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Orlando Magic Fan’s Perspective: In Howard’s Absence, Magic Bench Steps Up
The bad news is that injured Dwight Howard would miss yet another game for Orlando this year, as would starting forward Hedo Turkoglu. The good news is that the Magic bench filled in rather nicely and is now finally showing signs of turning things around in time for the playoffs. The results were a spectacular 119 to 89 victory over the Detroit Pistons in front of a home town crowd at the Amway Center. Here then are five Orlando backups that made an impact on the game.
Glen Davis (C-PF)
Starting for the injured Dwight Howard yet again, Glen Davis responded with yet another monstrous game. Big Daddy had a double-double by halftime and finished the game with 16 points and 16 rebounds. More impressive than that is the fact that the 6-9, 290 lbs former LSU player dished out 5 assists in route. Davis has now strung together 5 great games in a row, contributing 61 rebounds and 103 points along the way. If not for the fantastic season Ryan Anderson is having this year, Glen Davis would be pushing for a starting job.
J.J. Redick (SG)
With Turkoglu out, J.J. Redick also found his way into the starting lineup. The former Duke standout responded with 20 points in 28 minutes of play, hitting 4 out 7 from beyond the arc. J.J. was at his best in the last minute of the third quarter, when he scored 7 points in a 16 second span, including a driving layup on Ben Wallace. Redick has been knocking on the door of a starting job all season, and it is only a matter of time before he over takes Jason Richardson in the starting lineup for good.
Ishmael Smith (PG)
Finally starting to justify the trade that brought him to the team, Smith clearly showed why he should be Jameer Nelson's backup instead of Chris Duhon. Smith who was in the game for only 19 minutes, dished out a season high 7 assists while scoring 6 points. What's more he did it while turning the ball over only once all game. This is a better performance than what Orlando has been getting from Duhon for most of the season, and it may signal the start of things to come in the playoffs.
Von Wafer (SG)
Since he is one of the few players on the team who can actually take the ball to the hoop, it's hard to believe that Von Wafer hasn't seen much action this season. So it was good to see Wafer on the floor tonight. Even better was seeing him score 8 points in only 8 minutes of play, while collecting 4 rebounds and a block shot in the process.
Quentin Richardson (SF)
Besides Dwight Howard, Q is one of the few players on the team who shows any interest in playing defense, and tonight was no exception as Richardson ended the night with 3 steals, a block shot, and 4 rebounds in 26 minutes of play. Surprisingly enough he has missed all games in April except the two meetings against Detroit. Though he still put in a pretty good performance overall, Q was ice cold from beyond the arc tonight, hitting only 1 out 5 shots. It would be nice to see him get back his 3-point stroke before the playoffs.
About this writer: A resident of Orlando, FL, the writer has been a fan of the Orlando Magic since their inaugural season in the NBA. The writer lists Scott Skiles and Hedo Turkoglu among his all-time favorite Magic players.
Source: Sun Sports Live Television Broadcast, Monday 4/9/2012, 7 p.m.
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