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Posts Tagged ‘Orlando Magic’

Dwight Howard GIFs Are Full of Win

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While he might be an oversized man-child, there’s no denying the raw talent level of Dwight Howard. Just ask Luol Deng. Deng tried to complete a driving layup against the Magic defense, and he was rewarded quite rudely by Howard, who pimp-slapped Deng’s offering into the next zip code. The block was so impressive, it had to be preserved in animated gif format, an unexpected renaissance that proves without a doubt what’s old is most definitely new again — in relation to web design, anyway.

After the jump, Dwight blocks in gif format >>

Dwight Howard’s Take On Derek Anderson

Last night, NBA jokester/man-child, Dwight Howard, had a laugh at the expense of Arizona Cardinals quarterback, Derek Anderson, by making fun of Anderson’s post-game rant after the Cardinals got stomped by the San Francisco 49ers. The results are about what you’d expect from the guy responsible for releasing a karaoke-for-kids album in the offseason.

In other news, I’m guessing Howard’s season low of nine points coming on the heels of his impersonation is only a coincidence, right? It certainly couldn’t be karma from making fun of such a poor performance — vicariously, anyway — could it?

Dwight Howard: Credit Where it’s Due

Last week, I blasted Orlando Magic man-child Dwight Howard for what appeared to be a lack of offseason preparation, as well as eschewing the FIBA World Championships to produce albums for children. However, thanks to a find by the folks at Ball Don’t Lie, I must give Howard some credit, especially when he’s earned it.

What we have is D-12 working out/learning from perhaps the best post player to lace up a pair of shoes in the NBA: Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon. Sure, the video feels almost like a pitch for The Dream as a individual workout coach, but at the same time, it’s nice to see Howard, who might be the most athletically-gifted big man the NBA’s ever seen, actually work to improve the area he’s weakest in: post-game offense.

Granted, Howard doesn’t have the shooting stroke of Olajuwon — he still “short-arms” his shots — but if he can apply some of the considerable knowledge he’s getting from Dream, his post game will have no choice but to get better. Of course, working out in a peaceful gym with one of the greatest post players instructing you — no defense either — is one thing. I’m curious about what happens when Howard’s instincts takeover in the middle of a close playoff game.

Will he remember to apply Olajuwon’s teachings, or will he revert to bad habits of old, that is, trying only to dunk the ball?

Dwight Howard Skipped The FIBA Worlds For This?

Dwight Howard Album

One of the Dwight Howard’s biggest knocks had to do with his limitations as a post player, featuring a limited amount of post moves — outside of his raw-power assaults at the rim. Because of that, Howard’s decision to not attend the FIBA World Championship was a little confusing, and he was actually taken to task by Bill Simmons for it.

It continues to be funny that Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh decided this experience couldn’t have helped them as basketball players.

Clearly, the World Championship could’ve helped Howard, although, one can understand his desire to rest and prepare for the Orlando Magic’s upcoming battles with LeBron’s Team 2.0 out of South Beach. However, those weren’t his only reasons for not attending, either. When asked about FIBA, Howard offered other suggestions about how he’d use his offseason time:

…forgo the World Championships in Turkey this summer in order to rest and possibly act in a movie and/or appear in a television reality show, among other things.

Nowhere in that manifesto was “improving as a basketball player to improve our chances of getting back to the NBA Finals,” and after seeing this press release, it’s easy to see why: Howard would rather spend his free time continuing to act like a kid. I’m not sure what else explains the release of his debut album, Shoot For The Stars, a collection of “arena anthems and classic hits” all karaoke’d by Orlando’s man-child himself.

The album also features the title’s song, which is a call for youngsters to follow their dreams or some such.

I certainly don’t begrudge folks wanting to help children, even though I think today’s society is far too catering to the whims of youth. But if Dwight wants to be a positive role model for the children, nothing’s wrong with that; but at some point, you also have an obligation to the franchise that pays you a king’s ransom to become the best player you can be. Put it this way: LeBron has been absolutely brutalized for way he handled his offseason, but it’s clear James has been all about basketball once the fire from his “look at me” decision burnt out.

Do you remember seeing LeBron’s album for children coming out? No, instead, it’s been all about how James is preparing to silence his doubters this upcoming season. As for Dwight Howard? Not so much. Aside from taking shots at the Heat with his “I’d choose Durant first” stuff, Howard has been putting his focus in other ventures, all seemingly non-basketball related.

Again, if Howard wants to help children, that’s all fine and good, but don’t be surprised if, in the next round of playoff games (still a few games away), Howard’s offensive game still hasn’t met the demands of his critics and his shortcomings as a post player are again brought to the forefront.

Jameer Nelson Will Slap You in the Face

Jameer Nelson

The Orlando Magic told the Boston Celtics to put away their brooms last night, thanks, in large part, to two huge 3-point bombs in the overtime period from Magic point guard, Jameer Nelson. Nelson was so excited after he drilled the second one — over everybody’s favorite player of the moment, Rajon Rondo — he slapped Brandon Bass in the mouth during the celebratory high fives. Granted, the slap was accidental, but it was also symbolic of Orlando holding off the impending Celtics sweep.

After fighting to get back into the game, the Celtics had a number of opportunities to, well, score in the overtime stanza, and they failed to convert, which paved the way for Nelson’s bombing run. After banking in the first 3-pointer, Nelson came back on the next possession and drilled another one right in Rondo’s grill; which led to Bass getting smacked in the mouth.

Considering the size of those shots Nelson hit, smacking someone in the mouth to celebrate seems fitting.

After the jump, Nelson will smack your face >>

Dear White Chocolate

Jason Williams

Perhaps if you put as much effort into chasing down loose balls as you do yelling at locker room reporters, your team might not be facing elimination tonight. Granted, one lost loose ball doesn’t an ass-whipping make, but then again, the (lack of) effort shown looks awfully representative of Orlando’s series against Boston.

If you can’t beat `em, yell at the reporters, I guess.

I doubt that little outburst will do much to help your teammates tonight.

H/t to Hot Clicks for the find.

Orlando Is a Walking Highlight Reel

Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic are undefeated in the 2010 NBA Playoffs. They are the only team to boast such a record. For some reason, however, one of the louder responses has to do with the quality of their competition. Granted, the Charlotte Bobcats, nor the Atlanta Hawks were/are going to win the NBA Championship. Nevertheless, both of these teams had above .500 records, something not true about Cleveland’s opening-round opponent, the Chicago Bulls, who finished the season 41-41.

How much stock you put into that depends on how much stock you put into transitive properties in sports.

Whatever you think of the Magic’s chances of getting representing the of Eastern Conference in the Finals, it’s hard to deny how impressive the Magic have looked against the Atlanta Hawks — and that’s not even considering the 43-point Game 1 debacle. In Game 2, the Hawks actually competed. It didn’t matter. As indicated, the Magic unfurled a can of highlight reel-worthy basketball against the Hawks in Game 2; led, quite naturally, by their man-child Dwight Howard.

Highlights after the jump >>

Dwight Howard’s Fun Night

Dwight Howard

Mark Cuban and Jerry Jones pulled an NBA All-Star Game for the ages. Sure, there wasn’t much defense — at least not until the fourth quarter — and the record-crowd only made noise for the obvious plays (outrageous dunks, etc), but it was a spectacle. But then again, Jerry Jones’ architectural masterpiece of sports arenas had as much to do with that as anything happening on the court.

Now, this is not a knock on the NBA’s celebration of itself, All-Star games should be fun exhibitions, but if you were expecting the pinnacle of basketball competition, you probably left last night feeling rather disappointed. One player who didn’t waste the opportunity for fun, however, was Dwight Howard.

More on Dwight’s fun night after the jump (video, too) >>