Game 35 - Nets vs. Magic - Wednesday, February 22, 7:30

ATLANTA, GA - FILE: Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic against the Atlanta Hawks during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 22, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. It was reported that the Orlando Magic have taken Dwight Howard off the market citing that none of the offers were worth pursuing December 14, 2011. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

From this moment on, and until at least March 15, forget reality. Rumors will fly, pundits will offer all manner of scenarios, the ESPN trade machine will break down and every team other than the Bobcats (actually even the Bobcats!) will be mentioned as a possible landing spot for Dwight Howard.

The Magic center is likely to be bombarded with questions before and after Wednesday's game, the last before the All-Star Break in Orlando. Our advice: don't get too up or too down between now and March 15. In spite of the Dwightmare, the Magic have the third best record in the East and the fifth best in the NBA. Aside from Howard, Ryan Anderson, still only 23, is looking like a player one step away from being a perennial All-Star. He's averaging 16.3 and 7.3, while shooting 44% from deep.

The Nets will have to put aside the distraction of playing against a guy who could wreak havoc on your roster, maybe even your career. Shouldn't be that hard. They're coming off a back-to-back-to-back during which they beat two of the hottest teams in the NBA, pretty much with ease. The Nets will once again go into the game with 11 active players, including some guy named Brook Lopez who's slated to play his second game.

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