Blogtable: Blame in Orlando

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

Is it time to lay some of the blame in Orlando on Dwight Howard, or are we being a little harsh?

David Aldridge: You’re being a little harsh, unless you’re criticizing him for asking for better players around him. I’m not. On the court, his one drawback is the free throws, but you’d still take the overall package with that one flaw, right?

Steve Aschburner: More than a little harsh, frankly. Howard is at or near career highs in many categories, including points per game, rebounds, steals and PER. He is carrying a bigger load offensively these days. But opponents use gang tactics on him with their bigs, because Marcin Gortat is gone and GM Otis Smith hasn’t beefed up his frontcourt. It also is a reminder that, great as a big fellow is, he’s not initiating the action and is more dependent on the quality of his backcourt and wing teammates. It’s the reason Kevin Garnett, in his prime, could play on teams winning just 33 (2005-06) and 32 games (2006-07).

Fran Blinebury: If there’s a guy on the Magic who doesn’t deserve the flak, it’s the one averaging 22.4 points, 13.7 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and shooting 57.9 percent from the field.  I suppose Howard could put the ball in the basket for Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu and get Jameer Nelson to play defense.  Remember, the last time Orlando started dogging the big fella in the middle for all of the team’s shortcomings, that didn’t end up too well.

Art Garcia: Hard to fault a guy that gives you 20 and 20, but it hurts when Superman can’t make a free throw in money time. If that’s harsh, so be it. This is Dwight’s team. Kobe has shouldered the blame with the Lakers, as did LeBron when his talents were based further north. Howard needs to do the same with the Magic, even if Jameer or Hedo or J-Rich or Gilbert can’t find their strides.

Scott Howard-Cooper: He has hardly escaped criticism. Before, he was supposedly too nice, to where some people thought he was interested in a good time playing Superman and incapable of getting mean enough to push a team to a title. And there has always been the accurate analysis that, while Howard scores, he is that rare superstar that cannot be a go-to guy in the final seconds of a close game because defenses will foul him and exploit the weakness of his poor free-throw shooting. The best player always gets the blame when a team does not succeed. But Howard does not deserve the amount of blame he has gotten. He is the best center in the game. He is a terrific defender and an excellent rebounder. He is who he is. Expecting him to be an offensive force is just unrealistic.

Shaun Powell: Blame Dwight Howard for what? Too much humidity in Orlando? Certain things are out of his control. People need to stop with the notion that Dwight needs to be this all-around mega-star and simply accept him for what he is. He’s never going to be a great free-throw shooter or an offensive force from 15 feet away, but he can elevate the Magic to the championship round (he’s already done it once) if the surrounding pieces fit.

John Schuhmann: I think that when it comes to the tangible aspects of his game, it’s hard to put any of the blame on Dwight’s shoulders. He’s the biggest defensive force in the league and his offensive game continues to improve. It’s the intangibles that I sometimes question. Is he a guy that can light a fire under his teammates and lead them to a championship as the top dog? Does he have that extra gear for those moments when he needs to come up big? I really don’t know about that.

Sekou Smith: We‘re being downright ridiculous. Blame Howard for what, doing what he‘s done consistently for the past five years: dominating any and everyone that steps in his way? He’s scoring a career-best 22.4 points per game and grabbing his usual 13 or 14 rebounds a night and blocking a couple of shots every night. Sure, he’s barking a lot at the officials and will probably cost himself a game or two somewhere after the All-Star break. But the Magic are doing the same thing they did before the trade, so there’s really no blame to spread around anywhere.

100 Comments

  1. storm says:

    well lets just say this back in the day there was a clash in the titans, wilt vs bill by that shaq cannot be compared to howard because he was more of a wilt and howard is still turning to a better scorer bill (stats defensively not or not yet). shaq and kobe was the catalyst of the lakers back then taking one of them would make another sub elite team. also being a travel man isnt bad its just the way it is in the nba if your not happy with your team hen leave. besides on the time that shaq went tto phoenix,cavs he is in his declining age. the magic wont be winning as the talent chemistry is concerned well unless arenas or another player (could be from anywhere) steps up. howard is not a better player than shaq in his prime (well at least not yet) when shaq was in the Magic is a time where jordan was stil reigning, all the big men was a murderer down low. howard has still a chance of getting better either in this one or any team so dont blame him for something thats not his fault yes he is the leader but basketball is about team sport

  2. Magic says:

    I’m a magic fan but let’s get real. Shaq played better in just his rookie year than Dwight ever has. Dwights playing great for the magic but needs more help, arenas needs to be a 15 point scoring 6th man and hedo needs to get his confidence up he playing great but just not the way he used to be in the scoring department and that’s just because he’s not confident.

  3. awesome says:

    WE NEED MATT BARNES, VINCE CARTER, AND GORTAT EXACTLY TO MAKE THIS TEAM BETTER

  4. awesome says:

    I CANT BELIEVE VAN GUNDYA GOOD COACH CANT STEP UP HIS TEAM. I FEEL SORRY FOR D HOWARD AND HE DEFINITELY IS GOING TO ANOTHER TEAM AFTER CONTRACT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. awesome says:

    THEY NEED SOMEONE LIKE VINCE AND CLARKE MAKES UP FOR A GOOD BIGMAN ALONG WITH BASS

  6. awesome says:

    Vince Carter was a beast!!! It is the most stupid think the magic could do to trade him. He could run, dunk, break up defense, and shoot 3’s!!!Everybody else is horrible except howard. I am a Magic Fan but they have no talent anymore except for d-howard and torkuglu is horrible when compared to vince. Vince is a legend and THE MAGIC DIDNT NEED THE TRADE THEY WERE BETTER BEFORE. jASON RICHARDOSN IS OLD AND JUST SHOOTS AND MISSES. MAGIC NEED TO TRADE FOR SOMEONE WHO CAN DRIVE TO THE BASKET!!!THEY ONLY HAVE PERIMETER SHOOTERS AND HOWARD!!!!

    • TINGYMAN says:

      gilbert arenas could drive to the basket and become a dominant star. The problem is however that they force him to ride the bench, which therefore weakens his confidence. If they could make him start, i bet you that he would make the magic a dominant force on

  7. NEALFROMPHILIPPINES says:

    I think FT% is not that too much of a factor. Shaq has his problem on the FT too but he lead a team to 4 championship rings. I think Orlando just don’t have enough pieces to complete the championship puzzle. They need a superstar like Wade or Durant for them to win a ring. Why dont trade Arenas and other players for a versatile player who can play clutch! DAMN!

  8. moshe says:

    my theory is diferent to everyones theory
    even if howard makes it a hundred percent from the free throws they cannot win any titles
    the lakers have bynum odom and gasol under the basket
    the celtics came to a conclusion that they should do the same if they wish to beat the lakers so they bring in shak to join baby shak and hendricks
    howard cannot rebound all byhimself

  9. Wrong PG says:

    Wrong point guard…Release Nelson and the Magics one foot is on the right track…The primary role of PG is to pass and pacilitate offense…Nelson is a Ballhogger..and the ball dies usually in his hands taking bad layups and difficult jumpshots…PASSING! PASSING! PASSING!…..That’s the key…

  10. Jason says:

    Dwight is good but until his team will find a Rondo-like pointguard his team won’t succeed…Dwight is “SUPERMAN”. but Shaq is “SUPERMAN” too.. then who’s the real SUPERMAN?

    Dwight hasn’t reach the superhuman level of Shaq…Shaq learns to pass bcoz he knew dominating isn’t just scoring, rebounding or shot blocking but in all aspect of the game to win..

    Dwight is just half-super and half-man. till he reach the level of a complete superhuman, you won’t expect him to have the ring.

  11. bugalod says:

    He is a superstar! that’s why all criticism’s are welcomed right?. maybe Dwight needs the sense of leadership. to encourage his teammates to step up every game. like tim of san antonio nowadays we all know he’s a superstar but he’s playing time is down to 20 mins a game but their still winning because he continue to inspire and encourage his teammates.

  12. SaiF WhOSaNE says:

    Dwight is doing great and can not be blamed at all…Nelson, Arenas and Turk need to step up and start scoring…Dwight is carrying the whole load right now for the Magic…

    and btw why are some retards talking about shaq when he is not a part of the question???

  13. Luke says:

    Why does Van Gundy escape the blame? Isnt it the job of a coach to formulate a gameplan based on his roster? Well his roster changed significantly throughout the year, so I would expect changes to follow. Orlando’s best form came when Howard was surrounded by good perimeter shooters (Brendon Bass though? As good as he is going ). They have the roster but maybe Van gundy needs to make a few positional changes, if for no other reason than to put a rocket up some blokes! EG: Arenas starting ahead of Nelson/ Arenas to 2, JRich to 3 & Hedo to 4… Arenas is a massive clutch player but you cant throw him the ball with 5sec to go and think he has the confidence to make the shot whilst he’s on 10 minutes per game. Its a long season there is room to try these things! Dwight’s shoulders are big but they aint that big!

  14. jero says:

    i blame jameer nelson!!!!
    i think alston is better fit point gaurd in orlando,if he did not force his return in the finals againts L.A. two seasons ago the result would have been different.

  15. Brandan says:

    “jesse”: “howard has 22ppg 14 rpg 3 bpg and shooting 58%”
    Thats fantastic and all, but ballwiz is 100% correct, the numbers are their, there is no denying that. But his image is portrayed as a softy, id never go up against someone like shaq or dennis rodman…but howard, hell I’d try all day, no one is afraid to go at dwight howard! Im not denying he is one of the most dominant forces in the leauge today…but its not always about the numbers….its about image and what you do with it… look at lebron, EVERYBODY hates this guy because he left the cav’s…i didnt see anybody b******* and moaning when kobe was ready to step out the door? lebron has taken the “bad guy” act and lit it up! dwight howard, is a “dominant force” but dennis rodman was a defensive legend…he will forever be known as a defensive machine, howard is big, and howard is athletic…but too soft to be a defensive machine…maybe a defensive pillow, or a defensive cushion! Numbers are great! but its how you’ll be remembered…thats what matters!

  16. iomotol01 says:

    If anything need to happen in Orlando, it is the coach should be fired. He has not created a steady rotation of starters and bench – so none of the players (except Dwight) can be comfortable in their position. Consequently, everyone else is playing with the thought that if they make a mistake or miss a shot, they will be yanked from the floor and be on the bench for the next game. So they make mistakes and the team loses games they should win. Van Gundy needs to create a situation where each player knows his role consistently – if he is not starting Arenas, then keep him on the bench until the starters are getting a breather – don’t take out Nelson and put in Arenas with all the other starters on the court. That makes Arenas feel that he has a chance at the starting job, and Nelson feel that he has to be super to keep his job. Neither player could perform well in such a situation.

  17. iomotol01 says:

    It is amazing that this blog could raise a question like this one. They must not like the Magic or Orlando, because this type of scrutiny is what would make Dwight Howard run out of town screaming. This guy does all he possibly can to get wins for the team – he scores, rebounds, blocks shots, and manages to stay out of serious foul trouble (no easy feat considering the double and triple teams he faces each night). Yet there are people out there who want to blame him – for what? The team is in 4th or 5th place – check out Minnesota, someone mentioned Kevin Love – his team is high lottery and they have pretty similar talent to the Magic. If you are looking to start a conversation about blame, maybe the player should be Kevin Love (whom everyone seems to think is God’s gift to the NBA). Leave DHoward alone – he does not need this or deserve it.

  18. DHowardFan says:

    DWIGHT HOWARD IS MUCH MUCH BETTER PLAYER THAN SHAQ, BESIDES OF SHAQ ACHIEVEMENTS BUT INTERMS OF BEING A BEAST ON THE PAINT, I’D PICK HOWARD OVER SHAQ ANYTIME.
    DO I FEEL HOWARD WILL RE-SIGN WITH ORLANDO…. THE ANSWER IS NO….
    ORLANDO GM JUST SCREWED UP BIG TIME, BY TRADING TYPICAL SHOOTERS, VERY SMALL NOT ATHLETIC BUT SOFT THREE POINTERS.
    I AGREE WHEN HE BROUGHT BACK TERKOGLU, BUT ARENAS IS A WASTE OF ORLANDO’S MONEY PERIOD.
    DWIGHT SHOULD NOT STICK AROUND WITH THIS TEAM AT ALL, CAUSE HOW THEY ARE, THEY WONT WIN.
    I HAVE A FEELING THE SAME STORY OF SHAQ WILL REPEAT, THERE IS BIG CHANCE THAT DWIGHT HOWARD WILL SEEK BIGGER MARKET, A FRANCHISE THAT CAN SARROUND HIM WITH GOOD SOLID PLAYERS AND SMITTY CANNOT DO IT, FAILED SEVERAL TIME, I GUESS ITS TIME FOR DWIGHT TO MOVE TO LAKERS.

  19. […] Rumors: Predicting How Orlando Magic Will Fare Without Dwight HowardBleacher ReportSBR Forum -NBA.com (blog) -DigitalJournal.comall 263 news […]

  20. C19 says:

    Some amount of rubbish being talked here about intimidation and about what Howard talks. I don’t remember him saying he was the greatest player ever.

    Dwight’s is the best centre in the league and one of the best of all players too.
    The problem is his supporting cast. If you gave him the Celtics 1-4 players or Lakers 1-4 no one would be blaming him for anything.

  21. HighGuySmokinHerb says:

    alll im sayin is he is pretty weak… overrated strength really… Ive seen Dwayne wade block him a number of times… thats weak haaaaaaaa

    HEAT ARE THE BEST
    i bet there is no1 needed to be blamed there

    • Jesse says:

      wade never blocked him. when was howard blocked by wade or james? if that did happen its probably because he was triple teamed. shaq gets blocked by nate robinson!!!!!! WEAK travel man shaq got no love because he always leaves teams.

      • Ruben says:

        the other day in the game with Boston i saw Howard got blocked several times.

        He has no respect from the other players!!! no one is scare of his muscle.

  22. GoMagic says:

    The media and fans should lay off of Dwight and put the pressure on his Magic teammates. Dwight is consistent and comes to play and win every game night. Its his teammates who seem to lack the focus and motivation. They need to figure out that Dwight’s coat tails are their best chance to ever win a championship and step up their games while they still have the opportunity to do so.

  23. im legend :p says:

    The coach is to blame. End of story.

  24. Ice Pogi says:

    Why would they put the blame on him…. the Magic sucks because of his team mates…. and he’s not responsible for those poor percentage… Dwight gave his best on D and offense… and his field goals are good. He is shooting much better than his team mates… And now they blame him co’z they aren’t supposed to be where they are….And how come when the Lakers suck earlier KOBE is blaming his team mates… Most of LAKERS shooting comes form KOBE… and his shooting% are ain’t that good, still he has the right to blame on someone… Magic has to blame their GM, front office.. co’z they knew they didn’t upgrade the team in fact it’s the down grade… losing Barnes for Qrich….Jwill (finals experience.)
    Heat Fan here …. Go HEAT>>>>>>>>>>>>

    • Ruben says:

      how many times Dwight Howard has been posterized??? i can say more than couple of times, just remember the baptism Kobe gave him..
      and
      How many times Shaq got posterized??? 4..3..2..1… i just can remember one, Derrick Coleman when
      Shaq was on his first years, and what Shaq did on the same game later??? HE DUNKED IT AND BROKE THE DAMN RIM!!!!! i call that Intimidation Power!!!!
      That’s why players think twice after drive to him because he would do whatever for not being posterized! even a flagrant foul!

      • Jesse says:

        another hater here talking nonsense. well dude when you see other centers averaging 22 ppg 14 rpg 3 bpg and shooting 58% then talk trash. he is better than shaq. shaq just dunks and is a travel man. he has had a star player on his team everywhere he goes. kobe winning the title 2 times without shaq tells me shaq was not the man but kobe was. kobe can win 2 championships with pau gasol. dwight howard took the magic to the nba finals. they don’t have another superstar on the team nimrod.

      • Jesse says:

        well at least dwight has not been blocked by 5 feet 9 inch tall nate robinson!!!!!! lol

      • Magic says:

        Dude my man I’m sorry but nate robinson blocked Dwight last year In the playoffs he also blocked Yao and shaq

      • Ruben says:

        lol man, you are giving the same exact stupid comment in every reply.
        If you see the 90’s statics you will find that several centers had better numbers than Howard!

        i see you really amazed about his 22ppg 13rpg and 2 (not 3) blocks per game. Lol man, Shaq
        had better statics in his Rookie year!!!!

  25. Lester Aure says:

    Magic need adjustments, time to prove themselves as well as the other teams. There’s no perfect team in a basketball league, win or lose just do play great. 🙂

  26. LenHard23 says:

    no one is afraid now with d12 and his defense.. every night you can see players trying to posterize him maybe he’ll block a few shots but not all.. for example against the heat last time around.. he has no block in that game and lebron is pounding the ball inside plus d.wade and lebron even blocked his attempts.. his all talk and trying to make fools of other players (Specially lebron) plus his offensive game is no where near the offensive arsenal of shaq SO DON’T EVER COMPARE HIM TO SHAQ EVER!!!!!! they maybe both suck at the line but the moves dwight doesnt seem to have a lot.. and he complains too much what a cry baby he is.. he’ll never get a chance to play in the finals again the way he is acting and playing in the court and maybe this is also a karma to otis smith..

    • bballwiz says:

      Well said, dude. Well said.

      He’s a bigger baby than Big Baby. At least Glen Davis doesn’t argue for being hacked. Pathetic.

      • Jesse says:

        your pathetic. he complains about being hacked because guy jumping on his back and hanging all over him. WE WILL COMPARE HIM TO SHAQ BECAUSE HE WILL HAVE A BETTER CAREER THAN SHAQ. shaq is just an arrogant, baby, travel man. he has no legacy. lakers won’t be retiring his jersey because kobe will be having all the fame. lakers fans booing shaq and calling him trader. yeah nice legacy. howard brought the magic to the finals without another superstar. shaq just runs away to another team everytime he does not get his way or if he starts losing. what moves does shaq have in the post other than dunk? really? give me a break this is pathetic hating. dwight howard is a beast and is the most dominate center and the league. also one of the best ever.

    • iomotol01 says:

      How many championships did Olajowon win? Who was afraid of him? He won those championships mainly without another high level star player – unlike Shaq who had Kobe in LA and DWade in Miami. Why does Dwight have to make anyone afraid of him? That is not his job – he shoots a high percentage, scores more than 20 each game, averages more than 12 rebounds, blocks shots. What more do you guys want from him? This guy should be one of the top players on the MVP list because without him the Magic would be an afterthought.

  27. Nii Nue says:

    I kind of wonder how people watch basketball. You do not need a total mega powerhouse offensive player to win the TITLE. ALL MIGHTY JORDAN is an example. He was scoring 30 ppg before Pippen and Horace Grant came along before he won his first title. The point is Dwight Howard is doing his best but you need a team to help. Why is Kobe complaining cause his teammates are not pulling their weight.

    Someone mentioned Shaq please he couldnt do anything till he had Kobe and Wade in Lakers and Miami respectively. Since then he dont scare nobody. Carmelo Anthony puts up 50 points the other night for what to loose. I think people of this generation do not really understand about team play, all they know is superstars entertaining them.

    • bballwiz says:

      Nobody said Shaq did everything and won all those rings by himself. Dwight Howard is just simply too soft and his leadership quality is very questionable. He can’t motivate his teammates well enough to win it all. He put himself in that situation to be the “leader” of the Magic, so he should shoulder most of the blame because he’s not doing his best to be the leader. Perhaps he should just admit defeat and tell his GM Smith that he’s not a leader and would be better off as the second banana to a real franchise player. He should stop being arrogant and face the sad facts of his life.

      As with Shaq, he was definitely “The Man” when he was in Orlando and the Lakers, and the co-star in Miami. He simply walk the talk. He promised to bring titles in Los Angeles, he did just that. Same goes with Miami. Shaquille O’neal may not won any DPY awards during his legendary career, but he brought whatever was necessary in order to catch that ring. And he did that four times. So nobody should question his greatness.

      I suggest you better tell your boy Li’l Dwight to stop being funny like The Big Aristotle is and just play basketball.

      • Jesse says:

        are you dumb? dwight howard soft? wow. the guy is averaging 14 rpg and 3 bpg. if you have ever watched howard play he sends people to the floor and out muscles everyone on the court. this post is ridiculous. shaq had penny, kobe, and wade. who has howard had? the best he has had is rashard lewis making the all star team and nelson. How is dwight being arrogant? you the one being arrogant by making up all this junk about him. doesn’t motivate his teammates? you must not watch nba that much. everyone will questions shaq’s greatness. he is just a travel man. what legacy does he have. many lakers fans were booing him and calling him trader. kobe winning 2 titles without shaq just shows that kobe is better. shaq has had help all his life. howard brought magic to the nba finals without another superstar on his team.

      • iomotol01 says:

        Shaq also promised a title to Phoenix – what happened? Look the Magic team is in what 4th or 5th place in the East, and the players from the trade have not fitted in completely as yet – they will probably get better. Everyone said that LeBron should have stayed in Cleveland until he won a title – with what – that 26 loss and counting team? Dwight kills himself every game to keep the Magic afloat any people are here dogging him – you guys are nuts. It would be amusing to see what happens if he is not on that team.

  28. FireGorillaKing says:

    I agree with those who said that Arenas should start over Nelson. What is Stan thinking? Nelson is not in the same level as Arenas when it comes to basketball IQ and overall talent. True, Nelson may be van Gundy’s favorite and Arenas would do well to start proving to the league that he can still be the same player that he was many years ago, but minutes should be sacrificed for him to get back at that level. Then why not take Nelson’s starting job and some of his minutes. If I were the coach, this would be the time I tried something new, new rotations, new starting lineup.

  29. Aleksandar Mishkov says:

    Like some of the previous posters said, Dwight is just not intimidating. I mean, he doesn’t scares me. Back in the time, when Shaq was Shaq, he could have dunked with 2 people on his back, and i am pretty sure Howard can do the same (he is strong enough for that). I think he doesn’t get how to position himself in order to dunk on other people. When he learns that, and be able to dunk 3-4 times on opoments in the opening quarter, you are going to be pretty intimidated from then on.

    • Jesse says:

      wow are you joking me? The guy is jacked up and 6 feet 11 inches. He has mad hops for a big man and almost won the slam dunk contest. So you are not intimidated by a guy that can block 3 shots a night and out muscled everyone? the guy dominates wether you like it or not hater. he dunks on people all the time dude!!!!! wow just plain dumb

      • Ruben says:

        damn boy. You are a Howard’s lover right? you ain’t seeing the facts.
        just watch a Magic game and you will see how the other team players will attack Howard’s ass!!

        WATCH SOME GAMES DUDE!!!

        even the little 6’8” DeJuan Blair is more intimidating that the wannabe Shaq

  30. allaround baller says:

    nobody mentioned the coach?
    i think dwight done well and his squad is deep. except they’ve lost gortat as backup.
    anyhow they should reach 3rd place behind celtic n heat

  31. vincere vel says:

    Dwight Howard needs to work hard to improve his free throws, so that he can be the go to guy in crunch time. He doesn’t even have the excuse Shaq had, of having a broken wrist. He really just needs to work on his free throws every day, before every game, until he can average an acceptable number. Dwight Howard is a beast defensively, but offensively he has so much more potential.

  32. objective says:

    Dwight is the best center in the league, PERIOD ! The thing about the magic is Jameer Nelson and the coach. Sometimes it takes 10 minutes to get the ball in the middle, and the coach is to scare to sit down Jameer Nelson. Please trade him for a power forward who can help D12, and start Arenas !!

    • Ruben says:

      he’s the best because all the other centers are wack! I only see Andrew Bynum being an oppositor
      of Howard’s power, if he can stay healthy.

      Check the centers who played in the 90’s

      Hakeem Olajuwon
      David Robinson
      Patrick Ewing
      Dikembe Mutombo
      Kevin Willis
      Shaquille O’Neal
      Alonzo Mourning
      Vlade Divac

      and some more.

      All better All Around players than Howard.

      But i don’t blame Howard too much, is not his fault that only with that skills he can dominate
      all the other centers in the league, i do blame all the other centers for being wack/soft centers.

      That’s the way you see 6’7” or 6’8” players playing as centers.

      • Jesse says:

        are you joking? you really think all them are better than dwight? you have no basketball smarts! Stupid haters coming here and trying to bag on dwight howard all the time. Dwight Howard is amazing and could be the best center of all time. If not at least in the running. You are crazy. How many of those guys up there averaged 22 ppg 14rpg and 2 bpg? Also he is shooting 58%!!!! If dwight howard has another star player with him he would be that much better. Another dumb thing you said was I only see andrew bynum being an oppositer of dwight howard. Really dude? Their are so many better centers than andrew bynum. How about andrew bogut, al horford, al jefferson, chris kaman, emeka okafor, or kendrick perkins? There is more competition and good centers in the nba today than just howard and bynum dummy.

      • Ruben says:

        you are like 15 years old right???

        I DO THINK they are all better than Howard, did you see them play???? Tell me, will ever Howard score 71 points like David Robinson did??? will ever Howard have the plenty of Moves Hakeem had???
        will ever Howard average more than 4 blocks per game as Mutombo did??? will ever Howard match the
        statics that those players have????
        20.000 points, 10.000 rebounds and 2.000 blocks???

        give me a break!

        Best Center ever???? you are so high my friend, he’s not even in the discussion of that.

        Bill, Wilt, Kareem, Hakeem, Shaq, David, Mikan.. have you hear any of those names?

        i really don’t think so.

        You should borrow some books of them and learn a little lil’ boy.

  33. All I know, and I don’t know much, is that Dwight is underrated. There are very few elite teams that if you take one player off of, that immediately become .500 teams and he is definitely one. The Orlando Magic, and they themseves would admit to this fact, would be nothing but a .500 team without him. I count 3. The Mavs,the Lakers, and the Nuggets are the only other teams that would fall apart minus their main player.

  34. kb24fan says:

    blame stan van gundy for not giving much time for gilbert arenas.hello…..gilbert is still a explosive scorer stan!!!put gilbert over jameer or in 2 guard position.

    • iomotol01 says:

      You are right KB24FAN, except Arenas should not play the 2 guard – he needs to feel in control of the point guard decision making situation to be at his best. He cannot be in a position where he has to hesitate or worry about his minutes or if the other guy will take his spot – all he need to do is play, and the Magic will get the best out of him.

  35. Ivo Loureiro says:

    well Dwight Howard is really good jeez how can you blame him
    he’s only one guy for a team to win you need 5 guys able to play well

    the only thing i think howard needs his and i know everybody says the same lol but it’s the truth train more FT and learn how to pass the ball… if he is able to do that then the team will benefit and will get better

  36. bballwiz says:

    Also, I despise it when Howard tries to be a comedian and be “himself” and show off his wacky side by doing dance routines and goofing around when cameras are on. It just don’t feel natural at all. He’s so corny it hurts. Kevin Love is waaayyy funnier than Dwight. And no one can top The Big Aristotle as the biggest personality and the funniest character in basketball.

    Stop being funny, Dwight, ‘cos it’s not at all hilarious.

    • iomotol01 says:

      You know what – Kevin Love’s team is not winning, and they have almost as much supporting talent as the Magic. I say again – the Magic without Dwight = Cleveland 2.0.

    • Jesse says:

      you can’t even understand shaq when he talks. he just mumbles and is nothing but a travel man teaming up with other superstars. reminds you of lebron james huh? howard is funny and that is why he is on so many commercials. kevin loves commercial sucked.

  37. get real says:

    it’s stupid blaming one player, especially Howard, in a team like Orlando.. shouldn’t the other guys just need to step it up a little??

  38. Josh says:

    I think we can put a little blame on Dwight. While he is a great defender and rebounder, he offensive game is mediocre at best. He has been in this league for 6 or 7 seasons, he has Patrick Ewing as an assistant coach, he has worked with The Dream, yet we see no difference. If Howard could put up Shaq like numbers when he was in his prime, develop a consistent low post move, then no, we could not put any blame on Dwight. Until he does that however, I think some of the Magic struggles should be put on him, and I have to agree with Garcia, he needs to shoulder that blame.
    Also, I think there could be a debate on Powell’s point that Dwight has already elevated his team to the Finals once before. Was that really Howard elevating his team? I feel more comfortable giving that that credit to Hedo as he elevated his game in the playoffs, took over all play-making duties, and although he may not have scored quite at D12’s pace, I think Hedo was a scarier opponent for other teams. That being said, I do not think Dwight took his team to the Finals, and I do not think he can do it. In Orlando, until Dwight becomes a better and more complete player, that team will go where the perimeter players go.

    • iomotol01 says:

      You want to see Cleveland 2.0? Let Dwight Howard take his talents elsewhere in the NBA when he becomes a free agent. If the Magic wins more than 20 games without him I would be shocked – Shocked I tell you!!!

    • Jesse says:

      mediocre offense? wow. how can you average 22 points and shoot 58% with a mediocre offense. dude stop hating and stop acting like you know basketball. he has better numbers than shaq now. only difference is points. when has shaq averaged 15 rpg and 3 bpg? plus shaq has always been with another superstar. dwight would be that much better with another superstar. howard took the magic to the finals not hedo! are you smoking crack? howard gets double double and dominates on defense. he is the reason why magic were good because of that inside outside game. hedo would not be open if it weren’t for dwight. also when hedo left magic he was not near as good. thats because dwight makes him better. you got to be really dumb to say hedo is more of a threat then dwight. wow another hater who doesn’t know what he is talking about. more complete player? 22 ppg 14 rpg 3bpg and shooting 58%. how much more complete can a center be? dude cops need to come take the marijuani out of your house because you are whack. dude you can’t possible have been in the right state of mind creating a pathetic post like this.

      • Ruben says:

        and you are on acid riiiiiiight??? because your reply is so stupid.
        You can’t compare Howard with the actual Shaq, The Big Aristotle is about 38 and Howard 24 maybe.
        Shaq in his prime would smack this guy out, and actually Shaq did have thos statics, c’mon! read
        before you comment that! when Shaq won the MVP in 2000 he averaged 3 blocks per game and 13 rebounds, with 29 ppg!!!
        And that “other superstar” thing is only hurting your wack comment because of that Howard should
        have better statics, don’t you think???? Because, based in your comment, he shouldn’t sharing the
        ball with any other star right? so that means more shots for him equals more points ah??

        do not talk if you don’t know anything about the past 20 years of the NBA

  39. bballwiz says:

    Shaq may not have won the DPY award even once, but he was feared on the defensive end because of his sheer size and strength. People were scared to run against O’neal, and they often think twice before ramming against The Diesel for fear of losing consciousness. Intimidation is a better defense than pure talent. (Plus, Shaq is not bad on blocks and rebounds either. He’s among the all-time leaders in those categories.) That mental edge alone is what separates him from the impostor “Superman” in Orlando.

    Shaquille O’neal is the better all-around player than Dwight Howard will ever be.

    • Jesse says:

      shaq is a travel man and has always been with another superstar. howard is has 22ppg 14 rpg and 3 bpg shooting 58%. mental edge? what are you talking about? dwight is way more intimidating than shaq. that is why dwight has 2 DPY awards. and dwight can sky rocket through the roof. shaq can barely move off his fat butt.

  40. bballwiz says:

    I totally agree with you, Gary. Dwight Howard is all talk. Yes, he’s averaging career highs across the board, and his defensive presence is the main reason why the Magic is one of the best in the league in that area. But it seems like he’s playing against his own record and not for his team. For someone who talks a lot, he should be able to light a fire under his team to make play harder. For all his so-called “strength” and “power”, he complains a lot for arguing calls that often results a technical foul. And for someone with his size and athleticism, he’s soft and gutless when confronted with taunts and challenges from other players. He is an even bigger baby than Big Baby.

    As for his defense, he’s a monster in blocks and a beast in rebounds. But he doesn’t have that mental edge to scare off players going to the hoop. He doesn’t have that swagger like Kevin Garnet has on defense. In fact, offensive players challenge Howard’s interior defense routinely. Nobody is scared of him. Even if he rejects a couple of shots, players don’t back away and be intimidated. He just doesn’t have what it takes to command respect like other legendary defenders have.

    Orlando Magic should realize that Dwight Howard is not gonna be a great franchise player to build a championship-caliber team around. He’ll probably be a better 2nd option behind a real superstar. He’s never going to be the next Superman as what he himself claims to be.

  41. mtjohns says:

    Blame him for what? Isn’t it February?? Was anyone talking about he Geriactrics at this time last year? The Magic are fine. Teams aren’t doubling him so that they can contest the three, and the perimeter guys have been forcing too many of those shots (25/game!) If anything the Magic need to attack the basket as a team and either force teams to back off their shot, or get the ball to Dwight when he found his spot at the basket (something they are not good at right now) It’ll come.

  42. Chris says:

    Maybe they should start Arenas and play him 40 minutes a game. Seems pretty simple to me.

    • QuestionMark says:

      why so he can jack up shots and shoot like 20% on a nightly basis? they should bench him until he can prove himself and play like he used too

    • iomotol01 says:

      Chris I agree with you. It is dumb to put a player in a position where he is not comfortable because you think it will force him to be better. Do you want to win games or punish your players? If you want to win, you use your players in the way that maximizes their talent – if winning is not the primary goal then you can go ahead and punish your players because they don’t enjoy coming off the bench. Coach Van Gundy needs to put together a starting rotation and a bench rotation and stick to it (unless foul trouble changes the situation), and in that rotation system Arenas should start – at least for two to three weeks – too see what he can do. Arenas is being paid a lot of money – see if you can get something close to your money’s worth.

  43. Vlad says:

    If you take Dwight out of the Orlando team they are a 20 to 30 defensive team. Yet they rank in the top 10. He does that by himself so even talking about blaming the poor guy is very (not a little) harsh.

    As for his FT, i don`t think he will ever improve. Some guys just can`t shot them.

    What orlando needs is another go to guy that plays the perimeter. That way they can dominate the game through Dwight and go to the other guy at the end. (if he is not Rajon Rondo 😀 )

    That`s it. Thay don`t need balanced players like they have right now. Just Howard, the go to guy and 3 “whatever” players that can play a little defence.

    I realise that is almost imposiblle now with the current salaries and contract lenghts. It`s just the only way i see them closing big games, being a great team and ultimately winning a ring.

    • QuestionMark says:

      I just think they need the likes of a good PG to help Dwight get easy baskets and give him the ball deep in the paint, preferrably CP3 if he doesnt sign back to NOH when he a FA.
      I think a decent trade will be trading Turk, J-Rich and Nelson for CP3 and Marcus Thorton, and Ariza or West CP3 and Dwight can build great chemistry together and Thorton can knock down shots, and West can put up 18 and 10 along side Dwight or Ariza defend people like Kobe and Lebron and also drive it to the rim. That is what Orlando needs, either a player that can defend the perimeter and drive the ball, a PF that can put up 20 and 10 on a nightly basis along side Dwight or a good PG like CP3 that can get his teammates setup, or why not all 3? with the 3pt shooters Orlando has, CP3 will be able to get like 14apg just like Rondo, and also can score 16ppg.

      That is the team to win a title:
      Dwight averaging 20ppg and 13rbg and 2bpg
      West: 20 and 10
      CP3: 16ppg and 13 assists.

      That is the team that can take out teams like L.A, Spurs, Heat and Celtic.

      • pitrekk says:

        that would be nice but how will you make Hornets to make such unfavourable deal? CP3, West and Ariza for Jrich, Turkoglu and Arenas? c’mon Arenas value is near to zero right now similar thing for Turkoglu.

        I also think that Dwight does a lot for the Magic but is it a coincidence that players like JRich or Arenas are playing so badly next to him? It was similar with Vince and Lewis. Both of them are playing much better game right now when they are out of Orlando.

        And last thing: Comparing Dwight with Shaq makes not much sense because Dwight, as strong and athletic he is, is much smaller and lighter than Shaq so will never be that dominant in the paint on the offensive end.

        Do you remember Shaq 15 or 17 years ago? He was a freak of nature, 7ft1 running the floor, doing 360.

      • QuestionMark says:

        Only way they can get CP3 is if he gets signed as a FA, but they need to get cap space and inorder to do that Arenas got to go out the door and so does another player. but another option is if Melo wants out, Trade Turk, J-Rich and Nelson for Melo, Smith and Billups or Melo Harringtion and Smith. They need another superstar whether it be CP3 or Melo to win a title and be able to compete against Elite teams on a nightly basis.

  44. yungdeuce says:

    the only thing dwight howard can be blamed for is being a beast i admit his ft% could be better but he controls the paint night in and out what more do you want him to do start shooting 3’s

    • Ruben says:

      well, Howard won those 2 Defensive Player Of The Year because there was no other Defensive Force in
      the league, just take a look of the ones Shaq played with, Hakeem Olajuwon, Dikembe Mutombo, David Robinson, Gary Payton, Mookie Blaylock, Michael Jordan, Kevin Willis, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, all in their primes.
      I think the DPY is so overrated this days, since a couple of years no one is averaging more than 3 blocks per game, no one! I will always remember when The Dream & Mt. Mutombo averaged the likes of almost 5 BLOCKS PER GAME!!!
      The ball sandwich is missing in action, i would love to see someone putting more than 11 blocks in a game.
      So don’t get too much credit for just blocking 2,1 shots per game because all the big fellas listed above could did it easily everynight.

      By the way, the comments above are true, he has no intimidation power, at all. Nowadays, for me, the best shot blockers are Marcus Camby and Anrew Bogut, even he isn’t that athletic as Howard!!!

      enough said

      • bballwiz says:

        Well said, Dude. Dwight is soooo overrated these days. He’s had little success in the NBA and he declares himself Superman. Geez.

        Kevin Garnett won the DPY award not because he blocks a lot of shots and swats balls to the fifth row, but because he is the catalyst and the leader of the best defensive unit in the NBA. Dikembe Mutombo won a couple of the said recognition, not because he jumped high and blocked shots with force, but because he stood his ground and changed the shots then positioned himself to get the missed attempt. Ron Artest won the award not because he is freakishly athletic, but because he is so tough and scary that opponents are intimidated by his presence alone on the court.

        And I agree with you that Andrew Bogut and Marcus Camby are better at swatting shots than Dwight Howard simply because they use their heads more. They’re smart enough to realize that sending the ball to the stands just to impress the highlight fanatics is not very helpful to the team because the possession would still be with offensive team. So what they do is that they time the shots to block it and then controls the ball for themselves or for their teammates to get the ball. Now that’s what we call a great defensive execution.

      • Jesse says:

        dude all those defensive players you mentioned retired in shaqs prime. they were all past their prime. shaq is just a travel man that teams up with other superstars. he has always been the number 2 guy. yeah even with the lakers because kobe has won 2 without shaq. get real man. howard has had 12 blocks in one game and last year he averaged 3.6 blocks per game. mutombo never averaged near 5. he couldn’t put the ball in the hoop. howard is more complete than those guys and better on defense. shaq never could get above 10 or 11 rebounds and can’t block more than 2 shots that is why he can’t get DPY. stop making excuses. what you trying to say bogut and camby are no good? and there are other shot blockers in the game today.

  45. Gary says:

    I think you all are being a little too easy on Howard. This is the guy talks but doesn’t back it up. His numbers are the best this year compared to what? Himself, that’s not saying much. At his size and build he should be averaging 30 point games (Shaq did and was no where near as athletic). I know you guys don’t want to get railed for telling the truth about him but someone needs to.

    • QuestionMark says:

      What he does is enough for his team, he shouldnt be the only player with that much pressure on him, Orlando has star players or former star players, Turk, J-Rich and Arenas, we know they can score 20 every night, so why dont they, Dwight is doing everything for his team, and also he is the defensive player of the year twice, he should be defending and scoring 20 which is good for him, just like every player, rings is what matters not the numbers you put up.

      • Gary says:

        Like I said, Shaq had those numbers and was no where near as athletic as this guy. Howard just has no offense.

    • donut says:

      are you talking about snaq? who demands the ball during his prime? we are talking about dwight, who is more lay back

    • bballwiz says:

      I totally agree with you, Gary. Dwight Howard is all talk. Yes, he’s averaging career highs across the board, and his defensive presence is the main reason why the Magic is one of the best in the league in that area. But it seems like he’s playing against his own record and not for his team. For someone who talks a lot, he should be able to light a fire under his team to make play harder. For all his so-called “strength” and “power”, he complains a lot for arguing calls that often results a technical foul. And for someone with his size and athleticism, he’s soft and gutless when confronted with taunts and challenges from other players. He is an even bigger baby than Big Baby.

      As for his defense, he’s a monster in blocks and a beast in rebounds. But he doesn’t have that mental edge to scare off players going to the hoop. He doesn’t have that swagger like Kevin Garnet has on defense. In fact, offensive players challenge Howard’s interior defense routinely. Nobody is scared of him. Even if he rejects a couple of shots, players don’t back away and be intimidated. He just doesn’t have what it takes to command respect like other legendary defenders have.

      Orlando Magic should realize that Dwight Howard is not gonna be a great franchise player to build a championship-caliber team around. He’ll probably be a better 2nd option behind a real superstar. He’s never going to be the next Superman as what he himself claims to be.

      • QuestionMark says:

        Btw Howard did say he was emotional and he also said he will try to change that and not get techs, but Howard does actually scare them away, but teams like Boston, L.A are not scared of him because they know how to put pressure on him, other Playoffs teams cant do jack against him.

      • bballwiz says:

        Scare meaning intimidation. Instead of intimidating opponents, players actually challenge his defense routinely by driving to the basket more. They are not scared of Dwight swatting their shots to the 5th row, they’re more interested in the satisfaction they’ll get when they blow past Howard’s outstretched arms. That’s what he lacks with his defense: intimidation or the mental edge.

        Kevin Garnett with his vocal approach, Kobe Bryant’s killer instincts and Lebron James’ chase-down blocks are scarier and far more intimidating than Howard’s shot-blocking ability.

      • bballwiz says:

        Scare meaning intimidation. Offensive players tend to routinely challenge Dwight’s defense every game and attack the rim. Players don’t get intimidated by Howard. They don’t really care if their shots will be swatted away to the fifth row, they’re more interested in the satisfaction of blowing past Howard’s outstretched arms.

        Kevin Garnett with his vocal, contagious approach, Kobe Bryant’s killer instincts, and Lebron James’ chasedown blocks are scarier and far more intimidating than Howard’s excellent shot-blocking ability.

      • JR177 says:

        When did Shaq won twice the Defensive Player of The Year? Let me answer that for you. NONE. When Shaq was on Orlando HE had Penny, so in the las seconds of a game who was going to take the last shot was Penny. The same thing when He was in L.A. & Miami. Yes he won MVP’s because he was a dominant force. And Dwight is a Dominant force too. Dwight is leading his team in Points, Reabounds, Blocks, Steals. And Field Goal% so.. Let me ask you now. What else does Dwight need to do to not get the blame? Raise his free throw %? Shaq never did. Shaq is still an awful free throw shooter. Shaq is also not hitting 15 foot jumpers. Soo, do not compare, because Dwight is Dwight and Shaq is Shaq.

      • bballwiz says:

        Shaq may not have won the DPY award even once, but he was feared on the defensive end because of his sheer size and strength. People were scared to run against O’neal, and they often think twice before ramming against The Diesel for fear of losing consciousness. Intimidation is a better defense than pure talent. (Plus, Shaq is not bad on blocks and rebounds either. He’s among the all-time leaders in those categories.) That mental edge alone is what separates him from the impostor “Superman” in Orlando.

        Shaquille O’neal is the better all-around player than Dwight Howard will ever be. He did the comparing to himself, trying to imitate Shaq in so many ways (the superhero monicker, the wacky personality, the dancing and goofing around routine trying to be funny.) If Howard wins even an MVP award, then we can start making an argument between them. For now, Dwight is simply a bigger baby than Big Baby who needs to learn a thing or two about toughness. (Oh by the way, being strong and doing powerful dunks don’t make you tough. Ron Artest is probably the toughest player right now, and he doesn’t even dunk that often. Dwight is simply soft in the heart who argues a lot of calls; a wimpy kid trapped in a big man’s body.)

      • bballwiz says:

        JR117, you wonder why Shaq never was blamed for hiss team’s failures? Because he is the real Superman! Haha!

        Seriously though, both can’t make free throws if their lives dependent on it. Both are dominant forces in the paint (although O’neal in his prime was stronger and more powerful). But their leadership and charisma are so in contrast with each other. Shaq may not be as good a defender as Dwight is, but the intangibles Shaq brings to the game is far more valuable than Howard’s defensive prowess. The Diesel impacts the game in so many ways. Plus he sends mental fear to his opponents that is not present in Howard’s game

        So why Didn’t Shaq got the blame when his team sucks? Because that’s what legendary players are. And you can’t say that do Dwight Howard just yet.

      • Jesse says:

        all talk? guys get real. howard has 22ppg 14 rpg 3 bpg and shooting 58%. he took the magic to the nba finals without another league superstar. shaq has always teamed up with another superstar. howard is WAY better than shaq on defense. imagine if howard had penny? CHAMPIONSHIP. shaq had wade and kobe. kobe has won 2 without shaq. he already is superman that is why he is being called that and not shaq. lakers fan booing shaq and calling him trader now. we all know kobe and wade were the leaders and not shaq. shaq always leaves teams and has break ups. dwight is a true leader and brought his team to the nba finals without having a superstar with him.

    • Jesse says:

      retarded gary. shaq is not any where near the defensive player or rebounder that howard is. shaq has always had a superstar with him. dwight brought the magic to the finals without having a superstar. shaq has had wade and kobe. also kobe has won 2 championships without shaq. yeah shows how valuable shaq is. and shaq won with the heat when there was not any competition. they beat the mavericks in the nba finals. the mavericsk were not as good back then and have added a lot more talent to their roster since then. please.

  46. Joaquin Miranda says:

    Dwight could be responsible for his team, but for the good stuff. If they don’t win is because the new pieces are not hitting their strides. Dwight has been amazing, he is DEFENDING, REBOUNDING AND putting up 22 point a game, what else can you ask from your damn center, hit 40% from behind the arc? c’mon. Give the Magic time, I believe they do have a great supporting cast, they dont have a legitimate 2nd option, but a balanced attack ala Mavericks. I just believe agent zero should start over Nelson, say what you want but Arenas can be an all-star caliber player if given consistent playing time.

    • QuestionMark says:

      I think that too, but first Arenas has to score atleast 10 a game off the bench and show if he can play like he used too. Also he struggles of the bench, if he struggles shooting off the bench then starting him will just bring the Magic down a notch.

      • iomotol01 says:

        There are some players that do not do well coming off the bench, and Arenas is one of them. It affects his confidence and his game – so if the Magic wants to maximize the value of that trade (and salary) he needs to start. This is about winning, so Nelson should come off the bench and Arenas start. Van Gundy also needs to change his sets to suit his talent – he need to speed up the game and play less half-court sets. His back court needs to beat their opponents down the court and get open shots, and the half-court sets make it more difficult for them to get open shots – then everyone blames them for missing when the defense is setup to prevent them from making long distance shots.

      • QuestionMark says:

        I think the reason why Arenas doesnt start is because He cant keep up with players like Rondo, CP3 and D-Will, Nelson can but Arenas doesnt have the legs anymore.

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  48. Real3d says:

    Dwight just needs to get his FT% up then nobody can talk any trash about him.