Orlando Magic 91, Philadelphia 76ers 78: The Morning After

  • Remember to check out 3QC's game recap, where Ben Q. Rock gathers the thoughts of several Magic players and head coach Stan Van Gundy.
  • Two words, Tony DiLeo:
  • "Dwight Howard had a great game and he's a great player, but he just lives in the three-second lane on offense and defense. He doesn't need any advantages."
  • Three words, Stan Van Gundy:

    "Are we going to talk about the game or am I supposed to come up here and lobby for the calls I want next game? Instead of just trying to play Dwight better, I guess they're going to ask the league to step in and help them out.

    "Let's just play the games. I guess [the officials] are the only reason Dwight is having success in the series. It has nothing to do with the fact that he's good."
  • Brian Schmitz remarks what Dwight Howard's flying elbows mean for Orlando moving forward in the series: 
    With NBA Commissioner David Stern in attendance at Amway Arena, Howard struck Sixers center Samuel Dalembert in the first quarter with an elbow to the head after they became entangled. He received a technical foul on the play.

    Howard could be fined or suspended or both. Replays show Howard's blow to be deliberate.

    Sixers Coach Tony DiLeo said his team had already alerted the league about Howard's flying elbow.

    With another elbow, Howard, inadvertently, struck Lee in the head only a few possessions after the Dalembert incident.
  • Mike Bianchi points out that the Sixers have resorted to whining while the Magic have resorted to winning:

    Quite frankly, it was good to see the Magic finally mixing it up with Philly. The 76ers, the team from the historic City of Brotherly Love, have been imposing their will on Orlando throughout this series. It's about time the Magic lit these guys up like Ben Franklin's kite. It's about time they cracked Philly's defense like the Liberty Bell. And it's about time they turned the 76ers into a weeping Betsy Ross in Nikes.

    [...]

    General Motors announced earlier this week that they are eliminating the Pontiac brand from i ts automobile line, and now it's time for the Magic to announce they are eliminating the Sixers from the playoffs.
  • Kyle Hightower notes that Mickael Pietrus and J.J. Redick are prepared and ready to step in and contribute in Game 6 if since Courtney Lee, who suffered a blow to the head, is unable to play:
    With Courtney Lee's potential absence in a potential closeout game on Thursday, the Magic's shooting guards will have to do some fast adapting.
  • David Whitley describes how Dwight seems to have a penchant for hurting his opposition and his own team.
  • Henry Abbott of TrueHoop offers his opinion on Howard's elbow to Dalembert's head & what the NBA rulebook has to say on the matter.
  • Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated chimes in on a widely-heated debate, concerning D12, that's flooding the internet faster than a blink of an eye:
    The NBA prides itself on its ability to protect its players and mete out quick punishments. Howard's infraction is a suspension-worthy offense. Heck, Howard even sounded resigned to being suspended after the game; his only defense was that the Magic "were trying to b e a more physical team." Will the fact that it was a star of Howard's stature influence Stu Jackson's decision to suspend him? Or will they treat him like any other player? I'll say this: if Adonal Foyle was the culprit, he wouldn't be making the trip to Philadelphia.
  • John Hollinger of ESPN.com comments on ... well, you know by now:
    Three violent collisions shaped the outcome of Orlando's 91-78 win over Philadelphia, a win that put the Magic up 3-2 in their best-of-seven series heading into Thursday's Game 6. And all three may have repercussions 48 hours from now in Philly.

    The first was the elbow that Dwight Howard landed in the face of Sam Dalembert in the game's opening minutes, in an unusual fit of malice for Orlando's normally even-keeled center. The officials decided to give him a technical foul, rather than an ejection, and he went on to dominate the rest of the night with 24 points and 24 rebounds.

    The play could still be a huge factor in Game 6, however, as league VP of violence Stu Jackson is sure to take a look at it and determine whether Howard's elbow was a suspension-worthy offense. My gut instinct is that the league would happily give the likes of Marcin Gortat a one-game ban for such a shot but would be reticent to do the same to Howard this late in a playoff series.
  • Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don't Lie tosses in his two cents:
    Watching the play live, it looked like a tussle situation, and I was surprised to see Samuel Dalembert "escape" with no technical foul alongside Dwight's. Watching the replay? Howard should have been thrown out. I know that talented big men are subject to all sorts of dirty tricks and unseen defensive maneuvers over the course of a game, and that Howard may have been fed up. No excuse. Howard could have knocked Dalembert out ... for good.
  • UPDATE: If you want to get Philadelphia's take on the game, etc. ... make sure to check out Depressed FanLiberty BallersPhiladunkia, and Sixers 4 Guidos
  • UPDATE 2: Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus composites a reason why the Sixers weren't able to defeat the Magic in Game 5:
    The Philadelphia 76ers' run of three-point shooting couldn't continue forever. Having won two of the first four games in the series in large part thanks to red-hot 42.1 percent accuracy from beyond the arc, the Sixers played down to their 31.8 percent regular-season three-point mark in Game Five, going a frigid 4-for-18. With the threes went the Philadelphia offense, which mustered just 91.5 points per 100 possessions. Orlando never really got a run to pull entirely away from the 76ers, but walked the lead up to double-digits and held on for the 91-78 win.
  • UPDATE 3: Here's what Dwight Howard had to say on his official blog today in response to his 'bow blow. Note the last paragraph:
    I sure hope there isn’t a suspension after what happened between me and Sam Dalembert in the first quarter of Tuesday’s game. It isn’t like I’m out there trying to hurt anybody. I think everybody knows how I play basketball. I’m just out there trying to win. That’s got to be taken into consideration.

    I think when the league looks at the total picture of what’s happened throughout this series that they will understand it’s a physical game down in the paint. Really, it’s been a dogfight down there the whole series. All I can do now is hope for the best, but I think it will be all good.

    Philly big man Reggie Evans even came up to me at the end of the game and said he was going to ask his G.M. to not go to the league about trying to get me suspended. I appreciate that from Reggie. Hopefully it will all work out for the best and I’ll be out there ballin’ for Game 6 on Thursday in Philly.
  • UPDATE 4: Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated takes a look at how injuries have affected various teams in the playoffs. Here's what is said about Jameer Nelson:
    Orlando's two losses to Philadelphia came by two points each. Don't you think Nelson would have erased that deficit in one or both of those games? Before his February shoulder injury, Nelson was an All-Star point guard shooting 50.3 percent and managing the pick-and-roll in the half court, a staple Orlando would have exploited throughout this series. Topping all else would have been Nelson's leadership. He was the leader of the Magic, and his absence has forced Dwight Howard to grow into that role. Which isn't altogether bad, because in the long term the Magic may appreciate the leadership opportunities created for Howard. But for now, they're suffering without Nelson to show them the way.
  • Here is the play in question (Dwight Howard's elbow):ZE6oc&hl=en&fs=1" />

Don't forget to drop by 3QC throughout the day, as I'll continue to post more links and updates for the community to check out. Thanks. 

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