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View Full Version : Dwight Howard: Lacking Killer Instinct



Swashcuff
02-25-2010, 11:20 PM
I stumbled across this article by a CBS sports colunmist. Interesting to say the least.

http://www.cbssports.com/columns/story/12962803/magics-howard-lacking-the-killerinstinct-gene/rss

[/QUOTE] We were supposed to see the new Dwight Howard this season.

Then Shaquille O'Neal, despite the increasing width of his lumpy backside built on years of too many baby back ribs and cinnamon Pop Tarts, came to town and proved what many of us Howard critics have been saying for some months.

Same ... old ... Howard. Nothing has changed. Not a single thing.

It took a mostly washed up O'Neal, who still possesses a modicum of swagger, to show that Howard is the same limited big man with grand potential who still can't live up to it.

This should've been a statement game for Howard. Old guard vs. new guard, George Reeves against Brandon Routh. Because of O'Neal's advanced age and cul-de-sac girth, this was supposed to be low-hanging fruit for Howard.

Instead, the Sunday game between Orlando and Cleveland started with O'Neal dunking on Howard's head. Throughout the game O'Neal played Howard close despite being 13 years older. Howard definitely had a statistically good afternoon with 22 points and 16 rebounds but O'Neal made his first eight shots and finished with 20 points of his own.

The animus between the two men continues to intensify over an imaginary who's-the-real-Superman feud. Howard told the Orlando Sentinel the fight has gotten so snippy that O'Neal snubbed him during the NBA's All-Star Weekend by walking past him and not saying hello.

"Shaq will get his someday," Howard said.

Well, here was your chance to deliver some payback, big fella. Instead, O'Neal dunked on your head.

It's not that O'Neal dominated Howard. It's that Howard failed to dominate O'Neal.

No matter his alleged offensive improvement, Howard continues to be the most frustrating player in the NBA and maybe all of sports.

He should be the 21st century's Wilt Chamberlain. No NBA big man has Howard's athleticism and power. Yet, despite the protestations of Howard's apologists, he continues to underachieve for a man of such significant physical presence.

Howard deserves credit for attempting to diversify his offensive game with more front looks and handsomer jumpers, yet he still doesn't look drastically different. He might be demanding the ball more but it looks tepid, almost fake, like he's trying to be something he's not.

He still hasn't cultured the thorny tenaciousness of a LeBron James, Kobe Bryant or Dwyane Wade. O'Neal once hungered for more than Snickers bars and was a vicious competitor. Howard doesn't have that nastiness.

Howard has a legion of apologists because he truly is a hell of a nice guy. But this isn't about his candidacy for Man of the Year. This is about his legacy as Big Man of a Generation.

It's also not necessarily that Howard doesn't look mean or scowl enough. Wade looks like a pretty boy underwear model, but on the floor he's a stone-cold killer.

What makes Wade and others relentless and not Howard is something that's mostly inexplicable. Some of it is just inherent and can't be artificially forged or reverse engineered.

The Magic, meanwhile, constantly bristle over any Howard criticism and are extremely defensive when it comes to their star. "... The national media, he's just a guy that gets [dumped] on," coach Stan Van Gundy recently said, according to the Orlando Sentinel. "You would think that he's not one of the elite players in the league. I guess people haven't noticed his offensive improvement. I don't think anybody's paying attention, the stuff I read about him. If there's guys in the league playing better than he is right now, there's like two or three of them. There are not many doing what he's doing. He has carried our team."

Van Gundy added that he recently heard of a comparison made between Howard and Boston's Kevin Garnett that wasn't kind to Howard.

"Kevin Garnett has been in this league forever and he's won six playoff series in his career," Van Gundy said. "Dwight's won four and he's [24] years old. That's a pretty good comparison. Why is Kevin Garnett a great winner and Dwight Howard's not? I don't get it. And if you're just going to go by titles, Kevin Garnett's got one, and Dwight's got as many as LeBron's got. But LeBron's a great winner and Dwight [isn't]? I don't get it."

Comparing Howard to James is practically treasonous and Van Gundy's logic has some holes in it.

There's a question to ask. Why is it that national dopes like me and others, as Van Gundy claims, keep wondering about Howard's internal combustion engine?

Maybe it's possible we're not erroneous. Maybe we're onto something.

Many times, Howard will be the biggest and strongest on the floor, so he's going to get his points and rebounds.

If only Howard were hungrier, he might already have much more.[/QUOTE]

I actually wanted to start a thread about which players currently in the NBA have the Killer Instinct that Jordan made so famous but I just knew Homerism would take over. What does you guys think?

stawka
02-25-2010, 11:26 PM
I've been saying for a long time exactly that. Dwight needs the killer instinct Shaq had when he entered the league. He wanted to dunk on everyone, and hurt everyone (literally)

Dwight is a monster and is so strong, but at times I think he's scared of ho's own strength. Once he gains a bit more attitude, it's all over. Hopefully this whole Shaq thing gets him going?

GOON MUSIC
02-25-2010, 11:29 PM
yeah man, the sad truth ...

thescore53
02-25-2010, 11:33 PM
if dwight stop smilliin and gets mad hed be a bigger beast then he already is

Young and Stupid
02-25-2010, 11:40 PM
I thought this was common knowledge... Howard has an alpha-dog status skill-set, but lacks the alpha-dog mindset. That's whats so scary about Howard, not only has he not even grasped his potential, but he also doesn't take the game 100% serious. Hopefully as he matures his attitude changes because it would be a shame for him to waste such great talent as a result of being too nice.

When Dwight Howard starts demanding the ball and stops swatting balls into the third row then the NBA better watch out because he has the potential to be the best center ever. If Howard develops his on-ball defense and a servicable jumper - game over.

Swashcuff
02-25-2010, 11:44 PM
I thought this was common knowledge... Howard has an alpha-dog status skill-set, but lacks the alpha-dog mindset. That's whats so scary about Howard, not only has he not even grasped his potential, but he also doesn't take the game 100% serious. Hopefully as he matures his attitude changes because it would be a shame for him to waste such great talent as a result of being too nice.

When Dwight Howard starts demanding the ball and stops swatting balls into the third row then the NBA better watch out because he has the potential to be the best center ever. If Howard develops his on-ball defense and a servicable jumper - game over.

I firmly believe that if the Magic keep reaching far in the playoffs and not winning the championship Dwight's hunger will grow and we will certainly see a change in his style of play. I think that will trigger him off. We gotta remember too he is only 24. He's got some time still.

Raph12
02-26-2010, 12:06 AM
His personality may be the only thing holding him back, but he's demanding the ball more and looking angrier and angrier this season... Hell he's second to Sheed in techs this season with 12, he's getting to that determined phase in his career, it's just happening real slow.

The problem is that things are too easy for him, he's dominating without really dominating. But he's been a beast since the AS break, looking like a man on a mission, and has been putting up MVP-like numbers. If he continues to beast on both ends like he has recently, we may change our minds about him by the end of June.

Mrphilly
02-26-2010, 12:11 AM
I've been saying for a long time exactly that. Dwight needs the killer instinct Shaq had when he entered the league. He wanted to dunk on everyone, and hurt everyone (literally)

Dwight is a monster and is so strong, but at times I think he's scared of ho's own strength. Once he gains a bit more attitude, it's all over. Hopefully this whole Shaq thing gets him going?

Shaq was trying to dunk on everybody because that is all he could do. I don't think putting on a mad face is gonna make howard a better player. I'm not exactly sure what killer instinct is, but I don't think dunking on every play or not smiling is it.

When I think of killer instinct, I think of Kobe, Wade, Billups, Lebron, not Shaq or Howard.

ManRam
02-26-2010, 12:13 AM
He does lack the killer instinct that all the greats have had for sure. He's progressed so much this year (after a slow start). I really now think that there isn't going to be anything holding him back very shortly, except for the mental part of the game. This isn't just his lack of killer instinct and ferocity, it's also his idiotic brain farts that lead to terrible fouls among other things.

akay47
02-26-2010, 12:16 AM
Overhyped, never liked him

stawka
02-26-2010, 02:03 AM
Shaq was trying to dunk on everybody because that is all he could do. I don't think putting on a mad face is gonna make howard a better player. I'm not exactly sure what killer instinct is, but I don't think dunking on every play or not smiling is it.

When I think of killer instinct, I think of Kobe, Wade, Billups, Lebron, not Shaq or Howard.

Are you serious??? By Shaq's second season he had a much better offensive game than Dwight has now. How old are you dude? You must have missed the 90's

SteveNash
02-26-2010, 02:43 AM
His personality may be the only thing holding him back, but he's demanding the ball more and looking angrier and angrier this season... Hell he's second to Sheed in techs this season with 12, he's getting to that determined phase in his career, it's just happening real slow.

The problem is that things are too easy for him, he's dominating without really dominating. But he's been a beast since the AS break, looking like a man on a mission, and has been putting up MVP-like numbers. If he continues to beast on both ends like he has recently, we may change our minds about him by the end of June.

I don't think Rasheed has a killer instinct.

Swashcuff
02-26-2010, 01:26 PM
Are you serious??? By Shaq's second season he had a much better offensive game than Dwight has now. How old are you dude? You must have missed the 90's

Shaq qas truly a Man amongst boys. Dwight is yet to reach anywhere near young Shaq.

Raph12
02-26-2010, 01:49 PM
I don't think Rasheed has a killer instinct.

I mean he's playing angrier.

Raph12
02-26-2010, 01:53 PM
Are you serious??? By Shaq's second season he had a much better offensive game than Dwight has now. How old are you dude? You must have missed the 90's

Shaq was always a great passer, which ends the arguement... But Dwight's moves in the post are already elite, just ask Shaq, he needed a double on him late in the 3rd and throughout the 4th and apparently for the first time in his career. :rolleyes:


Shaq qas truly a Man amongst boys. Dwight is yet to reach anywhere near young Shaq.

Shaq was a beast, he was too big and strong to control and the calls were much more lenient in his day. Shaq got into foul trouble in a league where playing physical was an everyday thing. In today's league, young Shaq wouldn't be as dominant and would be in foul trouble all day all night.

$ NyC $
02-26-2010, 02:09 PM
Definitely agree. I remember when the Magic made the Finals i thought to myself, "man if Dwight really wants this he's gonna just beast on the Lakers," but he didn't. I mean he is the MAN for the Magic. Your team is in the finals, your a super-star, i thought he was gonna take over.

If he hand the "I'm gonna be the best ever Mindset" he could be one of the best centers. He isn't as agile as Hakeem was, but I don't recall any center having the athleticism that Dwight has.

Swashcuff
02-26-2010, 07:06 PM
Shaq was always a great passer, which ends the arguement... But Dwight's moves in the post are already elite, just ask Shaq, he needed a double on him late in the 3rd and throughout the 4th and apparently for the first time in his career. :rolleyes:



Shaq was a beast, he was too big and strong to control and the calls were much more lenient in his day. Shaq got into foul trouble in a league where playing physical was an everyday thing. In today's league, young Shaq wouldn't be as dominant and would be in foul trouble all day all night.

Good point. It would really be interesting to see how his style of play would have translated in today's league. I remember shaq practically beating guys up in the paint. Not gonna happen in today's game tho.