About Last Night: All About Dwight

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS –When the Magic made that big trade back in November, to get enough help so it won’t be all about Dwight Howard, guess what? It’s all about Dwight Howard.

We won’t get into nit-picking comparisons between Vince Carter and Hedo Turkoglu and if the hernia-causing contracts of Gilbert Arenas and Rashard Lewis was an even swap. Because, in a sense, nothing has changed in Orlando. The Magic still need an MVP-level performance from Howard if they harbor dreams of going deep in the postseason, and good news for them is, they’ll probably get it.

He wasn’t the star down the stretch in last night’s win over the Knicks — that was Jameer Nelson, pumping 23 of his 26 points in the second half — but the Magic was in the game because of Howard, with 30 points, 16 rebounds and 5 blocks. He leads the Magic in those categories and also steals, which is rare for a big man.

All that said, he’s still the big advantage for Orlando in the East. The Celtics weakened themselves at center with the Kendrick Perkins trade. Joakim Noah is about as good as it gets against Howard, but Howard doesn’t need to waste previous energy trying guard a one-dimensional guy.

And hey, if Howard doesn’t get it done in O-town, he can always embrace the can’t-beat-em, join-em trend sweeping the league.

He’s still holding off on that contract extension, and teams are lining up, with the Nets, Knicks and Lakers prepared to pounce in two years (yeah, that’s a long ways off, but still). The Bergen Record reported on Tuesday that the Nets have eyes for Howard, per our main man Al Iannazzone:

Deron Williams has spoken with principal owner Mikhail Prokhorov and general manager Billy King about their plan and who they will pursue as they prepare for their Brooklyn move after next season.

Orlando center Dwight Howard tops that list, sources said.

The Nets want to improve the talent around Williams to get him to sign an extension when he’s eligible over the summer.

“He definitely talked about that and it gets you excited,” Williams said of Prokhorov. “When your owner says he’s going to spend the money and put people around you, that’s definitely appealing.

“There’s a lot of stuff that appeals to me as far as my future here.”

As the drama of Dwight’s future starts to heat up, the Magic’s star has gotten some unsolicited advice from Carmelo Anthony via the New York Daily News:

“I had to experience something like that to realize it was tough,” Anthony said. “He might not handle it the way I handled it. It can be difficult at times. I know I wouldn’t do it again.”At times it can be fun and at times it can be overwhelming, having to answer the same questions every day.”

Anthony seemed to suggest that if he had to do it all over again, he would have forced Denver to make a deal before the season started.

When asked about Howard and Paul, Anthony said: “If you’re going to make a decision then make it … earlier than later.”

And what does Howard think? According to the Orlando Sentinel’s Josh Robbins, staying put is his first choice and he also had some telling thoughts on the whole Superteam notion:

“Orlando’s the most attractive place for me right now,” Howard answered, a smile on his face. “They have a sexy new arena, a beautiful franchise, nice banners around here and been in the top four in the Eastern Conference for the past four years. Yes, Orlando’s the most attractive place right now.”

Howard can become a free agent after the 2011-12 season.

Howard also was asked whether more teams will follow the lead of the Miami Heat and the Knicks and try to win by collecting star players and whether that will factor into Howard’s eventual decision about his future.

“For me, I just feel like there’s always going to be a dominant guy on the team, and then you’ve got role players,” Howard said. “That’s the way [Michael] Jordan and his team won, and that’s the way Kobe [Bryant] and those guys won. They had two guys who could dominate, Kobe and Shaq, and then the rest of the guys were role players who knew their roles. . . .

“I don’t want to say you have to team up with another great all-star in this league to win a championship. I think it takes a team to win. If you get hot at the right time, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got three all-stars or four. You can still get beat.”

Right now, Howard seems to be fine where he is.

14 Comments

  1. FRL says:

    I’ll agree with @Howard says no to L.A . If they manage to get cp-3, then howard would definitely stay and orlando would still be a contender.

  2. kb24fan says:

    id love for howard to stay in orlando…but history tells us otherwise..(1996-shaq signs with the lakers)
    im just saying…

  3. newmike says:

    I agree what Dwight Howard said, teamwork is the most important in a game to win but still it counts a little or shall we say it is more advantage in a team if you have more all-stars.

  4. kennedy says:

    i hope D-12 go to lakers next season i gauranteed him he got a championship ring next season if he do to go to LA.. trade him to bynum artest and draft picks. there 1st. five will be howard will be the center PF gasol SF odom SG kobe PG fisher or brown

  5. anthony says:

    in dwight we trust. orlando is a fun team and dwight is the heart/soul/leader/consistancy/ etc…. cbs sports had a good article about why dwight would be best off to stay in orlando and if the magic gain some consistancy they are as good as anyteam right now.

  6. MagicFanHBH26 says:

    Dwight Howard”s a great player on and off the court.I really hope he wins a championship a championship with Orlando.He sacrifices every night.Its time management starts sacrificing some $ to get another superstar with him not overpaid underachievers like Gilbert Arenas

  7. honey_20 says:

    if howard leaves orlando then nba is done they are not the same way way back then and this past 4 years its worst already and it became worst when 2010 and 2011 arrived why not just to their jobs to compete each other rather than to join each other like supper friends why jordan can wait his turn and keeps surrounding him a good role players and tandems like pippen, grant, roadman, kucouch, kerr, longly paxon cartright what happen to his team chicago six titles right and assuming he did not retired early 1994 4th straight championship i guess and if he comes back in early seaon in 1995 i guess its 5th straight champion ships i guess because when he return its a championships again and 3 straight again so if he did not resign early no doubt its a 8 straght championships for him and his chicagao team taht time when his prime i would suggest to howard is to stay ang wait for the pieces that can surround him to get his ring ang to his team orlando

  8. Howard says no to L.A, says:

    I love how these delusional L.A. fans salivate at the very thought of acquiring Dwight. It won’t happen, get over it! Otis Smith knows that next year is the year to surround D-12 with an all-star… enter CP-3 in Orlando! I guarantee Smith will pull something out of his hat to make yet another huge trade in order to keep Howard. Howard is far too valuable to let go of. D-12 will not succumb to join a “super” team. He want’s to build an empire, and that he’ll do in Orlando. Sorry guys, Howard will stay in Orlando. Period!

    • Gary says:

      I believe so too. LA is the team that can pull Howard but I just don’t see that happening. And your right LA fans assume they will get any star they want. I’ve even heard them claim that Blake will be there in 3yrs.

  9. Andre says:

    You got to understand Lakers won’t be that competitive in the years to come.

    Kobe will get older. If Howard moves to L.A., he will need another team around him. He will not be a second man to Kobe. In at most 4, 5 years Kobe will be only a good roleplayer. Lakers have not even one good young player, so they’ll have to rebuild.

    Boston is in the same boat, but they at least have 2 or 3 young good players ready to go.

    Both have no cap space.

    I can only see three options for Howard: NYK, Nets or Orlando.

    Orlando has ok role players, and being able to make a single good trade with Rich/Arenas to free cap space somewhere else would make them top contenders again.

    • gilad says:

      Rich is free agent next year, so one down.
      but what sane person will take the Arenas contract?

    • trix says:

      your logic sounds right and goes for most teams. But when u you look throught out nba history, jerry buss owned lakers never spent too long rebuilding. They somehow attract stars and are able to compete year in and out

  10. robert zenon says:

    The comments of Dwight Howard sounds good, but even while I’m reading them I’m thinking to myself, “Does he really believe this Bleep he’s shoveling”. Orlando has a nice arena, the have nice banners, LOL, they have been in the top 4 of the eastern conference the last few years. What’s that??? That and $2 will not get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks! Niether will this. L.A. has a nice arena, nice banners around there (Championship Banners 16 of’em) and they have been in the NBA finals the last 3 years, winning two. The bottle line is in Orlando they play for quality seasons in L.A. and Boston they play to win Championships, no matter what! Those 16 banners don’t mean a thing right now, not until they win number 17. Dwight is getting out of town as soon as he is able!

  11. trix says:

    Dwight’s been dominent recently. Arugably having the best stretch of his career so far. Its gonna be interesting to see what he does when he becomes a freeagent. Coincidentally, thats the time the lakers need to look for their next superstar and history says they always find one somehow. Im not saying he is going to leave, actually i will respect him more if he stays and decides to win it with this team unlike some of his peers bolting for greener pastures but cant fault him if he does. He has given everything he’s got to this franchise. Another interesting thing is going to be the competition between him and blake griffin. I know blake is young and howard’s better right now, but blake is a rookie. When he matures like howard did, them two can have some serious battle and will be treat for fans.