Flurry of activity today, most of it involving Turk.
- Adam Hoff of Section F Sports believes the Magic are "doomed" because Dwight Howard doesn't get enough touches. Hoff does not mince words, calling the Magic's lack of a single good passer "a travesty." (Hat-tip: TrueHoop's Monday Bullets)
[W]atching them play is just extremely frustrating. That is because they have this monster of a lowpost player yet he gets the ball once every 15 possessions or so. Now, I understand that Howard still delivers exceptional value even when he's not getting post feeds, because he dominates the boards, protects the rim, and draws defenders into the paint. That said, the fact remains that he's Orlando's best player. He should be getting the ball! There was a stretch in the fourth quarter in which Howard went nearly five minutes without receiving a pass (he did snare three offensive rebounds). When they finally did throw it to him, he absorbed a double team, spun baseline, and dunked over two help defenders. "Effortless" doesn't even begin to describe the move. Yet the Magic went right back to not passing to him again [....] I've never seen a team with such a poor understanding of its own strengths and weaknesses."
- Oddly enough, a peek at Dwight's game log shows the Magic are 5-7 when he shoot 15 times or more, and 12-1 when he shoots 10 times or fewer. I suppose the latter fact is skewed by playing relatively limited minutes due to blowouts, but it seems to contradict Hoff's assertion that Dwight needs more shots.
- Hedo Turkoglu was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week. Congratulations, Hedo!
- Brian Schmitz doesn't take kindly to people flooding his inbox with Jason Kidd trade proposals. Writes Schmitz, "Are the Magic really better off trying to land Kidd? Sounds like amateur GMs playing fantasy basketball. The Nets might be able to do better elsewhere." I'm not eager for the Magic to acquire Kidd -- he's the least-deserving All-Star this year, he's old, and he's overpaid -- but after reading Hoff's comments above, I agree the team should look into getting a better distributor.
- Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who will coach the Eastern Conference All-Stars this year, told Schmitz he voted for Turkoglu to be an All-Star reserve. I'll be surprised if Turk makes it, though. There are plenty of other deserving forwards in the East.
- Round 5 of the Blogger Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year poll is up. Jeremy from Pickaxe and Roll is hosting it this time. Check it out. Unsurprisingly, Dwight Howard's stock is dropping -- he's 4th, and I voted him 8th. I have the rather dubious distinction of being the only person who voted Kevin Durant lower than second.
- It appears as though Chris Webber is going to sign with the Golden State Warriors. The Magic are going to have to look elsewhere if they want an upgrade at power forward, although that's probably not a concern right now.