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D Roses Bulls
08-23-2010, 05:33 PM
pretty good article..... thought I'd share it.


The super free agency summer of 2010 was probably the most polarizing period in league history. It delivered us what may be THE most intriguing team ever. Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh manipulated the market in order to join each other and the Miami Heat was the only franchise that could afford them, so they “took their talents to South Beach”.

So many people believed that, after using much of the salary cap to fit those high paid stars, Pat Riley would be unable to surround them with a decent supporting cast. With a low post presence and two of the best attack-guards in the league, also all three of them ball monopolists (3 of the TOP 11 in usage rate, the 2 highest), the best way to complete them is with shooters, snipers whose job is to eventually bail the team out late on the shot clock or take advantage of double teams. Miami used a big chunk of its midlevel exception to sign Mike Miller and convinced Eddie House to take the veteran’s minimum.

But with a cap line in place, there’re only so many holes you can fill. Unable to get an average profile cleaner and rim protector, the Heat used a different technique in that department. Dwight Howard is the big man everybody targets on the Eastern Conference. Miami managed to fill the remainder of the roster with big men. Aware that none of them are actually capable to stand in front of Howard, Riley’s intention is to have thirty six fouls available to send Howard to the line and rely on his poor free-throw shooting. __________________________________________________ _________________________________

Have you ever realized that in life we never quite understand the importance of now? We are always thinking about what we’ve done in the past and how we shouldn’t have quit on a job, a friend or a girl. We are always thinking about what we’re going to do tomorrow, next week, next month or ten years from now. In very few of those moments human beings get a reality check and understand how meaningful a moment can be.

Dwight Howard faces one of those moments right now. I wonder if he’s aware of it. Like mentioned before, this Heat team is very intriguing. They haven’t played a single game together yet and basketball knowledgeable people project they’ll be historic, either way or another.

Very few players, including Miami’s, have a clear shot of stopping them from succeeding. For yours truly, one of these players is Dwight Howard. Miami is going for blood. At this point, they seem to be aware of how much is at stake. The legacy of the players involved in this program depends on them succeeding and for them, success will only be determined after a dynasty is installed.

Aware of Dwight’s presence and importance, Miami’s intention is to punch his wounds. Miami possesses the two best attack-guards in the league nowadays. Howard, 4th in the league on personal fouls last season, will be tested an absurd amount of times and like always, Orlando’s destiny relies on his ability to stay on the floor.

The key test lies above. With that always in mind, it comes the next step; whether Howard is capable or not to carry the Magic over the course of a possible seven-game series against the Heat. Another of Dwight’s woes is his lack of polished offensive moves (36.2% from right post & 36.7% from are in front of the rim, last season) and his inability to hit free-throws (59.9%).

Is Howard capable of taking that next step and be a scoring threat? Many don’t know but Dwight led the league in scoring from the left post last season (44.1%). Many forgot that throughout sporadic games, Howard displayed an unexpected, sweet bank-shot. His shooting mechanics are still a work in progress and it’s not reliable yet, though.

When approached by me on twitter about whether he is aware that the way he handles the next four years battling Miami on the playoffs may solidify his legacy, Howard answered me:

“My boy the Heat [aren’t] the only team in the NBA and they [are not going to] determine nothing.”

After following up, arguing the hype around Miami and how he has an opportunity to destroy them year after year what could leave his imprint in history even if he eventually doesn’t win a title, Howard replied:

“So what [?] Everybody [isn’t playing]. We [are]. We [are] playing for a ring. Not [just] [trying to] win 4 games against Miami.”

Sure, yours truly does understand the big picture here. The Los Angeles Lakers are still the best team in the NBA and doesn’t matter what you do on the postseason if you don’t win the title. Although I’m hater and will be a part of the huge crew cheering for Miami’s experiment to fail, we must be objective and understand that the Heat will be deep contenders, season after season. The road through the East will continually pass through South Beach and that’s the point.

Howard is not a reliable source of offense and that’s a fact. I do believe he can be affective enough against Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Udonis Haslem, Juwan Howard, Jamaal Magloire and Dexter Pittman.

And that’s the point out of this discussion. A lot of Miami’s interior defense should be based of LeBron James as a center of gravity due to his weak-side shot blocking skills and his ability to help-defend and affectively rotate back thanks to his athleticism. If Howard is able to advantage of Miami’s weak frontcourt early, establishing a dominance, James will naturally have to provide assistance, opening the floor for Orlando to run it’s “live-and-die by the 3” philosophy.

Talk Hoops’ Zach Harper disagrees with me completely, sharing strong insight against the theory:

“I’d agree if Dwight was a great post player. But he’s not good enough. They have to hope the Heat can’t defend pick-and-roll well.

His problems are post position and touch. I guess you can change touch but his body won’t change [making] post position a [tough to solve] problem.

Dwight can be historical defensively and in rebounding relative to today’s production. But not offensively.”

When I mention the hype around the Heat and how Howard has an opportunity to destroy them year after year what could leave his imprint in history even if he eventually doesn’t win a title, Harper replied:

“And yet you think he’s proved that he can destroy anybody consistently in a playoff atmosphere and gets wins because of it?

When he proves he can do it, then I’ll believe it. But right now, we have a substantial body of work that says no.”


Life is not about what I did or what I could do, it’s about what I’m doing because it’s truly the only thing you act on. The NBA is caught up in a moment in which basketball exemplifies life. The protagonists are Dwight Howard and the Miami Heat. It is Dwight’s shot at history. It’s his chance to destroy an empire that we (so called basketball knowledgeable people) built over accomplishments that haven’t even been reached yet.

http://network.yardbarker.com/NBA/article_external/Dwight_Howards_shot_At_History/3096160

tredigs
08-23-2010, 05:42 PM
I'm of the opinion that D. Howard will be in near instantaneous foul trouble going against two players that attack the hoop with the ferocity of Wade + James. He's got a chance to show what he can do and come up huge for that team (he is definitely one of their few potential kyrptonites), but again I just think the foul trouble they will cause will be too much to keep Dwight from averaging more than 30 minutes a game against the Heat. And in those other 18 minutes, they will undoubtedly dominate.

D Roses Bulls
08-23-2010, 05:51 PM
pat riley seems to be trying to do everything to stop this guy.

NYtilIdie
08-23-2010, 06:00 PM
Dwight has been labeled a "defensive presence" his whole career, people have him in their Top 5 off his defense alone, but with Miami's Big 3 that has to change.

He NEEDS to become that offensive force if he plans on beating Miami because if Orlando relies on chucking 3's to beat Miami then they are going to be in serious trouble.

Dwight also has problems with foul trouble and honestly i'd be surprised if he makes it through the whole game without getting in foul trouble especially when he's facing two players that attack the rim.

tredigs
08-23-2010, 06:01 PM
pat riley seems to be trying to do everything to stop this guy.

How so? Dwight is not the player and the Magic are not the team to beat in the East. That distinction goes to the Celtics. I actually think that the Bulls will be a tougher matchup for the Heat (and Celtics) than Orlando.

Until Dwight can develop a consistent go-to post game, shoot free throws at a rate that will dissuade "Hack A Dwight", and stay away from sloppy fouls that get him into foul trouble, he will not be a player that should be truly feared (though certainly respected).

John Walls Era
08-23-2010, 06:06 PM
Is Howard capable of taking that next step and be a scoring threat? Many don’t know but Dwight led the league in scoring from the left post last season (44.1%).

I'm sorry but this doesn't make me anymore optimistic with Dwight's potential offensive game. 44% is not good, especially when the writer is making it seem like its his "hot spot". Dwight has a shot at becoming the guy who keeps destroying the Heat, but the odds are slim imo. Disregarding his lack of offensive game (that everyone always points out), he still gets those ticky tacky fouls (not his fault, but sometimes he gets in bad spots at the worst possible timing and the refs will not hesitate to call a foul on him).

The Heat may not be able to guard him this year, but who says they won't get/draft a big body in the near future? I do think the Magic are the only team (sorry Celtics) that can beat the Heat this year in the EAST (I think Bulls are great so maybe them too), but it will rely on Dwight's offense, defense, stay out of foul trouble and ability to come up in the clutch (FTs included). I just don't like their chances...

D Roses Bulls
08-23-2010, 06:20 PM
How so? Dwight is not the player and the Magic are not the team to beat in the East. That distinction goes to the Celtics. I actually think that the Bulls will be a tougher matchup for the Heat (and Celtics) than Orlando.

Until Dwight can develop a consistent go-to post game, shoot free throws at a rate that will dissuade "Hack A Dwight", and stay away from sloppy fouls that get him into foul trouble, he will not be a player that should be truly feared (though certainly respected).

signed 6 big men over the off season..... you dont think that has something to do with howard? dont let what the magic did last year discredit them. as i said before, i think they really over looked the celtics and that why they didnt get back to the finals. howard is only 24, he still has a lot of time to improve his offensive game.