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Posts Tagged ‘Dwight Howard’

Dwight Howard GIFs Are Full of Win

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While he might be an oversized man-child, there’s no denying the raw talent level of Dwight Howard. Just ask Luol Deng. Deng tried to complete a driving layup against the Magic defense, and he was rewarded quite rudely by Howard, who pimp-slapped Deng’s offering into the next zip code. The block was so impressive, it had to be preserved in animated gif format, an unexpected renaissance that proves without a doubt what’s old is most definitely new again — in relation to web design, anyway.

After the jump, Dwight blocks in gif format >>

Dwight Howard’s Take On Derek Anderson

Last night, NBA jokester/man-child, Dwight Howard, had a laugh at the expense of Arizona Cardinals quarterback, Derek Anderson, by making fun of Anderson’s post-game rant after the Cardinals got stomped by the San Francisco 49ers. The results are about what you’d expect from the guy responsible for releasing a karaoke-for-kids album in the offseason.

In other news, I’m guessing Howard’s season low of nine points coming on the heels of his impersonation is only a coincidence, right? It certainly couldn’t be karma from making fun of such a poor performance — vicariously, anyway — could it?

Dwight Howard: Credit Where it’s Due

Last week, I blasted Orlando Magic man-child Dwight Howard for what appeared to be a lack of offseason preparation, as well as eschewing the FIBA World Championships to produce albums for children. However, thanks to a find by the folks at Ball Don’t Lie, I must give Howard some credit, especially when he’s earned it.

What we have is D-12 working out/learning from perhaps the best post player to lace up a pair of shoes in the NBA: Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon. Sure, the video feels almost like a pitch for The Dream as a individual workout coach, but at the same time, it’s nice to see Howard, who might be the most athletically-gifted big man the NBA’s ever seen, actually work to improve the area he’s weakest in: post-game offense.

Granted, Howard doesn’t have the shooting stroke of Olajuwon — he still “short-arms” his shots — but if he can apply some of the considerable knowledge he’s getting from Dream, his post game will have no choice but to get better. Of course, working out in a peaceful gym with one of the greatest post players instructing you — no defense either — is one thing. I’m curious about what happens when Howard’s instincts takeover in the middle of a close playoff game.

Will he remember to apply Olajuwon’s teachings, or will he revert to bad habits of old, that is, trying only to dunk the ball?

Dwight Howard Skipped The FIBA Worlds For This?

Dwight Howard Album

One of the Dwight Howard’s biggest knocks had to do with his limitations as a post player, featuring a limited amount of post moves — outside of his raw-power assaults at the rim. Because of that, Howard’s decision to not attend the FIBA World Championship was a little confusing, and he was actually taken to task by Bill Simmons for it.

It continues to be funny that Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh decided this experience couldn’t have helped them as basketball players.

Clearly, the World Championship could’ve helped Howard, although, one can understand his desire to rest and prepare for the Orlando Magic’s upcoming battles with LeBron’s Team 2.0 out of South Beach. However, those weren’t his only reasons for not attending, either. When asked about FIBA, Howard offered other suggestions about how he’d use his offseason time:

…forgo the World Championships in Turkey this summer in order to rest and possibly act in a movie and/or appear in a television reality show, among other things.

Nowhere in that manifesto was “improving as a basketball player to improve our chances of getting back to the NBA Finals,” and after seeing this press release, it’s easy to see why: Howard would rather spend his free time continuing to act like a kid. I’m not sure what else explains the release of his debut album, Shoot For The Stars, a collection of “arena anthems and classic hits” all karaoke’d by Orlando’s man-child himself.

The album also features the title’s song, which is a call for youngsters to follow their dreams or some such.

I certainly don’t begrudge folks wanting to help children, even though I think today’s society is far too catering to the whims of youth. But if Dwight wants to be a positive role model for the children, nothing’s wrong with that; but at some point, you also have an obligation to the franchise that pays you a king’s ransom to become the best player you can be. Put it this way: LeBron has been absolutely brutalized for way he handled his offseason, but it’s clear James has been all about basketball once the fire from his “look at me” decision burnt out.

Do you remember seeing LeBron’s album for children coming out? No, instead, it’s been all about how James is preparing to silence his doubters this upcoming season. As for Dwight Howard? Not so much. Aside from taking shots at the Heat with his “I’d choose Durant first” stuff, Howard has been putting his focus in other ventures, all seemingly non-basketball related.

Again, if Howard wants to help children, that’s all fine and good, but don’t be surprised if, in the next round of playoff games (still a few games away), Howard’s offensive game still hasn’t met the demands of his critics and his shortcomings as a post player are again brought to the forefront.

Orlando Is a Walking Highlight Reel

Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic are undefeated in the 2010 NBA Playoffs. They are the only team to boast such a record. For some reason, however, one of the louder responses has to do with the quality of their competition. Granted, the Charlotte Bobcats, nor the Atlanta Hawks were/are going to win the NBA Championship. Nevertheless, both of these teams had above .500 records, something not true about Cleveland’s opening-round opponent, the Chicago Bulls, who finished the season 41-41.

How much stock you put into that depends on how much stock you put into transitive properties in sports.

Whatever you think of the Magic’s chances of getting representing the of Eastern Conference in the Finals, it’s hard to deny how impressive the Magic have looked against the Atlanta Hawks — and that’s not even considering the 43-point Game 1 debacle. In Game 2, the Hawks actually competed. It didn’t matter. As indicated, the Magic unfurled a can of highlight reel-worthy basketball against the Hawks in Game 2; led, quite naturally, by their man-child Dwight Howard.

Highlights after the jump >>

Dwight Howard’s Fun Night

Dwight Howard

Mark Cuban and Jerry Jones pulled an NBA All-Star Game for the ages. Sure, there wasn’t much defense — at least not until the fourth quarter — and the record-crowd only made noise for the obvious plays (outrageous dunks, etc), but it was a spectacle. But then again, Jerry Jones’ architectural masterpiece of sports arenas had as much to do with that as anything happening on the court.

Now, this is not a knock on the NBA’s celebration of itself, All-Star games should be fun exhibitions, but if you were expecting the pinnacle of basketball competition, you probably left last night feeling rather disappointed. One player who didn’t waste the opportunity for fun, however, was Dwight Howard.

More on Dwight’s fun night after the jump (video, too) >>

Will LeBron Dunk?

And that, folks, might be all we see in the way of dunking highlights for LeBron James. Yes, his in-game dunking theatrics hit me as a cross between Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins — that is, incredible artistry combined with raw power and the ability to jump out of the gym. Unfortunately, the chances we the fans get to see James “perform” in the NBA’s dunk contest, something he “committed” to doing last year, remains dubious, at best.

Just ask Dwight Howard.

According to Howard, it’s quite doubtful we’ll see Chosen do his thing for All-Star festivity participants.

“Me and him are talking,” Howard said. “I don’t know if he wants to do it. We do a lot of dunking during the season so those dunk contests take a lot out of you. … I would love to see him get in one. But I doubt he does. I don’t think he’s going to do it.”

Howard goes on to say he sees LeBron as more of an in-game dunker than a “dunk-contest dunker,” meaning his style doesn’t necessarily translate to a good showing in the dunk contest. Be that as it may, if James did participate, the desire to see him would probably outdo any disappointment. Besides, while James may not be the type to blow a birthday candle out in the middle of a dunk attempt, the authority with which he finishes, combined with his eye-popping ability to leap promises a dunk or two that would move the crowd.

Of course, to those of you who have been waiting patiently for LeBron to fully commit to the dunk competition, this news probably comes as no surprise.

The Evolution of the Alley-Oop?

Watch the dunk by Dwight Howard in the lead video, but pay attention to the pass that allowed him to dunk it. It was a high-off-the-glass shot/pass from Jameer Nelson that paved the way for Howard to splash the ball down. The play was executed so effectively, it forced some NBA scholars to consider the possibilities, like, for instance, is that the evolution of the alley-oop play, a play made popular — at least to me, anyway — by Sherman Douglas throwing oops to Rony Seikaly and Derrick Coleman when they roamed the Syracuse sidelines?

Can an off-the-glass pass become a staple of NBA offenses, especially when you have a leaper like Dwight Howard on the receiving end? The awesome fellows at Free Darko expound — a great deal, in fact — on this idea:

Exceptions, not a considerable planar extension of time and space. Still, this could work, people, and the more the NBA begins to see the ‘oop as foundational, the more possible this kind of thing becomes. In effect, it becomes the new alley-oops.

Maybe we’re putting the heads ahead of the other heads. But remember, the dunk itself was once thought of as useless tomfoolery. Now, most people would agree that relatively sane dunking is the easiest way to ensure the ball goes through the hoop. The paradox of progress is that imagination is always linked to style, and yet it also provides the seed for innovation that changes the face of function. Think about the way the Suns or Warriors use to alter the dimensions of the court (scrapped book idea: using advanced physics to prove this), all through a mode of play dripping with style. Is a team like the Magic or Hornets this close to another great, sustained breakthrough?

Would Stan Van Jeremy make such a play a regular part of his offensive attack? As long as Howard can out-jump everybody else in the paint, and as long as someone like Nelson is making the pass, I don’t see why not. Consider this option as well: the play does not have to be exclusively done for Howard. If I’m not mistaken, Vince Carter is known as a leaper. Why not include him in these off-the-backboard alley-oop plans? Hell, Rashard Lewis could probably find room to work, or jump, as it were, in that kind of play as well.

It’s not like he’s bound by gravity either.