If Dwight Howard's goal was to go for 40 and 25 tonight he could have easily accomplished that. Instead he finished with 28 and 18. In the process, the Cavaliers ended up losing by 11 (97-86) to the Magic in a game that should've been decided by at least 30.
Down as many as 22 in the fourth quarter, Daniel Gibson (16 points) and Christian Eyenga (12 points) combined to score 22 points in the final period to lead a rally that cut the "diff" to as little as 9 at one point. Stan wasn't too pleased about that, but he did offer a pretty interesting and accurate response to the question I asked him after the game:
At the forty-two second mark I asked Stan Van Gundy:
"Can you talk about some of the Cavaliers young players, like Christian Eyenga he had ten points in that fourth quarter run, what are your thoughts on some of their young, building block type players?"
Van Gundy responded by saying:
"Well they're getting a chance to play. I think it's really hard for an organization like the Cavaliers right now to really judge what those guys are going to be able to do. One of the problems is, when you are having a season like they are, on bad teams somebody is gonna score.
It's hard to know if those guys are actually going to be able to help you win games, I think that's the tough part. They're playing hard, they're working hard, they've got some talent, but they're playing in a situation where it's really hard to evaluate if they'll ever be able to help you win games."
And he would be exactly correct in saying that. On bad teams somebody is gonna score, and there's unfortunately no real reason to think any of these guys could score on a good one at this point.
On a side-note, it's worth mentioning that I'm a big Stan Van Gundy fan. I think it's awesome how instead of avoiding questions he doesn't want to answer by saying something like "I don't know" - that mystery question he was asked above as an example - he responds by saying first: "No, it is not a mystery to me." Then when asked what the 'mystery is', he says: "I'm not going to talk about that."
No panic in that guy from what I can tell. Good talking with you Stan, best of luck buddy.