan Van Gundy , to my mind has outlived his usefulness as a coach with the organization and it is time for the Magic to cut him loose ! His shtick , constant , bitching , whining and failure to hold his players accountable , plus accepting that he too has been at fault for many of the team’s failings. Well , it clearly shows that his time has come , and he needs to go ! And that criteria also fits a hopelessly out of his depth general manager , such as Otis Smith .
In spite of Dwight Howard’s injury issues , my bone of contention with the player , has been the fact that when given the chance to simply leave the Magic . He somehow felt that out of some undue loyalty , it would be in his best interests to remain with the organization . Given the fact , that his postseason’s forays with the Orlando Magic have seen those experiences to be an all too painful , in terms of the chapters written . Well compensated and soon to be in the final season of his contract , whatever advice that has been rendered to Howard by his agent has to my mind seen his value decline ! And now with this injury , for which he will need surgery , which will be performed by a neurosurgeon in Los Angeles , California , will see the player miss playing for Team USA at the Summer Olympics in the United Kingdom this July , 2012 .
To Howard’s credit , while he has missed the last five games with this injury , the player has been supportive of his cast-mates . It has been left to back up center Glen Davis in conjunction with Ryan Anderson to lead the team . The former Celtics’ center has gladly taken up the gauntlet and has excelled in this new-found role . Anderson for his part an excellent three-point shooter , has displayed those skills with great aplomb but his game has improved greatly over the course of this season . It will be incumbent upon this duo , along with Jason Richardson , J J Redick and Hedo Turkoglu to lift their game to new heights, if the Orlando Magic are to have a realistic chance at all of going deep into the postseason .
With the Orlando Magic currently holding the sixth seed (36-25) within the Eastern Conference , with five games remaining to go in this curtailed regular season schedule . If the conference standings remain as they are then Magic would square off against Frank Vogel and the Indiana Pacers , led by All Star …. Danny Granger and his supporting cast . And no doubt Frank Vogel would like nothing better than to have his team to a series victory over his Eastern Conference rivals . And seen as prohibitive favorites with a great deal of justification I might add , there is nothing better that I would like to see than for this Orlando Magic season come to an all too abrupt end . Simply put , Stan Van Gundy and this team have been vastly overrated . At no time have they truly shown that they are worthy of being looked upon as a championship caliber contender , and certainly , I do not believe that they have what it takes to defeat an eager and young and Pacers’ team !
As to what the future now holds for the Orlando Magic once the regular and postseason reaches its finality . It will be interesting to see what decisions may well be made by the front office as it relates to the team and other managerial and executive personnel . Dwight Howard’s eight years in the NBA since being drafted number one overall in the 2004 NBA Draft has me now wondering what ambition if any , does the center still have ! An NBA championship no doubt would ” seal “ the deal besides the accomplishments of the player. A three-time Defensive Player of the Year may well seem nice but in reality it all pales into insignificance when adjudged against that of a championship ring. Dwight Howard wants to add to his legacy but as of now it all seems to be diminishing by the second . And by no means after reconstructive surgery on his spine is there that added assurance that the player will be back his very best . The exhaustive and physical battering that his body has taken has to now be a cause for concern for the player and his future . This is not typically an injury wherein , once having returned he’s assured of being back to anywhere at his best . It will take time but also he has to be cautious if he wishes to have a prolonged career within the NBA .
Picture gallery for your perusal .
As the regular season winds down where do you believe that the Magic’s future may well lay ? Is it as a franchise with Dwight Howard ? Or as many believe it will be one without the player , with the famed center departing , leaving Stan Van Gundy and Otis Smith to take charge of the personnel and its immediate future ? Chime with your thoughts on this and anything else that you believe to pertinent on the subject matter and the NBA in general .
(1) FILE – In this April 9, 2012, file photo, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, left, leaves the court after the Magic’s 119-89 win over the Detroit Pistons in an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla. Howard told ESPN.com he will have season-ending back surgery on Friday, April 20, to repair a herniated disk. The operation will also prevent Howard from playing in the Olympics in London. AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack ….
(2) BOSTON, MA – APRIL 18: Paul Pierce (34) of the Boston Celtics celebrates during the fourth quarter against the Orlando Magic on April 18, 2012 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images …
(3) Boston Celtics forwards Brandon Bass , left, and Kevin Garnett , right, combine to try to stop Orlando Magic forward Glen Davis (11) on a drive to the basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Wednesday, April 18, 2012. The Celtics won 102-98 . AP Photo/Charles Krupa …..
(4) Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce (34) tries to grab a rebound between Orlando Magic players during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Wednesday, April 18, 2012. From left are Magic’s Glen Davis, Jameer Nelson and Jason Richardson . AP Photo/Charles Krupa …..
(5) Me , not too dumb ” ! Orlando Magic General Manager Otis Smith speaks to the media regarding the acquisition of Gilbert Arenas from the Washington Wizards, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, and Earl Clark from the Phoenix Suns at Amway Arena on December 18, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. Getty Images North America / Sam Greenwood …….
(6) The Orlando Magic’s very own lil’ ‘ Oompa Loompa ‘ ! Head coach Stan Van Gundy of the Orlando Magic motions to his team from the bench during the second half against the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center on February 29, 2012 in Washington, DC. Rob Carr / Getty Images …….