To call it anything other than a preseason blowout would be wrong and no one is yet calling Dwight Howard's professionalism into question but the Magic and Howard looked positively awful Sunday night in 33-point loss to the Heat in Miami. Howard played 30 minutes, scoring six points and grabbing five rebounds.
Initially, Stan Van Gundy seemed to link the poor performance to the "Dwightmare" (we've adopted this phrase from the Orlando Sentinel), telling reporters, "If you guys can't figure it out right now, you're in the wrong business." Then later, he seemed to take a step back, adding, "Here's where we are: If he has a bad game, he's disengaged. That's BS."
Howard himself dismissed the idea of a distraction, saying, "I don’t think guys are worried about it. Like I told the guys … we’re all on the same team ... until that changes, we should go out and play hard every night and not focus on what’s on the outside of this locker room."
At least one of his teammates said he thought Howard would remain professional, but also indicated the possibility of a trade hangs over the team. Quentin Richardson said before the game that Howard will treat Magic games professionally "until trade actually happens."
- Boxscore - ESPN
- Heat Reaction: Miami Heat at Orlando Magic - ESPN Florida
- Dwight Howard says there s no reason to panic after loss to the Heat (Video) - Orlando Sentinel
- Dwight Howard opens return to Magic with a thud - Brian Windhorst - ESPN
Builder of nothing, Howard latest who wants Easy Street to NBA title - Gregg Doyel - CBS Sports
- Magic fans chant for Dwight Howard at scrimmage, but he clearly does not want to be in Orlando - Brian Schmitz - Orlando Sentinel
Dwight Howard reaction: Were Magic fans groveling or showing appreciation? - Mike Bianchi - Orlando Sentinel