Post-Dwight Howard Magic Showing Resilience
Despite a 12-19 record, the Magic appear headed in the right direction under new general manager Rob Hennigan and first-year coach Jacque Vaughn.
Hennigan has made wise front-office decisions based on what's best for the franchise long-term rather than what popular opinion suggested.
Last summer, he remained patient on the suggested Dwight Howard for Andrew Bynum trade.
The Magic didn't want Bynum for a variety of seasons,including his persistent knee injuries and the unpredictability of being able to keep him when his contract expires after this season.
So, Hennigan still traded Howard, and acquired guard-forward Arron Afflalo, center Nikola Vucevic, Maurice Harkless, draft picks and salary-cap flexibility moving forward. Vucevic just had a 29-rebound game, better than anyone in team history, which includes Howard and Shaquille O'Neal.
Bynum hasn't yet played for the Philadelphia 76ers due to knee problems.
The melding of veterans (Afflalo, Davis, Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick and Hedo Turkoglu) and young players has given Orlando much more optimism.
"Overall, we've gotten better," Vaughn said. "That was the goal and the mission setting out the first game of the year."
"Expectations-wise, we never put a number on how many wins or losses we were going to have," Vaughn said.
"Really, it was an overall message of us getting better and creating an atmosphere where that's our approach every day."
- Lakers Executive Jim Buss Wants 'Very Solid' Lakers Team Kept Intact
- P.J. Carlesimo Sees Phil Jackson Pursuing His Nets Coaching Job
- Kobe Posts Staged-Fight Pic with Dwight Howard on Twitter
- Carmelo Anthony Extends Dispute with Garnett Offcourt
- With Team at .500, Scott Skiles Out as Bucks Coach
- Lakers Big Men Out Indefinitely with Injuries
- Struggling Wizards Want More Production from Jan Vesely
- Virginia Beach May Have Upperhand Over Louisville in Luring Kings
- Post-Dwight Howard Magic Showing Resilience
- NBA Nets Strong TV Ratings for Christmas Day Games
- Nets Fire Coach Avery Johnson After 3-10 December
- 'Maturing' Heat Star Dwyane Wade Says He's Still Athletic
- Louisville Looks into NBA Possibilities
- Andrew Bynum Claims Kobe Hampered His Growth as NBA Big Man
- New Orleans NBA Team to Change Nickname to Pelicans
- Sports Illustrated Names LeBron James as Sportsman of the Year
- Former NBA All-Star Michael Finley Eyes Comeback
- Michael Jordan Interested in Bringing Back Hornets Nickname
- Celtics Guard Rondo Suspended Two Games for Fighting
- Thunder Spoil Harden's Return to OKC with Big Win
- Mavericks Sign Point Guard Derek Fisher
- Sixers Center Andrew Bynum Out Indefinitely with Knee Woes
- Brooklyn Better as Nets Knock Off Knicks
- Andruw Bynum Sixers Debut Delayed by Five More Weeks
- Mavs Owner Mark Cuban Downplays Possible Lakers Domination
- Dwyane Wade, LeBron Shine as Heat Scorch Celtics
- Nowitzki-Less Mavericks Upset Talent-Laden Lakers
- Stoudemire to Miss Six Weeks Due to Knee Injury
- Thunder Trade Top Sixth Man James Harden to Rockets
- NBA Commissioner David Stern to Step Down in 2014
- LeBron James Rejects Rumors of Lakers Move
- Lakers Star Dwight Howard Brushes Off Shaq's Criticism
- Players Union to File Labor Charge Against NBA over Flopping Rule
- Kobe Bryant: Lakers Still 'My' Team
- Financial Issues Forced Knicks to Let Jeremy Lin Go
Copyright © 2012 AHN. All rights reserved