Blogtable: Big player, big flaw

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the five most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Ponder this: Of the very best players in the league, who has the biggest flaw in his game?

Steve Aschburner: Dwight Howard has worked mightily on his low-post offense, up to and including lab work with Hakeem Olajuwon and some added range on his jump shot, but he’s still more robotic than rhapsodic. Ditto his foul shooting, which makes him a liability late in close games. Either Magic assistant Patrick Ewing isn’t earning his money as Howard’s tutor in residence or coach Stan Van Gundy is thwarting the efforts to serve his preferred attack and keep Howard focused on the defensive end.

Fran Blinebury: Dwight Howard.  Free throws.  That’s a hole big enough to drive Oprah Winfrey, Al Roker and Roseanne Barr through on the back of a flat-bed trailer.

Art Garcia: Rajon Rondo‘s jumper is still suspect, but Boston needs him on the floor at all times. Can’t say that about Dwight Howard. You roll the dice having Superman on the floor in crunch time because the free-throw line is lined with Kryptonite. Getting the ball into the hands of your best player to ice a win is basic. Just not with Dwight.

Scott Howard-Cooper: I’ll say Amar’e Stoudemire because he has glaring flaws –- plural. Someone with size and athleticism should have averaged double digits in rebounding at least once. And, he’s a poor defender.

Shaun Powell: For someone so big and strong, LeBron James has no post-up game, to the relief of many small forwards. He settles too often for 20-footers or tries to take his man off the dribble. He needs to watch old film of Oscar Robertson and learn from the master.

John Schuhmann: Either Rajon Rondo, with his lack of a jumper, or Dwight Howard, with his incomplete offensive game. I’ll say Howard, because I think he’s one of the three or four best players in the league. He’s a beast that only one or two teams in the league can handle in the post, but he would be impossible to stop if he could pick-and-pop and knock down a 15-footer, and if he was more reliable at the free-throw line.

Sekou Smith: As splendid as Rajon Rondo has been this season, his inability to shoot consistently from 17-feet and out is easily the biggest flaw of any elite player. It’s even more pronounced than Dwight Howard‘s limited offensive arsenal. Rondo does have the luxury of playing with three future Hall of Famers and other quality shooters. If he played on a different team, he might not be nearly as effective as he is right now because teams could play him in a totally different way.

20 Comments

  1. Joe House says:

    Steve Nash and his matador defense?

  2. [...] came across this post today, which asks the NBA.com writers who they think, out of the best players in the league, who has the biggest flaw in their game? There were some interesting answers, if not entirely unsurprising; I’d like to know what you [...]

  3. Tenki says:

    Yes, Rondo’s hands are way too large that he seems like a gecko with a ball in his hands, but what can you say about Dr. J? MJ? These guys have large hands as well. I think Rondo really needs to improve his shooting if he is to be a complete player, besides having an all-around game. He can defend, pass, rebound, steal, and even penetrate the basket with relative ease. I’m pretty sure Miami would welcome him if he wanted to play in their team, especially with their lack of a point guard who is very unselfish and humble.

    I think LeBron has the most room for improvement because of his sheer bulk. He can bully his way into the basket had he polished his post moves, and earn more points at the free throw line. Heck, Carmelo Anthony has better post moves than him! If I was LeBron, I would watch a lot of Kevin McHale’s tapes and try to integrate his arsenal of moves into my game. That way, even power forwards who would try to guard LBJ in the post would have a tough time because of his quickness, and small forwards would be breakfast.

  4. sam says:

    Not to give Rondo any excuse…but Rondo’s gigantic hands do not help him shoot freethrows correctly, although it helps him with his passes, ball handling, and steals. HIs hands are larger than Lebrons!

    • mmmm whatcha say ay? says:

      yes i agree. dwight howard and shaq’s hands are the biggest too. that is why they cant shoot free throws. my friend toon pakmanee also has big hands and he cant shoot the ball to save his life! He got surgery to have his hand size reduced , btw

  5. Amani says:

    I love Rajon Rondo. I really do. Since AI got old and Dwyane Wade transformed from The Flash to D-Wade (yes, there is a SERIOUS difference), this little guy has been my favorite player to watch.

    What I don’t get is how you can have one of the greatest scorers in Celtic history and ARGUABLY THE GREATEST SHOOTER OF ALL TIME and not learn to shoot! If I had daily contact with Ray Allen, I would be droppin 3s like…a bad babysitter? Look, the NBA TV guys do the analogy thing better, but you know what I mean. WHO IS TEACHING THIS DUDE? His jumpshot looks awful, just give the boy some fundamentals!

    Danny Ainge, Nate Robinson…nobody has time in their schedules? Weak.

    That said, I hope he gets the assist record. That stuff about his teammates being great is rubbish. Ray Allen has never had a point guard get so many assists, and he has never had a lower-scoring season. Same goes for the rest of them. Rondo could find a way to drop dimes with Tony Allen, Joel Anthony, Kosta Koufos and Shelden Williams on his team.

    • Jaykowle. says:

      He probably could drop dimes to those guys, but they wouldn’t win.

    • Jake says:

      Uhhh when did the Flash become just D-Wade. I wasn’t aware that that had happened.

      • Amani says:

        he’s still one of the great players of the century so far, dont get me wrong. I’m just saying his style has changed:
        he useta charge at the rim with complete disregard for his own health or anyone else’s
        he useta take a lot more midrange jumpers
        and he useta have a destructive crossover
        he does much less of that now. hence why not even he wants to be called Flash anymore. Dude is a different player. Still excellent, but in a different way.

    • mmmm whatcha say ay? says:

      Rondo actually knows how to shoot. He is just waiting for when the Celtics get into game 7 of the nba finals so that when he has the ball in the last second the defender will let hiom shoot on purpose. In other words, he is hiding his best part of the game so that other people wont learn how to counter it.

  6. Jake says:

    The most annoying thing in these blog tables is how one or two writers always feel obligated to say something different than everybody else even if it doesn’t make sense. Lebron’s post up game and Amare’s defense/rebounding aren’t nearly as big of flaws as Howard or Rondo’s shooting. It’s okay to agree with everybody else just come up with a clever way of saying the same thing.

  7. Zzanzabar says:

    Rondo is the only player that I can think of that lack of a jump shot actually improves his assist stats. Most teams play off of Rondo giving him the luxury of surveying the court and finding one or more of his hall of fame teammates for a highly favorable shot. When he is covered as though he can actually make a 17 footer his assists go way down and his importance to the team diminishes. Unfortunately only a handful of teams have the personnel to cover both Pierce AND Allen one on one so they let Rondo run wild.

    Howard on the other hand, MUST develop his offensive game to really make a difference at the end of games. He must also go back to his earlier attempts of blocking shots and keeping the ball IN PLAY rather than the useless monster smashes that look good. Of the two I would say that Howard’s game needs a fix more than Rondo’s.

    • eff you fisher lover says:

      that my buddy makes all the other teams seem stupid… atleast the 8 teams Boston beat so far this season… you know, i know, they know that rondo can’t shoot and that he’ll just drop dimes…but as of yet.. nobody’s been able to stop him from dishing… averaging 13 dimes a night… i’ll give that he’s a terrible shooter, but i’ll give him credit for being a great playmaker, for finding ways to get the ball to his teammates when all his opponents already expects him to pass the ball… dwight.. they got his numbers… he’s more flawed coz hes not a smart player.. he’s an ahtletic player but you cant expect a big brain in that tiny head.

  8. Josh Sexton says:

    Rondo’s free throw shooting in my opinion is the most glaring. It is unheard of for a point guard of his caliber not being able to shoot from the charity stripe. Howard’s free throw struggles are a little more expected, considering not all hall of fame big men shoot well from the line.

  9. StaplesB says:

    what about derrick rose and his shooting ?

    • JD says:

      d.rose has actually improved as a shooter this season, well i reckon he has, also you put d.rose in that dallas game where rondo missed that open three, i say d.rose knocks it down, im not bias either i go for the hornets