BDL's 2009-10 Award Tour, January edition
Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don't Lie hands out a few mid-season awards and surprisingly, Dwight Howard is a conspicuously absent candidate for Defensive Player of the Year. Interesting, to say the least.
Dimes All Around
Doobie Akon of SLAM ONLINE predicts that Howard will indeed repeat as the Defensive Player of the Year in the Association. Here's why:
He is so athletic and quick for his size that he can defend almost any player in the paint. Sometimes, the offense will become sloppy because they can’t get anything going down low so they have to overwork the wing, another tribute to Dwight Howard’s mere presence. When you think of guys that change shots and possessions just by being there, you think of Dikembe Mutombo, Kevin Garnett, Ben Wallace and Hakeem Olajuwon, to name a few. Howard’s up there. So it isn’t numbers alone, although he has no problem posting fantastic ones anyway.
Ten weeks in: Ten questions for Wayne Winston
Henry Abbott of TrueHoop catches up with professor Wayne Winston and asks him 10 questions 10 weeks in to the NBA regular season.
2. How has the Vince Carter for Hedo Turkoglu swap worked for Orlando?
Last year Hedo Turkoglu had a plus-2 rating, but was plus-12 against Cavaliers.
Carter has a plus-9 rating but what matters is how he plays against Cavs, Celtics and Hawks. So far Vince has averaged +12 rating against these guys so things look good.
The Magic have by far the deepest team in league. The 11th and 12th men are Marcin Gortat and Brandon Bass!
Jason Williams has a plus-10 rating has been great at point with Jameer Nelson only minus-2. I think Dwight Howard hides Williams' defensive problems. The problem for the Magic is that Rashard Lewis (minus-11) and Mickael Pietrus (minus-9) have played poorly. On the other hand J.J. Redick, Matt Barnes and Ryan Anderson have been excellent. I think they can show more different good lineup combinations than anybody. If Stan Van Gundy pushes the right buttons I think they will win the East. So far Magic, at plus-7.5 points, have best overall team rating in NBA.
Orlando Magic update: Team to use same lineup tonight, and Dwight Howard eats some Skittles
Dwight reveals what makes him super-strong.
An Indianapolis-based TV reporter asked Howard how he got so strong, and Howard, sensing an opportunity for some comedy, pulled out a Starbucks coffee cup.
"Everybody thinks this is normal Starbucks," Howard said.
Then Howard took the lid off the cup to reveal a popular candy: "But if you open it up, it’s Skittles. This is the key to having super strength."
SB Nation NBA Power Rankings: Where Cleveland Stays On Top By Default
UPDATE (from Ben): SB Nation NBA Editor Mike Prada ranks the Magic among the league's 4 championship contenderrs, but has some concerns, as he illustrates in the conversation excerpted below.
Happy Mike and Grumpy Mike had an argument last night over the Magic as we tried to figure out where to place them. (Just to be clear, this is a fun exercise. I don't actually have two personalities).
Happy Mike: The Orlando Magic are in very good shape and are better than last year
Grumpy Mike: The Orlando Magic are still struggling, and while they might be more talented, they have less cohesion and chemistry.
Click the link to read the rest of the exchange between Happy Mike and Grumpy Mike.
Twitter / Adrian Wojnarowski
UPDATE 2 (from Ben): Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that former Magic point guard Rafer Alston, who recently reached a buyout agreement with the New Jersey Nets, will sign with the Miami Heat.
Miami has agreed to send Chris Quinn to Nets for future 2nd and cash to free roster spot and will sign Rafer Alston, sources say.