Well, as everybody out there knows, I had to miss yesterday´s game against the Bulls at the Amway Center. I´m so proud of how our guys played in that game, hanging in there and fighting all the way down to the very end. Jameer hit a really big shot, and if he´d had another fraction of a second that game would have been in OT.
It was really hard having to stay home and not be there with my teammates. Everybody knows that I´m a team-first guy and not being there to help the guys is what frustrated me the most. The good thing was that I got to see everybody right after the game because we had to fly to Philly for tonight´s game against the Sixers. Maybe I can take out some of my frustration tonight.
I´ve made a vow to myself that I can´t ever let that happen again where I miss a game. I know how important I am to my team, so I can´t be getting suspended or anything like that again.
I know that I´ve got to speed up my free throws a little bit. As I go through the same routine and keep my concentration, I think I´ll be able to go up there and knock down the free throws.
I can´t allow the way games are being called to affect the way that I play. I just have to keep playing. I think I allow calls and other things to affect who I am as a person. I don´t want people to get the wrong idea about me. The words Dwight Howard and technical fouls just don´t go together.
I think earlier in the year I listened to some people who told me that I smiled too much on the court in the past and I tried to make some changes in my personality and demeanor. Earlier this season, I was like asking myself: Why am I trying to not smile? Why am I doing this to myself?
I think people enjoy the way that I play because of me going out there and playing hard. They like my smile and the fact that I interact with fans and kids sitting near the court. I can´t allow things to keep me from doing that.
Really, I think it´s a good lesson for the younger kids out there to not allow people to change who you are. Be who you are and be content. I think because I smile so much and have fun on the court that I allowed them to say that I wasn´t serious about the game of basketball. I allowed that to sink into my head and change the way that I play. Instead of being the person that I´ve always been I changed. I have to get back to having fun.
Magic fans out there know that when I´m having fun on the court, that´s when I´m playing my best basketball. So that´s the approach I´m taking this last week of the regular season and then heading into the playoffs. I´m going to be my usual intense self, but I´m going to smile and have fun and enjoy what I do.
I´m so excited about the playoffs coming up. Hopefully we´ll be a much better team in the playoffs. I really feel like with the attitude in the locker room and the way we´re practicing now that we´re focused on all of the right things.
My mentality has already shifted to how the Hawks will play me. That´s all that´s been on my mind lately. It´s not just Atlanta´s one-on-one defense, but it´s how everybody on their team is going to be in the paint when I have the ball. They force me to make plays where I have to kick it out and trust my teammates. So I have to get my mind right for that.
And I know yesterday everybody was already talking about us possibly facing the Bulls in the second round of the playoffs. First, we have to worry about the first series against Atlanta because we can´t overlook any team. If we do play the Bulls I feel we have a great opportunity to beat those guys. We just have to play smart and play the right way. I have lots of confidence in my team.
Well, I´m going get out of here and start getting ready for tonight´s game in Philly. Everybody take care, have a good week and start getting yourselves ready for the playoffs this weekend. We are going to need everyone´s support!!! Yuuuuuuuuuuuuaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!