Orlando appears to be on the precipice of making a disastrous trade that will almost certainly lead to Dwight Howard's departure two years down the road. Hopefully, the Sixers will be in a position to offer him a lucrative contract and a solid supporting cast if/when that happens. For now, though, they have to face the big man in the first game of the Ice Capades road trip.
If you haven't heard, rumor has it
the Magic and the Wizards are close to completing a deal to send Gilbert Arenas to the Magic. The "logic" being the Magic need to make a big move now in order to keep Dwight happy and get him to stay in Orlando beyond his current contract. That logic is pretty sound, I guess. Though I'm not sure how getting a broken-down gunner who essentially has given the Wizards nothing this entire season, after tearing the team apart with his lunacy last season, after missing all or most of the previous two seasons with injury. In the middle there somewhere, he signed a $100M contract, which should probably be taken into account as well. This seems like the type of move that could put Dwight Howard out there in the free agent market in the summer of 2012.
Anyway, there's a game to be played. Assuming no trade is made between now and then, here are your starting lineups:
- PG: Jrue Holiday vs. Jameer Nelson
- SG: Jodie Meeks vs. Vince Carter
- SF: Andre Iguodala vs. Rashard Lewis
- PF: Elton Brand vs. Brandon Bass
- C: Spencer Hawes vs. Dwight Howard
As is always the case when you're playing the Magic, make Howard take 25 shots to beat you. The Magic aren't willing to run their offense through him for long stretches, and they aren't very good at getting the ball to him in a timely fashion. Don't double him to leave three-point shooters open. If you do double, double with a big.
Sixers 92, Orlando 90 (still waiting for that close win)
This is your game thread, I'll be right here throughout. Join me if you think it's funny that Washington might be able to get out of the worst contract in basketball, for a guy who's playing like garbage, while the Sixers can't even bring up Elton Brand's name without being laughed at.