Orlando Magic News & Notes: Dwight’s Defensive Campaign, Turk’s Disappointing Season

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The Magic had an impressive month of March and Brian Schmitz has those numbers here.

Mike Bianchi says the Magic are lucky they did not re-sign Hedo Turkoglu.

"Time once again to bow down before a statue of Orlando general manager Otis Smith and start reciting the mantra of Magic fans:“In Otis we trust! In Otis we trust! In Otis we trust!”All that consternation about Smith letting Turkoglu go during the offseason and bringing in Vince Carter seems silly now, doesn’t it?In case you haven’t heard, Turkoglu has been benched in Toronto and is being castigated by fans and management. It started late last week when he said he had a stomach virus and was too sick to practice or play in Toronto’s devastating loss to the Denver Nuggets. After the game, Turkoglu was seen out on the town by fans in Toronto."

You can read his blog here.

Kelly Dwyer has more on Turkoglu here.

Dan Savage and Josh Cohen preview the week ahead for the Orlando Magic and you can read that here.

The Orlando Magic are continuing to campaign for Dwight Howard to win Defensive Players of the Year again. Here are some numbers released by the Magic courtesy of Joel Glass:

"Dwight Howard currently leads the NBA in both rebounding (13.3 rpg.) and blocked shots (2.74 blkpg.). Howard has a total of 986 rebounds, 135 more rebounds than second-ranked Zach Randolph, and 203 blocked shots, 39 more than second-placed  Andrew Bogut. Howard also leads the league in field goal percentage (.607 fgpct.).“When you look at where we are defensively and record-wise and why, the number one reason is Dwight (Howard),” says Orlando Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy. “I just don’t think there’s anybody else in the league who impacts as many possessions as Dwight.’’"

  • Dwight Howard is attempting to become the first player in NBA history to lead the league in both rebounding and blocked shots more than once. Last season Howard led the league in both categories, becoming just the fifth player in NBA history to turn the trick (1973-74 was the first season where blocks were kept as an official statistic). The select list to lead the league in both rebounds and blocked shots in a single season includes: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (L.A. Lakers, 1975-76), Bill Walton (Portland, 1976-77), Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston, 1989-90), Ben Wallace (Detroit, 2001-02), Dwight Howard (Orlando, 2008-09).
  • Since joining the Magic in 2004-05, Dwight Howard has recorded three or more blocked shots in a game 157 times. Orlando is 108-49 (.688 win pct.) in those outings, including 26-9 this season. Howard is averaging more than three blocked shots a game over the last 37 contests. He surpassed Shaquille O’Neal as the franchise’s all-time leader in blocked shots back on Nov. 6.
  • On Feb 24 at Houston, Dwight Howard tallied 30 points and 15 rebounds, while going a perfect 11-for-11 from the floor. He became the first NBA player to record 30-plus points and 15-plus rebounds, while not missing a field goal attempt (min. 10 attempts) since Wilt Chamberlain recorded 34 points, 27 rebounds and went 14-for-14 from the floor on Mar. 11, 1969 vs. Detroit.
  • Dwight Howard leads the NBA in double-doubles with 58. On Jan. 12 at Sacramento, Howard tallied 30 points, 16 rebounds, five assists, three steals and three blocked shots. Howard has now turned that trick twice, joining five other players (David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O’Neal, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone) to do it in more than one game since 1991-92.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor at NFL Mocks and Sir Charles In Charge. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Twitter to follow him daily and you can get the HTD app here).