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MMPG: Player of the Week

Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic

Don't worry. I'll have something better for the dunk contest. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Nathan Denette)

It was a magical week in Orlando as Dwight Howard realized that he wasn't going to be alone in Phoenix -- two of his teammates are coming along with him. The Orlando Magic officially shot out from under the radar as they became the only franchise with three players on the all-star team, with Howard, Jameer Nelson and Rashard Lewis. The all-star selections provided some affirmation for the judgment of General Manager Otis Smith, who was criticized for investing too much money in both Nelson and Lewis two summers ago.

But in the end, no matter how many all-stars it has, the Magic is truly only as good as the three-time all-star manning the middle. Howard, the self-proclaimed "Superman," was a dominant force last week, averaging 24.3 points with 14 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in wins over Indiana, Cleveland and Toronto. Howard had 22 points and 10 rebounds against the Pacers, 22 points and 18 rebounds against LeBron James and Cavaliers, then he went to Toronto and ambushed his good friend, Chris Bosh, with 29 points and 14 rebounds on Sunday.

More surprising, Howard, a 59 percent foul shooter, shot 19 for 26 (73 percent) from the foul line last week. Howard leads the NBA in rebounds (13.9) and blocked shots (3.1). He is tied for the league lead in double-doubles with 35 and has posted 12 consecutive double-doubles.

By Michael Lee  |  February 2, 2009; 1:22 PM ET
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