DAILY DISH: Timberwolves on the rise; Celtics well…not quite

By: Kels Dayton

  • Dwight Howard needs to shut up and play basketball for the Magic. (AP Photo)

    The Orlando Magic are winning despite their superstar center’s hissy fit. The Magic have won six of seven and are sitting at 11-4 after shutting the Lakers down in a convincing 92-80 win on Friday night. Dwight Howard is having a career season, averaging 20.1 points and 15.6 rebounds per game, but the constant trade talk surrounding him will catch up to this team eventually. Howard needs to realize that the situation in Orlando isn’t all that bad. The Magic are just a few pieces from becoming a championship-quality team, and have already proven that they can get to the next level. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence, and Howard needs to realize that. If he doesn’t stop openly pining for  a trade to a big market, the Magic will have no chance this season, despite the great start.

  • Kevin Love is a big reason why the Wolves finally have a bright future. (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

    Don’t look now, but Minnesota is getting better. The Timberwolves are 7-8, having defeated the Clippers, 101-98, on Friday night, on a game-winning three at the buzzer by the incomparable Kevin Love. The Wolves have won four of five and have successfully navigated a challenging stretch to open the season. If that wasn’t enough, the Wolves have become one of the most exciting teams in the league to watch, with two of the most unique players in the world in Love and Ricky Rubio, and a talented young core that includes No. 1 pick Derrick Williams and the enigmatic Michael Beasley. Head coach Rick Adelman is one of the league’s best teachers, and he will get this team headed in the right direction. For the first time since Kevin Garnett was patrolling the paint, there’s hope in Minnesota.

  • Something looks different about Paul Pierce this year.

    The Celtics are in trouble. At 5-9 and losers of six of their last seven, Boston looks as old as Wilford Brimley. Paul Pierce has aged about as gracefully as cafeteria mystery meat, shooting an absolutely putrid 38 percent from the floor. Most NBA analysts still believe the C’s can be a dangerous team in the playoffs, but now it’s going to be a challenge for the Celtics just to reach the postseason. There’s no longer any question about whether or not championship window is shut in Boston. It’s bolted to the sill.

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