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NBA 5-on-5: Orlando Magic
One year on from the Dwight Howard trade, and already the Orlando Magic are showing signs of their return. They're not there yet, but with rookie Victor Oladipo joining Nikola Vucevic, Andrew Nicholson, Maurice Harkless and Tobias Harris, belief surely will course through Amway Center's hallways this season. How much will it show on the court? The NBA 5-on-5 guys had their say and now it's time for SportsNation to weigh in.
Are Magic disrespecting Howard?
Two teams removed from the franchise with which he made his name, Dwight Howard is a little miffed. That's because the Orlando Magic are letting promising youngster Tobias Harris wear No. 12 -- the same number Howard donned before his contentious exit to Los Angeles. It's reportedly unclear whether Howard knows why Harris wears 12 -- as a tribute to a close friend who died of leukemia as a teenager. But to some that might not matter, after Howard all but forced his way out of the Sunshine State.
Dwight Howard's exit from Orlando was somewhat less than cordial. Now he'll have to deal with the fallout upon his return. Howard will be in Orlando for the first time since becoming a member of the Lakers, and it's pretty likely that he'll be booed mercilessly. Still, Magic fans might have at least a hint of affection remaining for their former superstar; it's not like his departure left them mired in the basement, possibly for years to come. Right?
Howard has been turning it on as of late after a disappointing start to the season, and the Lakers' 33-31 record is a reflection of that.
The last time Howard met the Magic, they fouled him relentlessly. He went 9-of-21 from the foul line in a 113-103 Lakers loss.
No. 12 is back in Orlando. No, the Magic didn't reacquire Dwight Howard at the trade deadline, but instead gave his old number to newly acquired Tobias Harris. The second-year forward wore No. 15 for Milwaukee, but switched to No. 12 -- the number he wore during his college career at Tennessee -- when making his Magic debut this weekend. Some Orlando fans debated whether Howard's number would eventually be retired by the franchise, even after his contentious departure. And while giving the number to Harris certainly doesn't prevent that, the question remains: Is it too soon to see someone else wearing Superman's old duds?
D12 to T12?
Magic fans are used to seeing No. 12 throw it down. But after Dwight Howard was traded, that number is now being worn by Tobias Harris.
For nearly a decade, No. 15 has been associated with Carmelo Anthony in Denver. But what was once worn by Melo now belongs to Anthony Randolph.