If I post every time there is drama in Orlando, I wouldn't be able to sleep. This time, the drama is between the 6x All Star Center Dwight Howard and the Magic’s head coach Stan Van Gundy. The relationship between Van Gundy and Dwight has been a bumpy one to say the least. (Kardashian-esque? That might be the right word for it.) From being knocked out of the first round of the playoffs last season by the 5th seed Atlanta Hawks to the trade rumors in February and early March and the eventual 2 year resigning, there has been no real unity between anyone in the organization. On the court and in the locker room, Dwight Howard had and has been continually criticizing his teammates for not playing at the level that he thinks they can compete at. Jameer Nelson looks lost, no real bench contribution, and Jason Richardson just rolls the dice on whether he will actually try to play that night. The trade deadline drama and then to top it all off, this. Dwight Howard has been asking for the Orlando Magic to fire Stan Van Gundy. (You can read the full report on nba.com right here->http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2012/04/05/magic-coach-stan-van-gundy-confirms-report-dwight-howard-wants-him-gone/?ls=iref%3Anbahpt1) With Dwight on board for the next two years, what will the Magic do if they want to keep him forever?
1. Trade pieces to get a better supporting cast in the off-season.
Jameer Nelson, an underachieving point guard. Jason Richardson, an older shooting guard with a streaky shot. Hedo Turkoglu is Hedo Turkoglu. Ryan Anderson and JJ Reddick, the second and third best players on the team. That is nowhere near a championship caliber team. In fact, I’m really surprised that they are 5th in the conference. Maybe its time for Otis Smith to get trade for a solid point guard and some good pieces that can come off the bench.
2. Get a veteran.
This is kind of a 1a. sort of thing because it goes with my first point. If a Steve Nash type player joins this team and they are already a 5th seed without one of those, this would drastically change the way the Magic are right now. Locker room drama would subside, Dwight wouldn’t have to worry about not getting touches, and they would become a decent contender again.
3. Keep Dwight Howard as happy as possible.
Maybe that means fire Stan; maybe it means wait it out. Either way, keep you superstar in Orlando because Dwight Howard’s don’t come very often. If they do decide to fire Van Gundy, there are many capable coaches on the market. D’Antoni’s offensive style might suit the Magic better. Or if John Calipari wants to jump on a plane and fly to Orlando, that would be a fun team to watch.
In all, the Magic need to re-evaluate their plan. They obviously desperately want Dwight Howard in Orlando, but the Magic front office needs to actually consider what Dwight wants. Not necessarily DO everything he demands, but show him that they’ll actually consider his thoughts on a trade, a coaching change, etc. After all, the 32-22 Orlando Magic who are on a 4-game losing streak (New York, Dallas, Denver, and Detroit) just need to lose 5 more games and they could be out of the playoffs. Tonight, the drama continues as the struggling New York Knicks face Dwight and the Magic in Orlando on TNT.