Found December 22, 2012 on Sports Blog Net:
Whenever a team’s highest usage player gets injured, you can expect a serious dip in that team's production. On Wednesday night, in the last-minute of a victory over the Washington Wizards, Glen “Big Baby” Davis fell to the ground screaming in agony. It was later diagnosed as a left should sprain, an injury that generally takes between 4 to 6 weeks to recover from. Davis is currently averaging 16 points and 8 rebounds, each being a career high. He also holds the team’s highest usage rating of 23. To put that in perspective, he has exactly the same usage rating as Chris Paul. On Friday night the Magic (12-14) lost to the Toronto Raptors, a team that holds a dismal 9-19 record. Although the Magic had a decent shooting night, their defense was suspect and their turnovers were costly. They forced only 9 turnovers, while having 18 miscues of their own. Granted, the game did come down to the wire, but the Magic were unable to pull it off after a turnover by Gustavo Ayon and a missed 3 from J.J. Redick. Rookie power forward Andrew Nicholson got the start for the injured Glen Davis. He posted a mere 6 points on 3 of 10 shooting with only 4 rebounds. This was after two scoreless games off the bench. The Magic’s next game is at home on Sunday against the Utah Jazz (14-13). The Utah Jazz have one of the most intimidating frontcourts in the entire NBA with the tandem of Al Jefferson and Paul Milsap. Even their bench big men, Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors are extremely talented. Andrew Nicholson is going to have his work cut out for him as Jefferson and Milsap are the team’s best scorers, rebounders, and defenders. If the Magic don’t win that game, it is very difficult to see them having another shot at .500 this season. If we were to win, our two following games are against the New Orleans Hornets (Pelicans, in future-tense) and the Washington Wizards. Those squads are both posting records well below the .500 mark and are very vulnerable with their best players having yet to step out on the court this year. After a win against the Utah Jazz, it is entirely plausible that we could break the .500 mark. If we lose to the Jazz, the odds fall off of a cliff because after the Wizards and Hornets we face the Heat, Bulls, Knicks, Nuggets, and Clippers in the following 13 days. That is an incredibly difficult stretch even for the most talented teams. The Orlando Magic have exceeded expectations so far this year. They have been one of the toughest defensive teams in the entire league and have surprised absolutely all of the talking heads. Unfortunately, they may have reached their ceiling the moment that Glen Davis fell to the ground on Friday night. Their schedule becomes infinitely tougher over the next few weeks and they are going to sorely miss the production that Big Baby has offered them so far. If we lose the game against the Jazz tomorrow night, it is quite possible that the best part of the season will be behind us.  
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