Cohen: Top Three Performances by Players in Magic History
By Josh Cohen
#1 When it was announced that Dwight Howard was suspended for Game 6 of the Magic’s First Round playoff series against the 76ers in 2009, most assumed Game 7 was guaranteed to happen. But Gortat helped his team forget about Howard’s absence for a night with an 11-point, 15-rebound performance that helped Orlando eliminate Philadelphia.
#2 Charlotte’s frontline was relentless in limiting Dwight Howard during its First Round playoff series in 2010 against Orlando. However, despite restricting Howard to his worst playoff series as a member of the Magic, the trustee backup didn’t let the Bobcats take advantage. Game 3 in particular was special for Gortat as he played the final 3:32 of the game after Dwight fouled out and connected on a pair of critical free throws with 12 seconds left en route to the victory and an eventual series sweep.
#3 Stan Van Gundy’s decision to rest his primary starters in preparation for the upcoming playoffs on April 13, 2009 in Milwaukee gave Gortat the opportunity to showcase his skills. And perhaps it was this performance, 10 points and 18 rebounds in nearly 43 minutes, which increased his value around the league. At the end of that season, The Polish Hammer signed a lucrative offer sheet with Dallas that was eventually matched by Orlando.