Magic-Cavaliers: Dwight Howard's Big-Time Play Leads Orlando to Finals

Pat DennyContributor IMarch 16, 2017

In the fourth quarter when Dwight Howard was sitting on the bench, it started to kick in.

This was it. This was the Magic's chance to finally go to the NBA Finals. 

While sitting on the bench, Van Gundy thought Howard was tired when he put a towel over his head. But, as no one could see, Howard began to cry. 

Who would have guessed? Howard and the Magic taking down James and the Cavaliers when they have home court advantage?  No way. 

I am not putting any blame on LeBron James because he had one of the best series ever, but something had to have gone wrong for the Cavs. In my opinion, if they had played to their fullest potential they would have won. 

But this Orlando team impressed me like there's no tomorrow.  Stan Van Gundy put together one hell of a team, and he reinvented the way basketball is traditionally played.  Turkoglu, Lewis, Alston, and Pietrus were draining threes all series. But the factor that set up those threes was Superman, Dwight Howard. 

Putting the ball inside to Howard means that either he is going to score, or the opposing team will double him and he can kick the ball out for more threes. 

The defensive player of the year held up his reputation in this series with seven blocks.  In the six-game Cleveland series, Howard had 78 rebounds—an unbelievable statistic.  Howard was beating on Ilgauskaus and Varejao underneath the basket all six games. 

LeBron James and Dwight Howard were good friends, have played together on the United States Olympic Team.  Before the first game of the series, they had a half-court shooting contest. 

But as Game Six, and the Cavs' season, came to an end, King James just walked off the court silently saying nothing to anyone, including Howard.  When asked about it, Howard said he was surprised that James did not give him a handshake or address him, but said he understood his disappointment. 

Howard has showed excellent leadership qualities throughout the playoffs and now has an unbelievable opportunity. 

Superman had 155 points in those six games.  He fouled out in three of the six games, had seven blocks, five steals, 17 assists, and 78 rebounds. 

Also something worth noting—Howard has picked up five technical fouls throughout the playoffs. Receiving seven is an automatic one-game suspension. 

The better that Dwight plays, the more open looks they get from behind the arch.  The more the thee-ball goes down, the more space Howard has to work.  This team is built in a way that makes them very hard to stop. 

The next question will be: Can Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, and Lamar Odom stop Superman?

LeBron James won the MVP this season, and I think he deserved it, but Howard should have been in the talks, he means so much to this team.