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Orlando Magic News for January 22nd: Are the Magic Built for Playoff Failure?

  • Ira Winderman, who covers the Miami Heat for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, writes this feature entitled "Come playoffs, the Magic might be gone" for NBC.com (ht: Red's Army). His thesis is that, although Orlando has four solid players in Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis, Jameer Nelson, and Hedo Turkoglu, it will falter in the playoffs because none of those guys are reliable crunch-time performers. Along the way, he snipes Paul Porter, the Magic's public-address announcer, and Stuff, the Magic's mascot.

    For the record, over the last two-plus seasons, the Magic have won games in a variety of ways with each of those four players providing the deciding basket.

    To be fair, those guys have missed in the clutch, too; Lewis' errant threes at Phoenix and against Los Angeles last year come immediately to mind, as does Nelson's layup getting stuffed by Kevin Garnett two years ago. But given the Magic's recent history with late-game heroics, one is hard-pressed to take Winderman's argument seriously. Is having four weapons--three, if you exclude Howard--really worse than having one?

  • Dwight Howard talks about winning a championship:

    "We have a great group in the locker room, the staff and in the organization and this chance may only come once in a lifetime. We have to go at it knowing that this may be our only opportunity to come close to winning a championship. We want a championship, that's our goal. And I won't stop until I get it."

  • Here are my gameday q-and-a sessions with Be The Three and CelticsBlog.

  • J.E. Skeets and Tas Melas announce their picks for the All-Star team on today's The Basketball Jones. Did Jameer Nelson make it? Watch and learn.

That's all. I'll bump the gamethread back to the top in an hour or so. Don't forget to vote in our midseason awards, hosted by erivera7: