By Spike Eskin

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Sixers have a storyline that began with Monday’s game against the Magic. The surprise team of the NBA finally starts to face the league’s elite, and we’d find out just how “real” a team they are. The Orlando Magic have their own storyline, and its name is Dwight Howard.

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Though they’ve said they’re not actively shopping him, the Magic most likely will trade Howard before the deadline. Though the Magic started the season 11-4, the early season success has taken a turn for the worse, losing four in a row, including an ugly loss last night to the Sixers. The losing streak has once again brought the trade talk to the forefront, and many have suggested that the two are directly related.

Malik Rose, former NBA player and current Sixers television commentator spoke to 94 WIP’s Glen Macnow and Anthony Gargano today, and says the season looks like it’s taken its toll on Howard. “You can tell Dwight was really frustrated in the fourth quarter with his teammates,” Rose said of Howard when they were unable to get him the ball in the post as the game slipped away. “The look on his face was “here we go again.”” Rose said it’s those moments when Howard looks the most lost, “I think if they’re not winning big or winning easily, his heart’s not in it, and he won’t put forth that much effort.”

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The Sixers on the other hand, raised their record to 15-6, with a style that isn’t often associated with the NBA, team basketball. Without the typical NBA “superstar,” the question was asked whether Rose thinks the Sixers have an All-Star on the roster this year. “Right now I honestly don’t think it’s going to happen. But I think come All Star break this team will still be in first place in the Atlantic Division. Which should, in and of itself get them at least one guy on the All Star team. But I think with the amount of depth they have, they have seven guys averaging double figures and not two guys averaging 20, which would be a better argument for an all star appearance.”


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