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Dwight Howard Can't Shoot: Why Dwight Howard is Not Good for Houston

Updated on April 24, 2014
Shhhhh.....don't tell, but I'm average
Shhhhh.....don't tell, but I'm average

18.3 Points Per Game - Good for #103

At 6'11" 265 lbs and a 39" vertical leap, Dwight Howard can kiss the rim without barely an effort. There hasn't been a physical specimen in the league since Shaq retired that can match his strength and athletic ability at the forward or center position, and yet, Dwight only averages 18 points a game. When you think about it, that is only 7 or 8 baskets in 48 minutes, with a few foul shots thrown in there. For a man of his size and "skill", he should be averaging at least 24-26 points a game. Consider too that he averages 3 offensive rebounds a game, and it becomes obvious what the problem is. With all the athletic and raw talent he possess, Dwight has not learned fundamental basketball skills. Posting up, left hook, right hook, bait and step, back-steps and any sense of a 6 - 8 foot jumper. Why doesn't his power and quickness provide him better shot opportunities. Footwork, and a scorers mentality. Watch Dwight Howard play and when a double team comes, instead of spreading out, claiming his space, he stands upright, loses his ground and makes himself small. From a simple offensive scoring perspective, Dwight has average center skills. At least Kevin Garnett can take a dribble into the lane and rise for his shot. Unless the ball is near the rim when Dwight catches it, he has limited to no shot-making ability. Definitely not the skills of greatness. Keep in mind too, that it has been 9 years. To say that he'll learn the game and develop into a scorer, the question is when? It's not like he's a 22 year old rookie. Almost a decade into his career and Dwight has absolutely zero signature moves. No Jordan back down and fade away, or Shaq, drop-step dunk, or Kevin Garnett two dribble elevate and shoot. On his good days, Dwight looks like a bricklayer throwing a rock, with little to no touch. At #103 on the scoring average list, it is more likely that Dwight will slip down to the mid 100's than rise to be even top 100. You can forget about top 50 and certainly. Hardly superstar output.

Dwight Howard....Brick! after Brick!
Dwight Howard....Brick! after Brick!

Rank #103 on PPG, and yet # 5 All time FG%

This math doesn't add up. If you rank #5 on the All-time FG shooting % list, and are perceived to be dominant by the NBA community, why does that only translate to 18 points per game.That means that he's taking only 10 to 14 shots a game. Imagine if Michael Jordan shot 58% from the field, he'd average almost 40 points per game over his career. Back to my point above, Dwight lacks the shot making capabilities to match his athleticism. On a pure basketball skill set level, Dwight lacks good touch, good hands, good footwork, or an understanding of the game considered "great". From this argument alone, Dwight can be best considered a really big guy, with great leaping ability who played the scrap leftover from his teams offense. Dwight is not the go-to guy, nor has he been "the man" in his 9 years in the league. Thinking you can build around Dwight for championships is a joke. Dwight is at best your second or third link to a title team. Certainly not the anchor and certainly not a superstar.

33rd All Time FT Attempts.....but almost dead last in Makes

Through 9 years in his career, Dwight is 33rd on the Free Throw attempts list. It could be argued that by the end of his career he will be in the top 10. However, Dwight only converts about 50% of these into points. In fact, Dwights poor shooting skills actually hurts his teams rather than helps as teams will often simply foul Dwight and trade 2 points for 1 during clutch time. How can you be considered a superstar when during the final minutes of a close game, you're best option is to take him off the court?

Beware: This Big Man is Fragile

Down again
Down again

Why Do People Think Dwight Howard Is A Superstar

Dwight Howard's superstar status comes from the hype around his entrance into the league. He was a physically dominant specimen and from a raw talent perspective, he had a high ceiling of potential, much of which has been left unfilled. Year after year fans hope that this is the year that he breaks out and starts dominating games like we saw of Shaq, Jordan or Kobe. In today's NBA there are really only 3 elite superstars that can individually dominate a game: Kobe, Lebron and Kevin Durrant. Dwight's slam dunk appearance helped him demonstrate his athleticism, however that alone does not make a super star. Many slam dunk contest winners are second rate players with minor career success or stardom. What set Dwight apart and categorized him as elite is simply, hope. After Shaq left the league, the league has been looking for a dominant big man. Like Chamberlain, Russell, Abdul Jabar, the league has found marketability in size. This is a league of giants, where 6'5" is considered small. Having a big, big man that can become the face of the league has forced a square peg, Dwight, into the proverbial round hole. Lets face it, he just doesn't cut it.


Only 3 Games With 30 Points in 2012

Kevin Durrant - 32 games with 30 or more points......Lebron James, 24 games.... Kobe Bryant...35 games....Dwight Howard......3.

Three games. In just three games did Dwight score more than 30 points. This includes his season high of 39 points, where 26 of those came from the foul line, and half of those came in the fourth quarter during the "hack-a-Howard" set against his former Orlando Magic.

Elite players dominate. Superstars, carry a team to the playoff's. Dwight rarely does either of these things. On his own team, the Lakers success in a rather unsuccessful season came from Kobe. With 35 games over 30 points, Kobe was the work-horse for the Lakers. One could argue the disappointment from the Lakers high hopes stemmed directly from Dwight. The fact is, teams simply can't plug him into an offensive because, quite honestly, Dwight lacks offensive skills. For someone of his size, it should be easy, but team after team, coach after coach, struggles to make things work.

This Shoulder Injury Is Not Going To Help Your Team

Dwight Howard Free Agency: You Don't Want Him

As a long time NBA fan, the simple reality is that your team is better off without Dwight. What is life like with Dwight on your team? Just look at how Dwight handled his last free agent summer. He has an ego that thinks he's the best big man in the game and that he wants to go somewhere to win championships. The fact is, Dwight should be the catalyst to win championships if he really was elite, or the superstar that people think he is and yet, he wants to go somewhere where he can win. It should be the other way around.

Lets take a Houston Rockets team that could end up landing Dwight. You would have a liability throughout the game from someone who can't shoot foul shots and yet gets fouled intentionally just for that reason. He doesn't run the court well, or he'd average more than just a few shots a game. He can grab some rebounds, but is the $20+ million a season worth a few rebounds? I simply don't see an aspect of the Rockets current team, or any other, where marginal rebounds and shot blocking are worth the money and hype to bring Dwight onto the squad. Simply put, he is becoming the Tebow of the NBA where every year you hold your breath with injuries, upside potential left unfulfilled and now, him hopping teams every other year looking for a ring. Dwight needs to eat some humble pie and recognize that at best, he is a role player and not the elite superstar that fans and critics project him to be. He's 9 years into his career, 18, 12 and 3 are his numbers. They are likely to get worse, not better as he enters his 10th season. And did I mention his injuries? A shoulder injury does not bode well for long term success. You'll be lucky to get 70 games from the guy and come crunch time, you'll want him on the bench because teams will just foul him, and force him to beat you, which time and time again, he has shown he cannot do. Save the money, save the false hope and let someone else take him.


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