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Old 01-26-2013, 07:01 PM   #64
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Default Re: Players better than Dwight Howard

Originally Posted by Horde of Temujin
The problem I have is that I don't respect players who rely heavily on athleticism as much as others who are skilled. In my opinion Olajuwon was the best center to play, certainly the best that I have seen, he had the combination of athleticism and skill. He was truly a marvel and is the benchmark in which I measure all centers against.
I must acknowledge that those stat lines you posted are undeniable and could not be put up by any ordinary scrub. So I guess I will have to say what bothers me is that Dwight is an amazingly athletic player who has not lived up to his potential. He could be so much more!

Obviously, Dwight isn't the most skilled big man, but I think there is a natural limit to his skills. Many guys naturally have better hands, a better touch, better footwork ect. And Dwight certainly isn't Hakeem, or anywhere close.

Sadly, I don't think we'll see what he could have been. Returning to pre-back injury athleticism is looking more and more unlikely. Plus, he hasn't seemed the same mentally since 2011, and it's gotten worse. That's the only explanation I can think of for 6 straight years of a mediocre, but much better 59-60% before dropping to 49-50% the last 2 seasons.

I wanted to see Dwight maintain his 2011 skills, and even improve on them a little, while becoming a better passer and getting up to about 65% from the line before losing his athleticism. I think those were all reasonable expectations at the time, but I doubt we'll see Dwight like that.

While Dwight does display some moves and decent footwork in the videos he posted, he always relied mostly on his freakish level of athleticism to get his points. His rebounding and defensive prowess is unquestionable, one thing that always bothered me which is prevalent among many players in the league, is why the hell can't he just catch the ball instead of swatting it out of bounds!

I think that's valid, and all I was saying was that 2011 Dwight wasn't an unskilled player. He wasn't Gasol, but he had enough skills to consistently get his shot in the post. At the time, I'd describe his skill set as limited, but effective, and combined with his physical ability, made him a real force.

As far as keeping his blocks in play, well, he was actually doing much better with that in 2012. Strange, because he seemed less focused in 2012 than 2011, but I noticed him blocking less shots out of bounds than before, or certainly than he has this year.

Some argue that Dwight's current woes are attributed to a flawed system and a lack of touches. I feel it is due to the lack of a fundamental skill set to compensate for his back injury. The effect of his injury on his game is obvious and I guess I should cut the guy some slack (but as you can see my hate runs deep since I started this thread at the peak of his powers) He also has a terrible attitude. I think the Lakers should trade Dwight. The reason Pau is deadweight is because of the inability to mesh with Dwight and if you have to choose between the two, i would go with Pau.

I think Dwight is the better choice at this point because Pau hasn't been right mentally since the 2011 playoffs, and he's 32. As disappointed as I think Dwight's been, I'd have to choose him for the future.

How do you think Dwight measures up to centers from the 90's and 80's? As I stated earlier, I don't think he was even better than guys like Vlade, Rik Smits, Artis Gilmore, Brad Daugherty, Arvidas Sabonis, Mourning, yet alone the all-time greats such as Hakeem, Shaq, and Kareem. There are some misconceptions of today's game but it is absolutely true that the number of quality centers in the league has diminished.

Dwight now? Or Dwight before the injury? Dwight has never been close to Kareem, Shaq or Hakeem, and never will, but I'd probably take 2011 Dwight over the others, except maybe '99/'00 Mourning who I think was very close. 2009-2012 Dwight was in another tier than Vlade, Smits and NBA-era Sabonis who I can't see being franchise players in any era. Daugherty was definitely a better offensive player than Dwight has ever been or ever will be, but I'd take pre-injury Dwight for his superior defense and mobility.
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