By Matthew Curtis | Enzian Theater April 18, 2008 at 4:05AM
Orlando Magic superstar big man Dwight Howard is ready to go. The 22-year-old all-star center just finished a season for the ages, yet he's an afterthought in all the sports talk discussions of the league MVP this year. All Dwight did was average 21 points and 14+ rebounds a game, becoming the youngest person in NBA history to lead the league in rebounding. He also now has over 4000 rebounds in his first four years in the league, the first player to do so since the under-appreciated Buck Williams more than 20 years ago. Dwight also led the league in double-doubles (69) and ferocious jams (269), and carried his team to their best record (52 - 30) since 1996.
The Magic finished third in the Eastern Conference behind the record-setting Celtics (greatest turnaround ever after a suck season--amazing what being handed Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen can do to a franchise) and powerful and consistent Pistons, and will need to earn some respect by winning a playoff series or two. Sunday starts their journey with a home opener against the very talented but sixth-seeded Chris Bosh and his Toronto Raptors. Dwight needs to dominate in the paint (and make his free throws), Turk and Rashard need to carry the rest of the offense, and the barely serviceable group of guards need to hit their 3's and take care of the ball. This should be fun--let's say the Magic in 6.