Dwight Howard will have back surgery, ending his season

Dwight Howard's season has come to an end, thankfully

4/20/12 in NBA   |   Pat   |   5234 respect

Apr 5, 2012; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard (12) reacts after a turnover during the fourth quarter at Amway Center. New York defeated Orlando, 96-80. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRESomething tells me that if Dwight Howard knew he was going to need season-ending surgery anyway, he probably wouldn't have told the Magic owner that he would never play for Stan Van Gundy again. At least not until after the season.

Now, Howard needs back surgery and has no chance of returning even if he wanted to, and the Magic are essentially done, now that their best player will be unavailable in the playoffs.

Howard will also miss the 2012 Olympics in London, which start in July.

For the Magic, this basically eliminates them from legitimate championship contention. Even with Howard, their chances were slim. Without him,  they'll be lucky to make it past the first round of the playoffs.

More importantly, how will this affect the Magic going forward? Will Howard and coach Van Gundy find time to patch up their differences? Or will they even bother?

The Magic have some serious decision making to do at the end of this season, and it will be interesting to see how heavily they rely on Howard's health after his surgery.
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