This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. With the playoffs right around the corner, Magic center Dwight Howard will miss the rest of the season due to a herniated disk in his back. Howard has been suffering from back problems since late March, but it wasn't until last week it was discovered that it was a serious issue. Just a few weeks after staying with the Magic, today Howard will undergo back surgery. Even though Orlando will be going into the postseason as a six seed, you have to think that they won't even put up a fight in the playoff let alone the first round. Howard is such a huge part of this team and without him, they are a below average team at best. This season he averaged a double double with 20 PPG and 14.5 RPG. It just shows you that even with all of the distractions that were surrounding Howard and the Magic this year, Orlando is nothing without him. Now with only one season remaining on his contract, they are going to have some of the same issues that they had earlier this year. If Howard decides not to come back after next year, I predict the Magic will turn into what the Cavs were without Lebron.
Speaking of Lebron and the Heat, yesterday's game against the Bulls had a great playoff atmosphere. It was a physical game that the Heat ended up winning by a score of 83 - 72. James had 27 points and 11 rebounds in the Heat win. This was the last meeting of the two teams this year unless they meet in the Eastern Conference Finals. Although Derrick Rose didn't play again due to a reoccurring issue of back spasms. The Heat are still fighting for the one seed in the East, but they still remain 1 1/2 games out but they are hot as winners of 5 straight. It should be a great last couple of weeks of the season.