A look around the Association as the Dwight Howard-less Magic celebrate their Game 1 victory over the Pacers..
- The Celtics managed to stay afloat this season thanks in large part to newcomers Avery Bradley and Greg Stiemsma, writes Peter May of the New York Times. May also credits Danny Ainge for his signing of Mickael Pietrus before the start of the year.
- Damian Lillard was projected as a second-round pick entering his junior season at Weber State but is now out to show that he is the best point guard in the 2012 draft, writes Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld. The 6'2" scoring threat is widely projected to be a lottery pick.
- Doug Collins is looking to lead the 76ers to a first round upset of the Bulls but things could have turned out very differently for the longtime NBA coach if it weren't for Reggie Miller, writes John Finger of CSNPhilly.com. The former Arizona State head coach claims to have turned away from college basketball when he was beat out by UCLA in recruiting Miller.
- Josh Howard hits the free agent market again this offseason after inking a one-year, $2.15MM deal with the Jazz before the season and he could be a key player in the Utah's series against the Spurs, writes Steve Luhm of The Salt Lake Tribune.