Bloggers and analysts and NBA followers have been hyping up the pairing between Orlando's Dwight Howard(notes) and Atlanta's Jason Collins(notes) for the weeks following Collins' shutdown work on Dwight in a Hawks win from last month. And Collins' nationally televised work on Howard from last weekend (Howard dropped 46 points, but shot terribly when Collins guarded him and coughed the ball up six times in limited minutes), caused ESPN's John Hollinger to exclaim that he's "not sure if there's ever been an NBA player like Jason Collins, which is an amazing statement considering he has a twin brother."
Despite all that, the Magic and Hawks got the NBA TV treatment Tuesday, and Magic coach Stan Van Gundy thinks it might have to do with, as he sees it, the lack of a marquee matchup up front.
Van Gundy said one of the biggest reasons Howard's big performances don't always garner national buzz could be the lack of an anticipated matchup. "There's no matchup for him that creates the excitement," Van Gundy said. "If you got back to when the centers were king, you have Chamberlain-Russell and people say 'Wow, that's a matchup you look forward to.' Now people look forward to Chris Paul(notes) against Derrick Rose(notes)."
Yeah, take that, guy that has routinely shut down the leading scorer in the 2011 NBA Playoffs.