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Orlando Magic News for January 13th: A Look at Dwight Howard's Athleticism, Free Throw Shooting, and Jump Shooting

  • Top 5 Athletes In The NBA
    Gerald Narciso ranks the top five athletes in the NBA.

    2. Dwight Howard: Dwight Howard is as close to a video game character as you can get. How many seven-footers can you name that have 40-inch verticals? In the 2007 dunk contest, he slapped a sticker the backboard at 12′8″ while catching an alley-oop and dunking it. In the next year’s contest, he put on a cape and literally jumped so high, that he threw the ball down the rim. Looking at his physique, you can tell how strong he is. The rumor mill around the web says Superman can bench press 365 pounds.
  • How much does Dwight Howard’s free-throw shooting figure in Orlando Magic losses?
    Josh Robbins takes a look to see whether or not Howard's struggles at the free throw line affect the Orlando Magic in the team's losses.

    "If only Dwight Howard could improve his free-throw shooting . . ."

    That’s a common refrain from Orlando Magic fans, isn’t it?

    The all-star center is shooting 59.3 percent from the line this season, and if those numbers hold, he will finish with the third-worst free-throw shooting season of his six-season pro career.

    But how much do his struggles from the line affect the Magic?
  • Still working on my jumper
    Dwight Howard posts on his official blog today and talks about how his jumpshot is still a work in progress.

    Everybody on our teams wants to see me shooting more jump shots, from Otis Smith to all of my teammates and coaches. It just another way for me to score when teams are trapping me inside and sending double-teams at me.

    I worked really hard on my shot this summer. I shot hundreds and hundreds of jumpers off pick and pops this summer and got really comfortable with the shot. I’m sure some of you guys have seen some of the YouTube videos of my shooting, and you could see that I was making most of them.

    Otis [Smith], especially wants me to shoot a lot more. I shoot every day in practice. It’s just going to be on me. I just have to get confidence in that shot. I know I can shoot it. I can shoot it by myself, I can shoot it in practice but we’re going to have to get that same shot in the game.

    My biggest obstacle, you see, is that I really hate to miss shots. I take pride in the fact that I have a high shooting percentage. You do that and it means that you are an efficient player.
  • Buyers and Sellers
    Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus takes a look at which teams in the NBA will be buyers and sellers at the February 18th trade deadline.

    Uncertain [...]

    Orlando - The Magic's up-and-down play could lead to exploring a move before the deadline. If Orlando wanted to move a big man, both Brandon Bass and Marcin Gortat--one of whom is certainly expendable--could fetch some solid value.
  • Magic need advanced chemistry for title test
    UPDATE: Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports takes a look at how the Magic have been adjusting with five new players on the roster. A must-read.

    Today’s Magic are significantly different than the group that squared off with the Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals. And nearly halfway into this season, the Magic are also still trying to figure out if all the change was for the best.

    "Our objective is to win an NBA championship," [Otis] Smith said. "Anything short of that is failure. When you’re having some failures, you’re looking for ways to succeed. I think we moved the right pieces in the right places. Some pieces we would have rather not have lost. We got some pieces back that we didn’t expect to have, either."
  • NBA Playbook: Magic Pull Away From Kings In The Fourth

    UPDATE (from Ben): Sebastian Pruiti diagrams the Magic's fourth-quarter success against the Kings last night.