Sunday, March 05, 2006

Darko and the Magic have just finished a frenzied stretch of four road games in five nights. The bad news is that the Magic have lost all four games. The great news is that Darko has played extremely well. His "Human Victory Cigar" days are now just a speck in the rear view mirror and superstardom is straight ahead of him in his path.

On Tuesday, the Lakers beat Orlando by a score of 102 to 87. Darko was on the floor for 24 minutes, put up 6 points, made a steal, and nabbed a season-high 7 rebounds. Probably the highlight of Darko's evening was the fact that he had 3 early blocks on good old Kwame Brown. So which of these guys is a draft bust?

The following night, the Magic had another tilt in California, but this time against the Warriors. This contest was a bit closer, but Orlando still came out on the losing end, putting up 94 points against Golden State's 98. In 26 minutes, Darko stuffed another 2 shots, scored a season-high 12 points, a career-high 9 rebounds, and throwing in two assists for good measure. He was one rebound away from his first-ever double double!

In Friday night's 123-118 loss to the Suns, Darko had his second straight 26 minute game and was again just shy of a double double. This time around, he was a bit shy on the points count, with 8, but he set yet another career high, grabbing 10 boards.

On Saturday night, the Magic found themselves in Denver, where they lost 110-94. Darko filled up his stat sheet with everything but fouls in his 21 minutes on the court, with 7 points, 3 blocks, 3 rebounds, a steal, and an assist.

Another great four games for Mr. Milicic! He is fitting in well with his new team and the fans love him, with many calling for him to take Tony Battie's starting job. All in good time.

Thanks to these most recent games, Darko now has played more minutes this season (143) with Orlando than he has with Detroit (140), and the same is true for points (49 versus 37) and rebounds (37 versus 28). The Magic have given him more of an opportunity in a couple of weeks than the Pistons had in the previous three and a half months!

Even with his limited minutes, Darko has still managed to make his way into a tie for 97th pace in blocks on the season with 29. With his torrid pace of 4.95 blocks per 48 minutes and another 23 games to go, look for Darko to climb his way up this list and finish in a much higher position!

The road trip continues with a game in Utah on Monday night. Here's hoping that the losing streak ends and that Darko sets himself some more new highs!


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