- Dwight Howard was surrounded by a group of reporters who wanted to know his plans for 2012, when he becomes a free agent. When it was pointed out that months and months of speculation preceded the Carmelo Anthony trade to the Knicks, Howard tried to deflect the question. “It hasn’t approached yet,” he said of his impending free agency. “I’m not focused on that. I have whole ‘nother season left before I can decide what I want to do, so there’s no need for me to be talking about it right now. It has nothing to do with my team right now, and I think the more and more you talk about it, it’s not fun. It’s not fun for me, it’s not fun for my teammates. It’s not fun for our fans in Orlando who have to hear about what my decision’s going to be in two years. I think our focus should be on trying to win a championship instead of where of where I’m going to be.” When he was asked if the rainy weather in New York discouraged potential free agents, Howard said, “I’m not a free agent, so I wouldn’t know. I got a long time.”
- Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said the media has already made up its collective mind to name Derrick Rose the league MVP, but that he believes Howard deserves the honor. “I don’t think it’s wide open,” Van Gundy said. “The media seems to have made their decision and they’re the ones who vote, so I think it’s over.” Asked to make the case for Howard, Van Gundy said: “To me, with his rebounding, his scoring and his defense, I just don’t think there’s anybody that impacts as many possessions in a game as Dwight does. I think Derrick Rose has been great. I will have no problem at all if Derrick Rose wins the MVP. They’ve got the best record in the East; he’s been clearly their leader. You can make a great case for him. I have never been running down another guy. I think it’s a hard choice to make…but I still don’t think anyone impacts the game as many possessions as Dwight does.”
- Asked for his opinion, Howard said: “Fans don’t lie. Derrick Rose has been playing great basketball. He’s led his team to the best record in the East. I’m not a guy that likes to talk about myself. But I think I do a lot for my team in order for us to have a chance to win every night.”
- Knicks guard Chauncey Billups suffered a bruised left quad when he hit Howard’s knee on a pick during their March 1 matchup in Orlando. “It did set us back a little bit,” Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said, referring to the six games Billups missed. “Looking back against Miami and Orlando, our offense was rolling…Since then we’ve been struggling.” Howard was quick to point out that, “It wasn’t my fault. Let’s get that out the way. I set a regular screen. He just happened to hit my knee. I’m not a dirty player. I’m not a dirty person. I would never try to hurt anybody on the court. That’s not who I am.”
- The Knicks will again start Ronny Turiaf at center.
- The Knicks will wear special “Nueva York” jerseys in honor of Latino night.
– Adam Zagoria