Apr 15, 2012, 9:20 PM EDT
The Magic can’t seem to get a string of good things going for them. They managed to survive all this drama throughout the season with Dwight Howard demanding a trade, then rescinding the request, then changing his mind twice before signing a waiver, and subsequently getting into an awkward situation where his coach admitted that management told him Howard had told them he wanted Van Gundy fired. And through it all, they’ve managed to win enough to cement a spot in the playoffs. After all that, Dwight Howard hurt his back and now things get even scarier.
With Howard suffering a herniated disc in his back, the Magic have set a 10-14 day window of rest for the All-Star center. But considering the nature of the injury, and with only a handful of games in two weeks before the playoffs begin, Stan Van Gundy admitted Sunday that Howard’s availability for the playoffs is far from a sure thing. From the Orlando Sentinel:
SVG: “Look, anytime you have a guy on that kind of timetable you’ve got to assume that the playoffs are a 50-50 thing.”
— Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) April 15, 2012
Needless to say, if Howard’s out for the playoffs, that would be all she wrote on the Magic’s season. Even after a win Sunday against the tanking-without-tanking Cavs, the Magic know they won’t be winning a first-round series against anyone without their MVP candidate. But they have no choice because of the desperate scenario they’ve put themselves into by not trading Howard. So with a coach they have a complicated relationship with, with their star maybe or maybe not coming back, with a beat up roster facing a losing end to the regular season and an impossible first-round matchup, the Magic go once more in the breach.
In a crazy season, it has been craziest for the Magic.
- Report: Sale of Milwaukee Bucks for record $550 million agreed to, team to stay in Milwaukee 4
- Playoff Chase: Seven meaningful games on final night of NBA season 13
- 2014 PBT Awards: Most Improved Player 17
- Tuesday NBA grades: Chris Paul looks playoff ready 1
- Carmelo Anthony has torn labrum, Knicks shut him down for season 14