Talk about timing for Dwight Howard and his Orlando Magic team.
A few hours after saying he would consider playing for the Boston Celtics starting next year, citing his admiration of their resolve, cohesiveness and overall toughness, the C’s put all of those qualities on full display in Orlando last night.
Boston overcame a 27-point deficit, in a stunning comeback win (their second consecutive victory over the Magic.) A dejected Dwight Howard criticized his squad and himself following the game, saying they need to make changes.
From the Orlando Sentinel:
Howard intimated that teammates didn’t stick to their roles Thursday night’s loss to Boston. “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.” Howard included himself in the meltdown inwhich the Magic lost a 27-point lead. He finished with 16 points and 16 rebounds, but didn’t steady the ship as the lead dwindled and got into early foul trouble.
Howard said the team let down after racing to a big lead.“We thought it was going to be easy after the first two quarters,” Howard said. “We can’t allow that. We have to change.”
Assuming that he hasn’t already completely made up his mind about leaving the Magic, or that the front-office doesn’t trade him by the deadline, Dwight Howard’s free agent decision will be largely based on how his team responds to adversity (especially in the postseason.)
Last night’s crushing defeat doesn’t help matters in any way, but Orlando does have plenty of time to make “changes”. Can they, will they?