Thursday, May 14, 2009
After three quarters on Tuesday Night the Celtics play could be described as nothing other than brutal. They looked like death, but after a little Stephon revitalization the Celtics started to fight back and it appeared as if their Swine Flu transferred over to the Magic. The Magic went into a complete funk, couldn't put the ball in the basket and ended up choking away the game. So naturally the post game interviews were filled with frustration, including Dwight Howard going off about getting the ball.
"Offensively I have to get the ball," Howard said candidly. "I don't think you are going to win a lot of games when your post player only gets 10 shots. It's tough to get yourself going and get a lot of touches without a lot of shots. We have to do a better job with that."
First off I loved Jalen Rose's take, which was essentially "If You're the Leader of the Team You Demand the Ball. Lebron demands the ball in the huddle, Kobe demands the ball in the huddle." Some blame obviously falls on Van Gundy's shoulders for letting his team collapse, but Howard if he's the leader of the team and wants the ball he should be able to demand it.
Secondly, I haven't seen Howard do a single thing this series that has screamed "FEED HIM IN THE POST." I'm sorry but his post moves and presence is not that frightening right now. I've watched this series and one question popped in my head, "If Dwight Howard was 6 foot 5 would he even be an NBA player?". To me he's great because he's bigger, stronger and more athletic than everyone. And against the Celtics small lineup this advantage is entirely evident. But his post skills closely resemble that of Kendrick Perkins, aka near zero.
Want someone who watches a shit load of basketball with paying gig to give you the same opinion, here is John Hollinger of ESPN:
Everyone is killing the Magic for not getting Howard post touches down the stretch. Have you seen this guy's post game? It's not good, especially when he's going against a wide-body like Kendrick Perkins who can get under him and muscle him into a running 10-foot hook shot.
Howard made five field goals and four turnovers Tuesday night, and that's because he couldn't score one-on-one against Perkins, just as he's been unable to do all series. Howard's baskets in this series haven't come on post isolations. They've come when somebody else has penetrated and fed him on the move, or when he has grabbed an offensive board and slammed it home.
Dwight you're an animal, but before you're ever going to morph into a go to player down the stretch of games you're going to have to find some semblance of a post move. So stop your bitching and do a little practicing this offseason.