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Dwight Howard Struggles In Preseason; Stan Van Gundy Defends Him

Dwight Howard trade rumors have engulfed quite a bit of the NBA talk over the past couple of weeks, but the Orlando Magic center made headlines for a different reason on Sunday. One of the best players in the game scored just five points and grabbed six rebounds in a 33-point loss to the Miami Heat, leading many to lament that the big man looked disengaged in the preseason game.

The last few words of that paragraph are probably enlightening -- it's only the preseason, you guys -- but that didn't stop head coach Stan Van Gundy from defending his big man in the post-game press conference.

"If you guys can't figure it out right now, you're in the wrong business," Van Gundy said following the game, according to ESPN's Tom Haberstroh. "Here's where we are: If he has a bad game, he's disengaged. That's BS. Quite honestly, a big part of it is conditioning."

Regardless of how interested Howard was in his team's huge loss to the Heat in the preseason (it snapped a 21-game preseason winning streak, according to Chris Tomasson), it still probably didn't make him too eager to stay in Orlando knowing his team lost by 33 points to a team that featured D-League call-up Terrel Harris as its second-leading scorer.

He did still seem rather interested in blocking shots, though, for what it's worth:

For more on Howard and the Magic, be sure to visit Orlando Pinstriped Post.