Denton: Magic-Bobcats Postgame Analysis

By John Denton
April 1, 2011


  • Howard’s final act of the night was viciously swatting a D.J. Augustin layup attempt out of bounds in the fourth quarter. Howard hurriedly raced over and retrieved the ball away from a fan before flashing a toothy smile and checking out of the game.

    It was the perfect capper on a night where he did little wrong on the low block. He scored at will against Kwame Brown, Boris Diaw and D.J. White, registering six dunks in the game.

    ``We expect that and quite honestly we need it from Dwight,’’ Van Gundy said of Howard. ``He stepped up and has really carried us for most of the year and that is certainly what he did tonight.’’

  • With just nine healthy bodies available, the Magic worked to spread things around in the first half. Howard even got a 5-minute rest in the first half – a rarity these days – as Malik Allen was used at center in relief.

    Five Magic players had at least six points in the first half, led by the 11 points from Howard and Nelson. Orlando hit 53.3 percent of its shots, four 3-pointers and 13 of 15 free throws in a highly efficient first half.


  • Magic small forward Hedo Turkoglu came into Friday’s game needing 14 points to hit the 10,000-point milestone for his career, but he’ll have to wait until Sunday’s game in Toronto following a rare bad shooting night.

    Turkoglu scored just 12 points on four of 11 shooting. Nine of his shots came from the 3-point line when the Bobcats routinely went under screens and dared him to shoot the ball and he responded by making four of them. He entered the night having scored at least 16 points in each of the past four games, a stretch where he had made 13 of 24 3-pointers.

  • The Magic’s bench was extremely weakened by the injuries to J.J. Redick (abdominal strain), Gilbert Arenas (illness) and Chris Duhon (sprained thumb). As a result, Orlando got little to no contributions from its reserves Friday night.

    It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when Richardson buried a 3-pointer that a Magic reserve had more than one field goal. Richardson was returning after missing the past three games with a case of back spasms and tightness.

    Richardson finished with 14 points, but made just three of 11 shots and two of six 3-pointers. Ryan Anderson struggled with his shot from start to finish, missing five of his six 3-point shots. Veteran big man Malik Allen, who hasn’t had a field goal since mid-December, didn’t score, but did swat a Kwame Brown shot attempt.

    Said Richardson: ``It’s the NBA and you’ve got to be ready. That’s what team is all about. Guys have to step in and play big minutes. Malik had to do the same thing and he hasn’t played in a long time. I scored some points, but I think Malik did a better job out there than I did.’’


  • Charlotte coach Paul Silas unleashed a tirade on two of the three game officials early in the game when the Magic nearly went the entire first quarter without being whistled for a foul.

    When Magic shooting guard Jason Richardson was whistled for a personal foul with 3.7 seconds left in the first quarter, Silas responded by mockingly clapping his hands.

    Silas was also upset after the game that Howard wasn’t whistled for one foul in the game.

  • Charlotte, who entered the night a game back of Indiana for the eighth and final playoff slot in the Eastern Conference, is almost as bad off as the Magic when it comes to injuries.

    The Bobcats were without Stephen Jackson (hamstring strain), Tyrus Thomas (sore knee), Shaun Livingston (bruised tailbone) and Joel Przybilla (knee pain) Friday night. Przybilla, whom the Bobcats acquired from Portland after dumping the contract of likeable forward Gerald Wallace, has been ruled out for the season.

  • There was an audible groan by the sellout crowd at the Amway Center late in the first half Friday night when the massive HD replay screen at midcourt seemed to go out. A garbled blue screen appeared midway through a skit and it was following by a Microsoft logo as if the computer running the board was resetting.

    A message stating, ``April Fool’s’’ flashed at the bottom of the screen to the delight of the fans.


    John Denton writes for E-mail John at Submit a question to John for his mailbag segment at