The date that everyone has had circled on their calenders is almost here — the day the Lakers play the Magic in Orlando, also known to Magic fans as the day Dwight Howard returns to the City Beautiful. The Lakers will be in Orlando a week from Tuesday (March 12) to face the new-look Magic for the first time since Howard was traded to the Lakers last August. Ahead of that date, many Magic fans will surely be venting their feelings about Howard to, none other than Howard himself.
Howard was on Twitter Friday afternoon answering fan questions, including one from Steven Alonzo that asked, “[Are you] ready to get booed for 48 straight minutes when you come back ‘home’ to Orlando in 12 days?!” Howard responded to that tweet with a simple “yep,” and left it at that.
You know that Howard has been thinking about his return ever since he was traded to Hollywood, and if he had any questions about how that might go, he got his answer with that tweet. You also have to know that those boos will affect his game in one way or another.
Prior to the JJ Redick trade, I had a feeling the Magic would play the game with a lot of energy knowing exactly what’s at stake, but now with Redick gone, Jameer Nelson will be the only player available to play in this “revenge” type of game that was on the team with Howard, and he’s not even guaranteed to play due to his injuries. The only other two players that were on the team with Howard are Hedo Turkoglu, who is serving a 20-game suspension for violating the league’s anti-doping policy, and Glen Davis who fractured his foot back in January.
It would be great for the Magic to sweep the season series against the Lakers, perhaps it can give them a little confidence boost entering the last couple of months of the season. I know one thing, I will be booing Howard loud and proud from section 109A.