- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
- Detroit porch shooting trial: Suspect says he didn’t know gun was loaded
- U.S. Navy admiral ‘receptive’ to giving Chinese counterpart a tour of carrier
No more old tricks for Magic
Orlando moves on from Howard
Question of the Day
It’s hard to know exactly when it happened, but at some point, the Orlando Magic knew that the Dwight Howard era had come to an end, and a full-scale rebuild was at hand.
Howard, the 6-foot-11, six-time All-Star, and three-time Defensive Player of the Year, began his career with the Magic and was the franchise cornerstone for eight seasons. But his on-again, off-again trade demands, and his strained relationship with then-coach Stan Van Gundy, made it clear the team needed a fresh start.
Howard was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, and in his place the Magic got Josh McRoberts, Christian Eyenga, Maurice Harkless, Nikola Vucevic, Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington and draft picks. They hired a new, young coach, 37-year-old Jacque Vaughn, and set out as a team without a star but with a firm grasp of playing as a team.
“When they’re doing well, I pat them on the back,” Vaughn said on the team’s website. “When we aren’t, we’ll try to get it corrected together.”
Point guard Jameer Nelson, shooting guards J.J. Redick and Afflalo and center Glen “Big Baby” Davis now serve as the team’s foundation. In one bit of irony, at the quarter point of the season, the Magic (11-13) have almost the same record as Howard’s new team, the Lakers (11-14).
The Wizards will face the Magic in the first of four meetings this season Wednesday at Amway Center. Washington, 3-18 before Tuesday’s home game against Atlanta, is in the midst of aseries of four games in five nights for the second straight week.
Granted, it’s still early in the season, but a quick look at the Magic and the Wizards reveals two franchises without a lot of similarities.
While Washington seems rudderless without point guard John Wall, who hasn’t played this season because of a stress injury to his left knee, Orlando’s puzzle pieces seem to fit better than Washington’s.
“We have to share the ball, we have to create for each other, we have to be sound defensively, and then most importantly, we have to take care of the basketball,” Vaughn said. “The approach always predicates whether or not you have a desire to fulfill the needs of the team.”
After the Wizards’ 102-72 loss to Miami on Saturday, coach Randy Wittman lamented his team’s lack of direction, among other things.
One thing is certain: At the moment, the Wizards and the Magic are heading in opposite directions.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Carla Peay keeps you up to date on the Washington Wizards and the NBA.
- John Wall’s practice session includes contact
- Chris Singleton falls out of Wizards' rotation
- Wizards can't sustain solid start, fall to Mavericks
- Kevin Seraphin gets some tough love from his 'big brothers'
- Wizards' Randy Wittman desires healthier team in 2013
Latest Blog Entries
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Obama's empty tough-talk: Gun prosecutions plummet on his watch
- Obama says public not familiar enough with issues
- Conservative groups decry Democrats' 'war on women' tactic
- House panel OKs resolution to sue president for Obamacare delays
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Astronaut shares 'saddest photo' from space: Bombs bursting over Israel, Gaza
- EDITORIAL: Obamacare enrollees faking for freebies
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq