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Cook Out (And Not the Fun Kind): Magic Forward to Miss Rest of Season

Dwight Howard must not like power forwards.

Less than a year after Tony Battie's season ended when his rotator cuff tore while trying to defend Howard, Brian Cook is also sidelined no thanks to Dwight. Both Brian Schmitz and John Denton report that a bone in Cook's right hand broke when Dwight Howard hit it during this morning's practice.

We need Cook and his three-point shooting to space the floor for the second unit -- the Magic are 10-1 when Cook hits two or more triples -- so losing him for the season weakens our already sub-par bench. This injury means more minutes for Pat Garrity and his 2.1 PER, which does not bode well for us. It also means we have extra incentive to bring Battie back before the season ends, as the team can't depend on youngsters James Augustine and Marcin Gortat in the playoffs.

It's not time to panic just yet, but it can't be good when a team worries it might not succeed without Brian Cook and his 5 points per game.

On the bright side, Jameer Nelson is expected to start tomorrow against New Orleans. Nice to know he's doing better.