Orlando and the Beast

Forget beauty and the beast! Dwight Howard is far from being a gentle, graceful, soft touch basketball player. He is known for his dominate post up game. And when he is not posting you up, he is jumping through the roof to either block your shot or throw it down with nasty funk. What other seven-footer do you know that can touch the top of the backboard and has a vertical over 35 inches? Let’s get realistic here. How does a seven footer have more hops then a Sam Adams lager? Dwight Howard has already received two player of the week nods and is looking to get that illusive MVP trophy at the end of the year. If we look at his stats, they jump right off the sheet. Let’s take a closer look:

PPG: 23.4 – 9TH in league

RPG: 15.2 – 1st in the league

BPG: 3.3 – 2nd in the league

FG%: .611 – 2nd in the league

What more can you ask from a center? Another bright spot for Man Child is that over his three-year career, Dwight has yet to miss a game. It’s almost unbelievable that a man who was an endless work ethics and was playing on three very bad Orlando teams in previous years to not miss a game.

Every player has flaws and Dwight Howard is no exception to that rule. His biggest downfalls is turnovers. This year he is averaging 3.6 turnovers (11th highest in the league). This is something he actually spoke about earlier this year in getting that number down. Dwight is consistently working on his ball handling skills, working on getting out of double teams, protecting the ball and various other drills to help him not turn over the basketball.

Howard found himself in a league of his own in his rookie year. Why do I say he was in a league of his own? Simple. How many rookies can you think of that can do the following?

a) Start and play in all 82 games
b) Average a double double
c) Shoot over 50% from the floor
d) Come out of high school and do all of the above.

Like I said in a league of his own!

My opinion on “Da-Hype Howard” (that’s what I call him) is that he will be the most forceful inside presence since the old days of Shaq. The times are changing. Dwight’s athletic ability and his speed top among the leagues stars. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has one of the highest verticals around. And his agility rivals top guards such as Wade, Kobe and Lebron. When was the last time you saw a center who could throw down windmills while serving up breakfast for his teammates. Now that’s airtime! I will say this, if the Magic’s stay on pace (17-7) and end up tops in the Eastern conference Mr. Howard will win his first MVP trophy of his young career.

I have found the only way to stop Dwight is simply go to roster management, and change his status from starter to bench warmer. That way when you play Orlando in NBA 2K8 you stand a chance to win. Sorry real life coaches this doesn’t apply to you. You could try Voodoo Dolls and Tribal Indian dances… but I’m guessing you’re fresh out of luck.

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