defeating the Indiana Pacers Wednesday night defeating the Indiana Pacers Wednesday night

Orlando Magic News & Notes: Praise for Dwight Howard & Matt Barnes


The Orlando Magic put an end to their three-game losing streak by defeating the Indiana Pacers Wednesday night.

Brian Schmitz says that the Magic made a stand with this victory.

"If we play hard, we’re hard to beat,” Barnes said.Is it really as simple as that?“Yeah, it is that simple,” Howard said."

You can read the full story here.

John Denton talks about what it takes to get wins.

"Howard agreed with Barnes that it’s as simple as playing hard in games like this and the Magic will be successful more times than not.“In order for us to win, we’ve got to have hard work and energy every night,’’ said Howard, who helped the Magic end a three-game losing streak. “Even if we make mistakes, hard work clears all of that up.’’In addition to their effort, the Magic also shot 49.3 percent from the floor, hit 10 3-pointers and had 25 assists – their most in the past 17 games. “The main thing is we got off to a great start and the guys were really ready to play,’’ Magic coach Stan Van Gundy raved. “We had great energy and great ball movement. I think it reflected that we really wanted to get something done and that was great.’’"

Read his postgame analysis here.

Kelly Dwyer likes Orlando when they’re angry.

"Indiana might be the worst first quarter team I’ve ever seen. It probably shouldn’t even be close, the team’s initial effort continues to boggle, but I’m hedging by statement just in case there was some random team with a -15 average in the first quarter from a few years ago that I’ve forgotten. As it stands right now, the Pacers consistently shoot themselves in the foot over and over with miserable first quarter defense.40 first quarter points for the Magic, who were hitting some tough shots, but also hitting some open shots, and always with the angry shots. Dwight Howard(notes) was hitting his free throws, and he was clearly out to settle a score with Roy Hibbert(notes), who tossed in (actually tossing in) 26 points when they met a few weeks ago."

You can find more on the game from Dwyer here.

Here are some game recaps from the opposing side:

Eight Points, Nine Seconds offer their recap here.

Indy Cornrows shares their thoughts.

"The Pacers simply put forth a disheartening effort in the first half and while I commend to second half effort that saw a small, veteran lineup cut that big early deficit to as little as eight points, the story of the game remains the horrible early play with little defense and poor offensive ball movement.Fortunately, the Magic have trouble playing all 48 minutes themselves."

You can find their full recap here.

Pacers Place says that this is just one step closer to drafting John Wall.

"With each loss incurred, the Pacers are moving closer to drafting consensus no. 1 pick John Wall in the next draft lottery. According to most accounts, this guy is better than Derrick Rose and has about as good of a chance to save the Pacers as any other point guard not currently in the league.Even so, why do these losses sting so badly?"

You can read that here.

Don’t forget to check out Always Miller Time for more Pacers news.

Dwight Howard had a big game in the win. As did Matt Barnes.

"Barnes finished with 10 points, a career-high 16 rebounds and six assists.“I’m new here, so I’m obviously not a leader,” Barnes said afterward. “But I hope just unspokenly me playing hard will lead by example. We’ve a very talented team. We just need to put forth more effort and hopefully we can turn that corner and start doing that. When we do, we’re a [heck] of a team."

Josh Robbins has the story here.

Tim Povtak also raved about Barnes.

"It was Magic center Dwight Howard who pushed hard to get him.“One thing I liked about Matt was that he just wants to be out there and bring a lot of energy,” Howard said. “He doesn’t care about numbers. He just rebounds, plays defense, gets in your face and brings the effort every night.”"

You can read that story here.

Vince Carter says his recent shooting slump has not hurt his confidence.

"“I believe in my shot, and my jump shot’s going to be fine,” Carter said. “Second-guessing yourself — ‘maybe I should tweak this, tweak that’ — it’s overrated, in my opinion. I’m not saying I’m correct. But I know I can shoot the ball. I know my ability. I’m just going to keep playing.”"

You can find that here.

After the game, Van Gundy said that there is too much scrutiny on Vince Carter. Matt Humphrey thinks he deserves it.

"You’re right, Stan … your team played well, but let’s keep things in perspective. You just punked the 14-28 Indiana Pacers.You should play well against the Pacers.Vince Carter should play well against the Pacers, too.But don’t tell us Vince Carter is under too much scrutiny, chief.Vince Carter is your “Mr. 4th quarter” … your replacement for Hedo Turkoglu … your high-priced, off-season acquisition who was supposed to make the Orlando Magic BETTER."

Click here to read his thoughts.

Dwight Howard has updated his blog to thank the fans for making him an All-Star starter for the third consecutive season.

"To me, it’s just incredible that I have that many fans out there buying my jersey and voting for me as an all-star. Really, it’s a blessing and an honor and I appreciate every fan and every person who has bought my jersey and has been a fan of mine. It’s a real honor and I just want to thank everybody. It’s not something I thought would happen, but it’s a real honor. I want to continue to become a better player and a better person for you guys.I can’t thank all of my fans out there enough for supporting me and one of my biggest things is giving back as much as I can. I just try to show my fans how much they mean to me. That’s one reason I always try to go the extra mile and interact with the fans as much as I can regardless of what arena we’re in or what city that we’re in.I’ve tried to use my website, Twitter, Supefan, Facebook and the other outlets to allow my fans to get close to me. See, I really think basketball is just a platform for my life. Basketball is one of the most important things in my life, but it’s not the only thing. It’s what you do off the court that matters the most in life. There have been a lot of good basketball players through the years, but they are sometimes forgotten because they don’t do much off the court."

Read Dwight’s blog here.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor at NFL Mocks Subscribe to his RSS feed and add him on Twitter to follow him daily.)