New Jersey readies itself to welcome Dwight Howard with a bang

Kelly Dwyer

The last time Dwight Howard faced the New Jersey Nets, Nets All-Star Deron Williams missed 10 of 12 shots, the Nets limped to a 16-point loss and Howard combined for 40 points and rebounds. On Wednesday night, with the biggest catch of the 2012 free-agent market in town, the Nets are pulling out all the stops in hopes of impressing the Magic's disgruntled center.

Yes, according to the Bergen Record's Andy Vasquez, the Nets are goin' pyro with their pregame introductions, in hopes that Dwight will like the pretty lights and take to the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets this summer. Here's a peak, as snapped by Vasquez:

The Nets, even with Williams signed to a contract extension this summer and with each of their player options picked up, figure to have enough cash under the salary cap to sign Howard outright in July to a maximum salaried contract. It's probably right for Howard to say goodbye to the Magic, the team is capped out beyond belief with little room for growth, and he gave them what he could over the duration of two contracts with the squad.

He'd still be leaving more money on the table to join a crummier team, though, should he join the Nets. Even though the potential is there for a winner in Brooklyn, probably more so than in Orlando, that's still quite the risk. The Nets have to pull out all the stops, and make their team look good in anticipation of Orlando's last big bang (this weekend's All-Star festivities).

Their solution, beyond the scads of cash and All-Star point guard? Fireworks! July in February, in hopes that the team's actual July will be pretty special.

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