Magic GM Otis Smith tells Howard to take responsibility for fouls

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Dwight Howard was hampered by foul trouble in all four games of the Magic’s sweep against the Charlotte Bobcats. Some of the fouls were of the ticky-tack variety. Others were fouls Howard brought upon himself by getting frustrated and unnecessarily swinging out his arm when Bobcat defenders got physical with him. Not only did foul trouble keep him on the bench, but it caused him to be less aggressive when he was on the floor.

Stan Van Gundy has been known to speak out against officials. Howard was visibly angry at the referees almost every time a foul went against him. After the series, he was fined $35,000 for comments about the officials on his blog. Magic general manager Otis Smith, however, does not support Howard’s views about what happened with fouls in the first round. Tim Potvak of FanHouse is reporting that Smith went off on his young superstar, and had a talk with him about taking responsibility for his fouling habits.

Here’s some of what he told the media about Howard:

“This time of year, the officials do a pretty good job. We’ve got another round of this, and it’s going to be just the same. He needs to be on the floor longer than 28 minutes. That’s not on the officials. That’s not on Stan. That’s on Dwight. Life’s tough. You’re a big guy. Sorry. Move on.”

I like where Smith is coming from with these comments. It’s frustrating as a NBA fan to see such a great player get taken out of the game because of whistles. I can only imagine how Magic fans, members of the organization, and Howard himself must feel about it. But saying it’s unfair won’t help Howard’s cause. If anything, it will only make it worse. It’s time for Howard and the Magic to stop focusing on what they think should be happening and do what they can to change what is happening.

If the Magic want to keep winning in the playoffs, they need to focus on the team playing against them and not the officials trying to call the game. Complaining about the referees might win them some sympathy from fans. Fan sympathy shouldn’t be what the Magic want right now. The goal is a championship. If the Magic want to be the last team standing in June, they have to put aside their feelings about the referees and make sure their focus is on beating whatever team they end up playing in the next round. 

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.