The Magic Are An Incredible Mess; Chicago Wins A Gut Check Game

It being NBA Green Week and all, it seems natural a Dwight Howard-Van Gundy-Orlando issue would pop up again. It’s an evergreen issue, you see, and never quite goes away. So Dwight told someone in management he didn’t want SVG around as coach, and said manager told Stan, then Stan confirmed a TV report today. And then Dwight put his arm around Stan, not knowing what he’d just spilled. This is a soap opera. Does anyone trust anyone? Does Dwight really want to stay around for 2013? It seems like the Magic are a bunch of disconnected islands — and all the bridges have been burned down between. … Sometimes a game after something like that lets you take your mind off it but, just kidding, Orlando didn’t play with any energy in a 16-point loss to the Knicks. Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith went off on Dwight (eight points, eight boards and five turnovers) during halftime for his, how do we say it, not caring at all. Afterward they took on management and SVG’s handling and it was actually great TV. Anyway, Howard didn’t get his first bucket until the final seconds of the third. Getting owned by Tyson Chandler (a dozen points and rebounds each), the Magic fans started booing relentlessly watching their team lose a fifth straight. He didn’t score a point, not just a bucket, through 35 minutes. His teammates looked like they took Howard’s side. Jason Richardson got 16 points to lead the Magic but took 18 shots to do it. … Five guys from the Knicks, who must have been wondering what was going on, got double figures and Toney Douglas was fantastic off the pine with 15 points, five boards and six assists, with a plus-22. Now the question is, will Stan make the flight for Saturday’s game in Philly? Realistically, how could he? … Landry Fields leveled ref Bill Kennedy when he got pushed into him on a drive and Kennedy was out cold for a minute on the ground. … Perhaps the lowlight was how at the end Knicks fans were cheering the win louder than any cheer in the Amway all night — and Dwight was mock cheering them on. … John Wall (28 points, 10 assists, two steals) had an all-access pass to the Palace at Auburn Hills that extended to the game against Detroit, apparently. Dude had an apartment in the paint he was in there so much past Brandon Knight (six points, five turnovers). It didn’t translate into a win, though. Hack-A-Wallace didn’t work for Washington down the stretch, with Big Ben (five points, eight boards, three assists and two blocks in 27 minutes) hitting all five free throws in the fourth quarter’s final minutes. Wallace knows his role as his career gets to about a dozen games left before the end. He didn’t even take a field goal and truthfully only hit 50 percent of his charity stripe shots, but he made em pay when it mattered and saved the Pistons at the same time. They were running all over Washington, up 20, and saw that disappear to five. Greg Monroe led Motown with 18 and seven but, how about the energy of Jason Maxiell, with 11 and 11? … Hit the jump to read about Chicago’s comeback on Boston.

Chicago missed Derrick Rose for a 12th straight game and you’d have never guessed they were going to eventually beat Boston in oh, the second quarter. Down 13 with Rajon Rondo (10 points, 12 dimes) ripped passes past Joakim Noah‘s ear and Paul Pierce getting in the lane with resolve like it was 2008. Pierce had 17 in the first half. He only got five more in the second half. When’s the last time you saw Ray Allen (14 points) hit the side of the backboard from the corner? It’s like everything we believe is true is a lie. … Speaking of threes, John Lucas (five points) wasn’t his usual sparkplug but his only three was huge. He hit a three from suburban DeKalb, at least 29 feet, in Avery Bradley‘s grill in the fourth to get up four. To even get to that point C.J. Watson (15 points, eight assists, six turnovers) drilled consecutive threes that gave da Bulls their first lead since the first. Huge buckets. This makes it sound like the second half was just target practice for Chi but they won only shooting 41 percent from the field. The Bulls roll on. … Why put Jimmer on Chris Paul (13 points, eight assists, five boards and five steals) in the final 40 seconds? Paul got to the hoop for an easy layup to get the Clippers up three and the Kings could never close the gap. Sac-town’s Tyreke Evans (14 points) nearly stole the game if he could have held on to a steal on an inbounds pass with 20 seconds left, down one. It went off his hands, the Clips inbounded and kept getting to the line from there. The story would have been different if DeMarcus Cousins (eight points) could have stayed out of foul trouble but he was a non-factor in his 18 minutes. Well, the Kings needed someone to rebound, and Jason Thompson complied with 16 boards and 15 points. DeAndre Jordan had a nasty alley-oop finish, the only real highlight with Blake (14 and nine) not getting a dunk a night after killing Pau Gasol. … We loved Bill Walton doing color commentary in his Kings T-shirt based on a Grateful Dead design. … We’re out like Stan Van Gundy.

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