Dwight Howard plays Powerless Offensive on NBA
After the Rockets-Thunder game on Inside the NBA….
Charles Barkley: "Dwight Howard is a very good player, but not a great player."
Shaquille O’neal: "Dwight is the highest jumping big man I ever seen. All he needs is 7 points a quarter. 28 points in total."
I personally agree with almost everything they said. I don't think Howard can ever be the first option on offense on any championship game. People need to understand that Howard has never been an offensive center. He has a career average of 18.2 PPG, and his highest PPG in a season was 22.9 points in 2010-2011.
Will he improve? I don't think so.
The amount of criticism Howard gets on the offensive end discredits his skills on the defensive end. When he was with the Orlando Magic, that team was built around Dwight Howard. It was a perfect system for him. Surrounding him with four other 3PT shooters and playing inside-out offense.
Let's take the 2009 Magic team that went to the NBA Finals.
In my own opinion, more or less be in agreement with Chuck and Shaq. I don't think Howard can ever be the first option on offense. He has all the tools to become one--athleticism, great body frame, and intimidating presence. But I believe he is lacking the mental conditioning to have an offensive prowess in his arsenal. He can make put-up dunks, lay-ups, and alley-oops, but he is not known for his post moves and isolation moves inside the paint. He will look inferior when compared to Tim Duncan and Shaquille O’neal’s skill sets.
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Dwight Howard has a career average of 18.2 PPG, and his highest PPG in a season was 22.9 points in 2010-2011. This season, he is averaging 17.9 pts, 12.5 rbs, 1.8asts, 1.8blks, and 0.9 stls, while having his second most foul-prone season having 3.6 personal fouls per game. He already had a training camp with one of the NBA’s best bigman center ever, Hakeem Olajuwon, and still he showed no vast offensive improvement unlike Lebron James who is now the main man of Miami Heat. Again, I don't think he will improve.
Jameer Nelson/ Rafer Alston: 16.7/12 PPG
Courtney Lee: 8.4 PPG
Hedo Turkoglu: 16.8 PPG
Rashard Lewis: 17.7 PPG
Dwight Howard: 20.6 PPG
The Magic had one of their most balanced lineup ever on a particular season. And this team unsurprisingly went to the NBA Finals with their starting PG Jameer Nelson being injured for half of the season and most of the playoffs. Most of the player’s development comes during Dwight's first couple of seasons in the league.
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Do I think Howard could have been a better player if he was the focal point of the Magic team on offense from the start? Yes, For sure, if it wasn’t for Stan Van Gundy yelling at Dwight every single play to play better defense, he wouldn’t have been such a defensive beast he is right now. The older you get, the harder it is for someone to add or change something new to his game. The great players can do this, the question will be how good Howard is?
Dwight Howard is an all-star caliber player and that’s all. Whenever I hear his name, all I can recall is that he forcefully whined his way out of Orlando. Vince Carter even called him a cry baby. I’m expecting young big men like Andre Drummond, Anthony Davis, and Demarcus Cousins to surpass him sooner or later.