Stan Van Gundy or Dwight Howard? In the first round of the playoffs the Magic got a chance to test drive this choice with Dwight on the bench. The result do not look good for Stan. In a completely predictable feat, the Pacers took down the Magic in 5. There were a few surprises with the series, let’s check them out.
Where the heck was Ryan Anderson?
The Magic only had one player above average for the series with any real minutes and that was Earl Clark. What about the newly minted Most Improved Player of the Year? Well he decided to jump from playing great in the regular season to worse than Glen Davis in the postseason! Without Dwight or Ryan Anderson this team had no shot. Heck, the fact they won a game… it’s a miracle. Otis Smith made this team Dwight Howard, Ryan Anderson and not much else. Of course, both of them have contracts that are almost up so this may be one of the last playoff games the Magic see in a while.
Darren Collison makes a statement
While Granger and West played iffy, the other top players played very well. This included an absolutely amazing game out of Collison to close out the series. Roy Hibbert, a true Most Improved Player candidate, decided to improve his play in the playoffs as well. Unfortunately the fate that awaits the Pacers is a surging Heat team. Well, it’s nice to get out of the first round.
In terms of exciting playoff series I don’t how highly this one ranks. Would Dwight Howard have kept Hibbert from playing so great? Does this series deserve an asterisk? Given Anderson’s poor play and the fact that the top of the Pacers played so well, I’d say no. Frankly, any team with Glen Davis on the roster come playoff time need 3-4 Hall of Fame players to compensate. This series was just to decide who would fall to the Heat, and after the debacle in Orlando this season, I’m happy it was Indiana.