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Orlando Needs Some Productivity from Earl Clark and Daniel Orton with No D12

Dwight Howard.
Dwight Howard.Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Karthik TadisinaSenior Writer IApril 18, 2012

One team that has been dealing with all sorts of issues since the trade deadline is the Orlando Magic.

If things have been stressful for head coach Stan Van Gundy up to this point, it just got more stressful as the Magic may be without their best player for a significant period of time.

Dwight Howard is expected to miss the next 10 days or possibly even longer to recover from a herniated disk in his back that has been bothering him this season, already causing him to miss six games.

The Magic are also prepared to enter the postseason without their franchise player. Their offense will most likely run through a mixture of players, although they need some production from the center spot.

With no Howard, the Magic will turn to Glen Davis, Earl Clark (listed as a forward) and the rather raw Daniel Orton.

Davis sprained his right knee against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday evening, but according to Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel, he will play tonight against the Celtics.

The Magic will rely on Clark who has shown flashes of his skill and the very inexperienced Orton, who spent only one year playing college basketball at the University of Kentucky and has dealt with various injuries during his short NBA tenure (all with the Magic) until Davis can return.

Clark has been averaging 2.50 points per game this season, but is more polished compared to Orton in the sense that he can shoot the basketball and rebound.

Orton will finally get an opportunity to play solid minutes as the Magic are hoping to see his “potential” and what he can offer.

In 29 minutes against the Cleveland Cavaliers, he scored 11 points (made three field goals, and five free throws), grabbed four rebounds and had five steals, which is wonderful.

It will be interesting to see how much production the Magic can get from the center position the rest of this season (even if Howard does or does not return).

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