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View Full Version : Article: LeBron James vs. Dwight Howard: Who's the better franchise building block?



JordansBulls
01-29-2009, 12:40 PM
Source: OrlandoSentinel (http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/basketball/magic/orl-sportsmagic29012909jan29,0,1700684.story)




Through a study of NBA history, the debate largely has been decided, the outcome even repeated in recent times.

You'd take a great big man over a great small man any day of the week and twice during the NBA Finals.

There are championship banners in Boston, thanks to Bill Russell. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the grand marshal for parades in Los Angeles. Seven of the last 10 titles have been won by the San Antonio Spurs and the Lakers, teams that were anchored by Tim Duncan and Shaquille O'Neal.

Of course, there have been exceptions to the rules — and to the rulers.

Like Michael. Like Isiah.

And like LeBron?







If you had to start a franchise, would you take Magic all-star center Dwight Howard, 23, or the Cavs all-star small forward LeBron James, 24?

"Uh, oh, wow. ... I played with Shaq, but that's a tough one," said former NBA veteran Dennis Scott. "I would, um, go with. ..."






"Traditionally, I'd have to go with the big guy — Dwight. At the end of the day, you need that inside presence ... for defense, rebounding. He opens everything up and makes the game easier. Not to discredit LeBron, but as good as he is, I think it's easier finding another LeBron than a Shaq or a Dwight.





Teams find a way to take away your best player, so you have to have good players around them.

"If you just have Shaq and nothing around them, you have problems. If you just have Jordan and nothing around them, you have problems."

Asked if LeBron should get the edge over Dwight because he led the Cavs to an NBA Finals appearance in 2006-07, Smith cracked, "OK, what do you get for that? A parting gift?"




The Case for Lebron



LeBron James

•Five reasons to build around Cleveland's LeBron James:

1. Michael Jordan effect.

King James has taken Cavs to Finals without great cast.

2. He IS big.

A matchup nightmare, there's never been a more freakish 6-8, 260-pounder.

3. Late-game magic.

LeBron can get calls, make FTs in clutch.

4. He has believers.

Several teams are creating cap-room for his 2010 free-agent season.

5. Box office boon.

Why else would you buy a Cavs ticket?





The Case for Dwight



Dwight Howard

• Five reasons to build around Orlando's Dwight Howard:

1. Big men rule.

What Shaq and Tim Duncan have in common the last decade: Rings.

2. He's a rare find.

Especially a great center with Howard's athleticism.

3. Hello, easy baskets.

Howard provides plenty of dunks and lay-ups.

4. Intimidation factor.

He has discovered he can change games defensively, too.

5. Recruiting magnet.

Free agents love to play with a franchise center on a contender

theuuord
01-29-2009, 12:42 PM
I've been saying this all season, for this exact reason.
If LeBron takes the Cavs to the championship this year, he's put himself in Jordan territory.

JordansBulls
01-29-2009, 12:46 PM
I can see cases for both.

In Dwight's case, the main reason I see a case for Dwight is because you go with the big man until the small proves he can win a title as the best player on the team.

In Lebron's case, the guy is as efficient as they come and has an efficiency of that of a Center.

Kaptain Kanada
01-29-2009, 12:52 PM
Lebron is not exactly a small man. And he's already dragged his team along to the finals.

JordansBulls
01-29-2009, 12:54 PM
Lebron is not exactly a small man. And he's already dragged his team along to the finals.

Exactly. I don't consider Lebron really a small because Magic and Bird were the same height as he was at 6'9" and Karl Malone who is considered a big is the same height and weight as Lebron.

theuuord
01-29-2009, 12:55 PM
I can see cases for both.

In Dwight's case, the main reason I see a case for Dwight is because you go with the big man until the small proves he can win a title as the best player on the team.

In Lebron's case, the guy is as efficient as they come and has an efficiency of that of a Center.

Well there are a bunch of reasons that teams with star centers are always championship teams.
Mostly because as positions go, big men are the most efficient and consistent scorers (due to always being around the rim taking high-percentage shots) and as a result if the guy taking the majority of your shots is shooting 55% (a la Shaq), you're likely going to beat a team where the guy taking the majority of your shots is shooting 45%. Of course it's deeper than that, but that's the general explanation.
It also shows how freakish Jordan was and why he's by far the best player to ever put on a uniform, ever.

That's why I'm saying that if LeBron wins a championship with this team - with no real legitimate post presence - he's putting himself in Jordan territory.

theuuord
01-29-2009, 12:56 PM
Lebron is not exactly a small man. And he's already dragged his team along to the finals.

Right, but he's not a center, or even a power forward. His style of play is suited to a 3.

Actually his style of play is suited from anywhere 1-4, but mostly 3.

Kenny
01-29-2009, 12:58 PM
Howard is never going to be as dominant as Shaq though..

It's pretty clear you take Lebron, he just carried some real ****** teams the past couple of years deep into the playoffs.. It took Jordan his 7th year to win a title since he needed help.

Lebron got a little more help this year and took off with it.

macc
01-29-2009, 01:17 PM
Howard is never going to be as dominant as Shaq though..

.


Honestly I don't know where people come up with these things. It just shows how much NBA knowledge they lack. How can you say Howard will never be as good as Shaq? He's not on Shaq's level yet but he can do things know that Shaq could never do. Howard is a hell of alot more athletic than Shaq was even in his prime. Plus Howard is developing a decent 15 ft jump shot. Somthing Shaq could never do. Think before you speak my friend.

Frrrrank!!!
01-29-2009, 01:22 PM
Honestly I don't know where people come up with these things. It just shows how much NBA knowledge they lack. How can you say Howard will never be as good as Shaq? He's not on Shaq's level yet but he can do things know that Shaq could never do. Howard is a hell of alot more athletic than Shaq was even in his prime. Plus Howard is developing a decent 15 ft jump shot. Somthing Shaq could never do. Think before you speak my friend.

I just thought about it, and imo Howard won't be as dominate as Shaq.

masalex1205
01-29-2009, 01:28 PM
Honestly I don't know where people come up with these things. It just shows how much NBA knowledge they lack. How can you say Howard will never be as good as Shaq? He's not on Shaq's level yet but he can do things know that Shaq could never do. Howard is a hell of alot more athletic than Shaq was even in his prime. Plus Howard is developing a decent 15 ft jump shot. Somthing Shaq could never do. Think before you speak my friend.

Yep, Howard will never be as dominant as Shaq.

nyybronxborn
01-29-2009, 01:29 PM
Howard is never going to be as dominant as Shaq though..

It's pretty clear you take Lebron, he just carried some real ****** teams the past couple of years deep into the playoffs.. It took Jordan his 7th year to win a title since he needed help.

Lebron got a little more help this year and took off with it.

maybe not on offence , howard can catch you at all ends of the floor , shaq is not a good defender

oldenpolynice
01-29-2009, 02:00 PM
LeBron, no question.

Three reasons:

1. Free throw shooting (big flaw for Howard).

2. Playoff performances (LeBron single-handedly took the Cavs past the Pistons to the Finals in 2007, Dwight couldn't get past the Pistons in ECF in '08).

3. Ballhandling (LeBron has the ability to create his own shot when he needs to, Dwight relies on teammates to create his shots...very important in crunch time).

lorenz00
01-29-2009, 02:03 PM
I can see cases for both.

In Dwight's case, the main reason I see a case for Dwight is because you go with the big man until the small proves he can win a title as the best player on the team.

In Lebron's case, the guy is as efficient as they come and has an efficiency of that of a Center.

Remember the chicago bulls?... they didnt have a great center

Kyle N.
01-29-2009, 02:05 PM
It's LeBron. When the game is on the line, he can score almost at will... unless he travels.

lakerboy
01-29-2009, 02:07 PM
As much as the big men rule, we're talking about LeBron James in here.

Kenny
01-29-2009, 02:12 PM
Honestly I don't know where people come up with these things. It just shows how much NBA knowledge they lack. How can you say Howard will never be as good as Shaq? He's not on Shaq's level yet but he can do things know that Shaq could never do. Howard is a hell of alot more athletic than Shaq was even in his prime. Plus Howard is developing a decent 15 ft jump shot. Somthing Shaq could never do. Think before you speak my friend.

GREAT! He is more athletic, you COULD NOT cover shaq all you could do is foul him, he was too strong.. Shaq blocked shots just like Howard does... Howard will never EVER reach the dominance of Shaq... It's not a knock on Howard, but SHaq was just that good..

RapToronto95
01-29-2009, 02:16 PM
LeBron, no question.

Three reasons:

1. Free throw shooting (big flaw for Howard).

2. Playoff performances (LeBron single-handedly took the Cavs past the Pistons to the Finals in 2007, Dwight couldn't get past the Pistons in ECF in '08).

3. Ballhandling (LeBron has the ability to create his own shot when he needs to, Dwight relies on teammates to create his shots...very important in crunch time).

Pretty much my reasoning too. Plus LeBron is a great passer (great for his teammates), can make those threes, and is an above average defender.

macc
01-29-2009, 02:20 PM
GREAT! He is more athletic, you COULD NOT cover shaq all you could do is foul him, he was too strong.. Shaq blocked shots just like Howard does... Howard will never EVER reach the dominance of Shaq... It's not a knock on Howard, but SHaq was just that good..


Shaq could never block like Howard does now. Shaq isn't as good of a defender as Howard is today. You're using the same argument for Shaq thats for Howard. Can you stop Howard down low? No! You have to foul him as well. I just think it's ignorat to say somone will never be as good as somone who hasn't been in the league 5 years yet.

cambovenzi
01-29-2009, 02:27 PM
Shaq could never block like Howard does now. Shaq isn't as good of a defender as Howard is today. You're using the same argument for Shaq thats for Howard. Can you stop Howard down low? No! You have to foul him as well. I just think it's ignorat to say somone will never be as good as somone who hasn't been in the league 5 years yet.

obviously you missed the shaq era.

as to the thread, it would be tough.
i think a great big man is so much more rare to find, compared to finding great wingman/guard/SF scorers.

what54!?
01-29-2009, 02:28 PM
lebron. He can take over a game at any time and he's the player you can go to late in a close game. Howard can't do that yet. He's already led a team to finals and he's not in his prime yet. Besides lebron isn't exactly the smallest or most frail person on the court. He can play the 1-4 postions effectively.

cmstophe
01-29-2009, 03:17 PM
Wow. Thie answer to this is so easy, it's LeBron. The position he plays and the type of player he is allows James to take over a game all by himself because he can control the ball, whereas a player like Dwight Howard, while a freak of nature, a beast in every sense of the word, has to have the ball delivered to him.

And please, before you bring up Shaq to me, Howard is not anywhere close to being the next Shaq yet.

Both are fantastic players. I love them both. But I would easily choose LeBron simply from the merit that he is a much, much greater weapon in the grand scheme of a game or even a series.


2. Playoff performances (LeBron single-handedly took the Cavs past the Pistons to the Finals in 2007, Dwight couldn't get past the Pistons in ECF in '08).

Let's be fair, now. James' supporting cast was awful until this year when the new pieces have finally meshed to create a great team, and in '07 it was a borderline joke (looking back). But James did not beat the Pistons all by himself. Game 6 comes to mind.

Jonathan2323
01-29-2009, 03:21 PM
LbJ23 will turn around your franchise Howard needs help.

Iggydelphia
01-29-2009, 03:25 PM
Lebron has more talent than Jordan.. the question is what does he do with it

basketfan4life
01-29-2009, 04:04 PM
now,for sure,it's lebron..
in the future,who knows?but i think it will be lebron,too..

basketfan4life
01-29-2009, 04:09 PM
Also i wanna thank JordansBulls because he is very creative at opening threads,finding some good thing to talk about..

jaysfan4ever
01-29-2009, 04:36 PM
LbJ23 will turn around your franchise Howard needs help.

One could make the argument that while Lebron is an offensive anchor, Dwight is as much of a defensive/rebounding anchor, because he controls the paint with his size, and athleticism.

And yes, Dwight is as much of a force as Shaq, as he's already rebounding at a higher rate, and is a better defender, as he's got the quicks and hops to stop guys from driving to the rim.

I think this one's a lot closer than most of you guys think.

cmstophe
01-29-2009, 05:09 PM
One could make the argument that while Lebron is an offensive anchor, Dwight is as much of a defensive/rebounding anchor, because he controls the paint with his size, and athleticism.

And yes, Dwight is as much of a force as Shaq, as he's already rebounding at a higher rate, and is a better defender, as he's got the quicks and hops to stop guys from driving to the rim.

I think this one's a lot closer than most of you guys think.

Being a terrible FT shooter hurts him in clutch end game situations, too.

3lite-Raptors
01-29-2009, 06:03 PM
obviously lebron much more skil and its harder to build around a center

Ragan
01-29-2009, 06:41 PM
LeBron James and it's not even close.

blacknell
01-29-2009, 07:00 PM
shouldn't be a debate its King James by a mile

dre1990
01-29-2009, 07:26 PM
Lebrons a better player, but yo have to go with the best center in the NBA. DWIGHT

D Roses Bulls
01-29-2009, 07:35 PM
Yep, Howard will never be as dominant as Shaq.

how do you honestly know that? howards been in the season 4 years. shaq didnt dominate till the 1999-2000 season and that was his 8th year in the league. dwights numbers have already surpassed shaqs at this moment in his career. to get back on the subjecy, i would take dwight over lebron

SportsNut4Ever
01-29-2009, 08:08 PM
without a doubt, Dwight Howard. Lebron, let's all face it, will never amount to all-time greatness. Sure he might be a perrenial all-star, a la Vince Carter, but beyond that, i'm not so sure. His game is so one dimensional. Drive to the hoop and use his athleticism/size to bully whoever is guarding him. He is an average to below average shooter at best. Sure, his stats are nice now, but I am seeing a percipitous decline because that bruising style he plays with will not hold up to a 15 year career, maybe not even 10.

JordansBulls
01-29-2009, 08:45 PM
without a doubt, Dwight Howard. Lebron, let's all face it, will never amount to all-time greatness. Sure he might be a perrenial all-star, a la Vince Carter, but beyond that, i'm not so sure.

:speechless:

chicagowhitesox
01-29-2009, 09:00 PM
the king

Bksportzwizard
01-29-2009, 09:08 PM
That a very good Analysis Sportsnut4ever! I have to agree with everything you said, disregarding however your estimated time-line before Lebron's inevitable decline. I give him 8 more years of solid basketball before his gaudy muscle mass begins slowing down his aging knees. Dwight Howard's the man I want!

SportsNut4Ever
01-29-2009, 09:31 PM
That a very good Analysis Sportsnut4ever! I have to agree with everything you said, disregarding however your estimated time-line before Lebron's inevitable decline. I give him 8 more years of solid basketball before his gaudy muscle mass begins slowing down his aging knees. Dwight Howard's the man I want!

BK, I dont think youre understanding what i am saying. I' am saying lebron's athelticism wont be at its peak for much longer. not that his muscle mass will catch upto him. 8 years of solid basketball,sure but 8 years of top flight basketball, uuhhhh, NO!

Kaptain Kanada
01-29-2009, 09:54 PM
It's LeBron. When the game is on the line, he can score almost at will... unless he travels.

Crab dribble. ;)

brknwrst9
01-29-2009, 10:25 PM
You definitely have to go with Howard. James is great, but he has to take most of the shots because he is shooter, and his shots will be from all over the place. He is not going to be able to get inside as much as Howard, and the fact that Howard is inside 95% of the time will open up the outside. All you need is a bunch of half decent shooters, or even a good shooter like Kobe back when Shaq was in L.A. There was only one Michael Jordan, and he even had Pippen and Rodman. To start a team that you want to make the playoffs and have a legit have to take Howard over James. Name a team that has won the NBA title that didn't have a dominant big man?

*Superman*
01-30-2009, 12:34 AM
I would take Lebron for right now.....:cry:. LOL

Naw i love Dwight, just not trying to be homer.