Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard says Orlando needs to make “changes”


Just a reminder Orlando: despite your fast start you still have the Sword of Dwight Howard hanging over your head.

Howard can opt out of his contract at the end of this season and become a free agent. He has consistently said he wants to play somewhere he can win a ring and two ugly losses this week to Boston — one where the Magic just scored 56 points, one where they blew a 27-point lead — serves as a reminder how far Orlando is from that status.

Magic fans can’t read his comments in the Orlando Sentinel after Thursday’s loss and feel comfortable.

“We thought it was going to be easy after the first two quarters,” Howard said. “We can’t allow that. We have to change….”

“We didn’t play the right way and we have to change,” he said. “Everybody just can’t come down (the floor) and feel like they have to take the game over. You just have to play team-ball and play the way we want to play. We didn’t do that.”

On the bright side Orlando fans, at least he said “we.” He is including himself in the meltdowns (as he should).

But he is frustrated. And if he is frustrated at the end of the season when the Magic fall to the Heat or Bulls in the second round, it’s going to be hard to keep him.

Are we in the media parsing out everything Howard says right now? Yes. The best center on the planet (no matter what Shaq thinks) could be a free agent. It’s a big deal. For the record, as we approach the All-Star Game and head into the trading deadline all of this is only going to get worse. Just a warning.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.