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Amidst talk that Dwight Howard is fed up with criticism from Shaquille O’Neal, Dwight has a chance to stick it to the original Superman. Dwight is significantly smaller than Shaq, but he’s incredibly quicker and faster. Howard will look to beat Shaq down the court. In the half-court game, Howard will get the ball farther away from the basket than Magic fans are used to seeing.
The most recent quote from Shaq: “I can’t be impressed by something I invented in ’92. I mean, you look at what (Howard) is doing; I’ve been there and done that. Every street he is driving down in Orlando, I have been on that street. Every night club, every restaurant, I have been there and done that. Until he wins three, four championships, then we can talk about him. But right now, he is just like every other big guy. You can run and jump, but you haven’t won yet.”
When these teams met in December, Grant Hill made a lay-up in the final seconds on a pass from Amare Stoudemire. It was Orlando’s only loss on a statement-making five-game winning streak. Shaq didn’t play in that game because he was attending his grandmother’s funeral.
This is Grant Hill’s second game in Orlando since leaving the Magic. I’ll never forget Grant Hill’s first game in Orlando after joining Phoenix. During a quiet moment in the middle of the national anthem, the words “Grant sucks!” echoed throughout the entire stadium from a random fan with a powerful voice. Regardless, that guy definitely said what everyone else was thinking.
Orlando is 12-27 all-time vs. Phoenix, including 0-2 last season and 0-1 this season. The Magic have lost 17 of the last 22 meetings.
Previous meeting: Phoenix 113, Orlando 112, Dec. 12