After that performance tonight by the Orlando Magic, somebody is getting fired real soon. If I owned the Magic and I had a player named Dwight Howard who happened to be 6 foot 11 inches tall, 265 pounds, with shoulders as wide as a three lane highway and I saw my team only attempt to get him the ball two or three times in the entire fourth quarter, I would be firing somebody.
Not only did Howard hardly ever get his hands on the ball, they didn't even pretend to try giving him the ball. I know the Pistons defense is great, but it wasn't their defense keeping the ball from Howard either. Half the time, Howard would simply stand where he was out of the way, so shooters could have their space. To me this would be the equivalent of taking Alex Rodriguez out of your lineup for the day, simply because you knew the other team won't pitch to him anyway.
Owners of these sports teams have a lot of money invested in players like Howard. They pay them to play ball and Howard hardly had a chance to do that tonight. He was a 60% shooter for the regular season and he got two shots in the first quarter, one shot attempt in the second quarter, two shot attempts in the third and one more in the fourth quarter of a close game.
We also got to see a great example of why point spreads are so exasperating to bet on. Many viewers knew the Pistons had beaten the Magic well before the final seconds ticked off the clock, but if you played the spread on that game, you watched it till the final seconds.
The spread was Pistons (-6). Some places the spread had moved to 6.5 showing confidence in the Pistons to cover. They were up by seven until Rashard Lewis laid in a meaningless two-pointer with a couple seconds on the clock. If you bet the Pistons, you lost and if you bet the Magic, you won. A lot of money was won or lost on a completely meaningless shot. That is why I despise point spreads. They have nothing to do with the game. You might as well just have your money on a roulette wheel someplace.