ORLANDO, FL - MAY 26: Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic reacts against the Boston Celtics in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Amway Arena on May 26, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
LeBron James, Dwight Howard And The 25 Most Important Figures Of The NBA Season - SBNation.com
Mike Prada, my SB Nation pal and the head honcho at Bullets Forever, lists Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard as the most important figure in the entire NBA this season. Why? "[T]here remains no player in the NBA more capable of completely dominating both ends of the floor," Prada says. But if Howard doesn't make the leap this year, then "Orlando's title window pretty much ends."
The Point Forward | 20 burning questions for the new season
At The Point Forward, Zach Lowe wonders if Orlando has enough perimeter offense:
Stan Van Gundy has spent the preseason experimenting with ways to make his team’s offense less predictable. Will it be enough? Or do the Magic need to look elsewhere, perhaps dangling [Vince] Carter’s partially guaranteed 2011-12 deal as bait?
The Magic will pull out all the stops for their first regular-season game at Amway Center this Thursday against the Washington Wizards. According to a press release, "the team will hold a special pregame presentation [...] culminating with a high energy video on the NBA’s tallest, most high-definition, center-hung videoboard." The release advises fans attending the game to reach their seats by 7:55 so they won't miss the action. An outdoor "Fan Fest" on Church Street, between Hughey and Division, will start at 6.
Voice On The Floor " I Hope LeBron James Destroys Us All: Eddy Rivera on a hopeful dominance
Good buddy Eddy Rivera contributed an essay about LeBron James to Voice on the Floor, a new NBA audio blog--not a podcast--from the indefatigable duo of Matt Moore and Rob Mahoney. Give it a listen, won't you?
Green Street " The NBA 30 on 30: Blogosphere Forecast (5 of 7)
Boston-area radio station WEEI asked me to write a few words about the Magic and the Celtics for its season preview. You can find the resulting paragraphs here.
MAGIC: Denton's Mailbag: Much to Talk About
John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com says second-round draft choice Stanley Robinson, whom the team waived last week, "is expected to go to Europe to play" due to the more lucrative contracts teams over there offer compared to what he might earn in the D-League. Denton also says Robinson could "resurface" in the NBA "if he continues to improve."
Twitter / @Sam Amico
Via Twitter, Sam Amico says the Magic might be interested in free-agent shooting guard Rashad McCants. The Magic just waived Robinson, earning quite literally the smallest possible NBA salary, to save money, so I have a hard time believing they'd pony up to add a third-stringer, but maybe I'm wrong.
McCants, a scoring machine who's averaged 10 points in 20.2 minutes per game over his four NBA seasons, didn't play in the league last season. That he can't find work is surprising, even given his reputation for being a knucklehead.