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Dwight Howard and Chris Paul...The potential for a perfect match?

by Photo of Tanya Acuna

Will the Magic and Hornets say goodbye to Dwight Howard and Chris Paul?

Dwight Howard and Chris Paul...The potential for a perfect match?

Thursday night was, lamentably, elimination night for Orlando Magic, New Orleans Hornets, and Portland Trail Blazers. The Mavericks gained victory over the Blazers moving on to face the Lakers in their first playoff meeting since 1988. For the first time, the Atlanta Hawks beat the Magic in a playoff series avenging last year’s series and moving on to face the Chicago Bulls. This was the earliest the Magic had been knocked out from the playoffs under Stan Van Gundy. Orlando’s loss puts the Magic one season away from Dwight Howard’s possible free agency. Likewise, New Orleans’ loss against the Lakers puts the Hornets one season away from Chris Paul’s likely free agency. 

Dwight Howard averaged 27 points and 15.5 rebounds per game and made 63% of his field-goal attempts. Dwight can do so much to lead his team to victory, but if the Magic don’t grasp it, there’s really not much left to do since basketball is not a one man’s team. After the game, when asked about his possible future in another team, Dwight responded: “that has nothing to do with right now. there’s no need for me to comment on it so lets not even talk about it. Right know, I’m focused in figuring out how I’m going to get myself better for next season and not about what team I want to play for. Right now I’m with the Magic, so all the speculation can stop.” Either way, you can’t blame Dwight if he doesn’t like the way the Magic are playing since the Magic’s future does not look so good right now, but if Howard really wants to stay in Orlando and commit to the Magic’s future, he shouldn’t have trouble recruiting talent. 

What would be a reason for Dwight Howard to stay when he's surrounded by a roster that at times seems to be practically deprived of talent? The Magic need to do whatever it takes to show Dwight he can still win championships in Orlando.  Magic General Manager, Otis Smith, vowed not to trade Howard, saying, "You can print it wherever you want it, it ain't ever going to bed until he signs a contract extension or signs somewhere else." Something needs to be done because the Magic have now officially fallen from the status of elite franchise. Smith has shown he's willing to do what it takes to help Dwight surround himself with a team competent enough to fight for a championship and that’s what Dell Demps, Hornets GM, needs to get started on as well if he wants Chris Paul to consider staying in New Orleans. 

Why might Chris Paul leave in the summer of 2012 or put the Hornets next season in the position the Nuggets were in with Carmelo? Paul ended with only 10 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists in his team's 98-80, but he was astonishing at raising his teammates’ game doing practically everything for his team by scoring, passing, rebounding, and supplying his teammates with easy shots, but he may want to be on a team where he doesn’t have to do everything. Meaning, Paul is very effective, strong, productive, and entertaining, but a point guard like Chris, who is more of a pass-first player, usually prefers to play with people he can rely on and pass to. 

When Dwight was asked what he would like to tell Magic fans, he said: "Keep believing. It's going to get better. I'm going to do whatever I can to lead my city. Our fans deserve a championship. I'm going to keep fighting. That’s all I can do is keep fighting." Dwight gave his all and seems to be highly considering to stay in Orlando, If not for his team, then for his fans. So let’s just focus on sending worthwhile teammates his way and hope for the best. 

For example, how does Chris Paul and Dwight Howard on the same team sound? Every great team needs a man to run the offense and someone to defend the paint.

Paul is very threatening and would be able to run the offense efficiently in the half-court as much as in the open floor with his passing skills. If Paul were to join the Magic and Howard were to re-sign, Orlando would have the two best players at their respective positions, the point guard and center spots being the two most important positions in the NBA. And to top it all of, lets just assist Doc Rivers in spending more time with his family in Orlando and bring him back to coach the Magic. We’ll have to wait for the decisions and hope the pieces make up a puzzle we like. Regardless, the game goes on. Now the focus is on who will be the next Champion? To catch great seats at the upcoming playoff games, visit www.Charged.fm for great prices.

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