The NBA franchise that resided in Orlando could accurately change their name to the “Orlando M.A.S.H” as the club’s roster has been decimated by injuries over the past few weeks. The first player to go down was veteran forward Hedo Turkoglu who had his right cheekbone fractured when the team played the New York Knicks at the beginning of the month. Turkoglu will miss the rest of the regular campaign and could very likely miss the Playoffs as well.
The biggest blow to the team was when All-Star center Dwight Howard was diagnosed with a herniated disc in his lower back. The center will go through rest and rehab for the next two weeks and then the doctors will determine if he can get back on the court ; possibly for the Playoffs.
Orlando was hit hard again on Sunday, as the player who took over for Howard in team’s starting lineup; Glen “Big Baby” Davis; according to the “Orlando Sentinel” hyperextended his right knee in the first quarter of the Magic victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, went to the locker room soon after and never returned to the bench. Daniel Orton and Earl Clark spent the rest of the contest in the pivot for the team.
Magic bench boss Stan Van Gundy told reporters before the game that he is planning on playing the Post Season without Howard and Turkoglu and will look it as a bonus if they do make it back. Van Gundy said “Look, any time you have a guy on that kind of timetable you’ve got to assume that the playoffs are a 50-50 thing. So we’ve got to go forward assuming that what’s in our locker room is our team going forward.”
Starting point guard Jameer Nelson said that the remaining players on the roster have to step-up their game. Nelson told reporters “One of the things we have to do with the group that’s in the locker room is try to get better with this group that’s in there and just play. Anything else we can’t control. We can’t worry about anything else because we’ve already had enough things going on in the course of the season.”
A totally healthy Magic team would have had a tough time getting past either Chicago or Miami in the Post Season; however if they are going to take the court with the roster as currently situated; they would have a tough time getting past the Indiana Pacers; who is the team they currently match-up against in the Playoffs.