Magic Maul Bobcats, Look Toward Playoffs
The Orlando Magic firmly secured the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs after beating the Charlotte Bobcats 102 to 95 on Wednesday night. With the loss, the Bobcats extended their losing streak to 22 games, just one game away from having the worst winning percentage in NBA history.
While the Bobcats flirt with history, the Magic must deal with a new playoff reality, one without the size and force of Dwight Howard. But before we delve into that universe, let’s explore the circumstances and results surrounding the Bobcats game.
Magic guard J.J. Redick led the team with 31 points and six three pointers. The Magic roster did their best perimeter dance as the team hit 14 three’s and made a grand number of jump shots. Starting forward Ryan Anderson continued his on the court maturation as he poured in 24 points and snagged 13 rebounds. Performances, like the ones listed above by Anderson and Redick, will be needed if the Magic have any chance at playoff success.
Besides a great win and fantastic three-ball percentage, the Magic have issues. Center/forward Glen Davis sprained his right ankle and forward Hedo Turkoglu is still recovering from a facial fracture he suffered almost a month ago.
Center Dwight Howard is lost for the season and playoffs after having surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back. The Magic lose his strength in the middle and will attempt to replace it with Davis, who may be unavailable with a sprained ankle.
So what’s next for the Magic? They aren’t expected to go any further than the first round and even if they do, stopping at the second round would be a success. Howard is expected to be traded this summer and coach Stan Van Gundy fired. In fact, the team that showed up on the court against Charlotte may be the roster that is put on the floor next season, plus or minus a few.
The very last regular season home game at the Amway Center for the 2012 season was a success, but more than likely represented the demise of the current Orlando Magic team as we know it. Fans may never see Howard and Van Gundy together again as the relationship between the two quickly deteriorated into something overtly negative.
Fans, enjoy the playoffs as the 2012-13 season will be drastically different.