Magic Vs. Thunder: Dwight Howard's Contract Overshadows Some Awesome Actual Basketball

Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic reacts after a turnover to the Atlanta Hawks during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Howard and the Magic face the Oklahoma City Thunder on December 25, 2011. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Orlando Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder will be playing a great basketball game on Christmas day, but everyone will be talking about the Dwight Howard contract situation.

When the Oklahoma City Thunder and Orlando Magic face off on Christmas day, the game day announcers and pundits across the internet will be talking about Dwight Howard's contract. He has made it clear that re-signing with the Magic is not his preference. The New York Knicks have signed Tyson Chandler, giving up on that chase. The New Jersey Nets' best trade chip, Brook Lopez, is out for at least a month. The Los Angeles Lakers don't have the assets to trade for Howard. He's stuck in limbo, with neither Howard or the Magic particularly pleased with the situation and their current options.

Sadly, this will get more play than the basketball game tomorrow. Dwight Howard is still an excellent basketball player, and he'll be playing for a very decent basketball team. They'll be facing a basketball team that is also excellent, featuring Kevin Durant, one of the league's leading MVP candidates. The Howard - Kendrick Perkins and Jameer Nelson - Russell Westbrook matchups will be fun and interesting.

The Howard saga will continue all season long. There will be trade deadline drama. If he doesn't get dealt at the trade deadline, there will be offseason drama. Hell, he might do a LeBron-esque 'Decision'. But on Christmas day, can we just focus on the likely fantastic basketball game Howard is playing in?

Game Date/Time: Sunday, Dec. 25, 8:00 p.m. ET

Venue: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

TV: ESPN

For more on the two teams, check out Orlando Magic blog Orlando Pinstriped Post and Oklahoma City Thunder blog Welcome To Loud City.

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