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.