Orlando Magic ready to move on from Dwight Howard

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Jacque VaughnWe’ve seen it before in multiple sports and even in Orlando once before. A centerpiece leaves and the team falls to the bottom of the pack. The Orlando Magic refuse to believe this will be the case.

According to theOrlando Sentinel “When you throw the term ‘rebuilding’ [around], it kind of implies as if you’re almost willing to lose,” shooting guard Arron Afflalo said. “And I don’t think there’s a guy in the locker room, management or on the coaching staff that is willing to lose.”

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To their credit they believe the Magic won’t be anyone’s pushover, but looking at the franchise there is not much to bring back from the Dwight Howard-less playoff run of 2012.

The Magic held on to Dwight Howard knowing they would eventually be forced to trade him, but it’s hard to say what the Magic received from trading away a top-5 NBA player. Sure, the additions of Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, and Nikola Vucevic help but it’s the future first-round pick from each the Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers that will determine how well the trade went for the Magic.

Ultimately, despite the Magic’s strong and positive beliefs, they must replace what Dwight Howard was. Orlando was ranked among the league’s top defenses each year with Howard as he won Defensive Player of the Year through 2008-2011.  Howard was the Magic’s centerpiece on defense as they funneled the opposing offense to him under the basket. Finding a replacement, isn’t an option.

The new faces surrounding the Magic continue as they also turn to a new head coach in Jacque Vaughn.  “Fresh energy” is how Vaughn described the atmosphere at media day.

With entirely new management, new coaching staff and 12 new players, the Magic will have their work cut out for them, but Vaughn said “We’re going to try to win every game, we’re going to try to win every possession. I think as soon as you do anything but try to do that, you run the risk of creating an atmosphere that you don’t want to create.”

The Magic have their work cut out for themselves.

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