Not only was giving up a 27-point lead in the last meeting (after just scoring 56 points in the first meeting) bad enough, the huge lead was given up to a Celtics team without two main contributors: Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo.
It was a "Jekyll and Hyde" game for the Magic. In the first half, it was pure genius how the Magic were dominating the short-handed Celtics. In the second half, it was a pure disaster, as the Magic squandered a 27-point advantage.
The 21-point half time lead was the biggest half time lead in a loss in team history. It seemed as if the team began to panic when the Celtics began putting on the defensive pressure. Players began settling for jump shots, and began to play erratic.
“Everybody just can’t come down (the floor) and feel like they have to take the game over. You just have to play team-ball and play the way we want to play. We didn’t do that.”
The thing is, Howard is absolutely right. The team began to settle for jumpers, played too much one on one and stopped trying to get the ball down low.
Howard was somewhat "politically correct" in saying "we" during his venting. It would sound selfish for Howard to say "they need to get me the ball." It is, however, the way the offense operates. It is the four out, one in offensive scheme of head coach Stan Van Gundy.
It is a scheme that has produced a 55.5 win-per-season average during his four-year career in Orlando—he must have something right.
The only thing wrong about Howard calling out his teammates is that he did it publicly. The team is obviously in a mental fragile state of mind during this tough week. Plus, he has enough drama to deal with between the trade demand and reported request for a replacement for current starting point guard Jameer Nelson.
It is fine for players to express themselves, but they must be mindful of what they say publicly. Dwight was right for what he said; he just has to say privately in the locker room.