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Stan Van Gundy: Roy Hibbert doesn’t hold a candle to Dwight Howard

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Dwight Howard just had the worst postseason of his career. Roy Hibbert, on the other hand, is putting together a great playoff run. Those facts, coupled Howard’s annoying tendencies, have turned some people a little loopy when faced with the following question:

Would you rather have Howard or Hibbert?

But even Stan Van Gundy, the coach Howard got fired in Orlando, can bring levity to the discussion. As transcribed by Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel

“Come on, that one’s not close,” Van Gundy said during his weekly Thursday segment on our Open Mike morning radio show on 740 AM. “You could put that question to 30 general managers in the league — and give them the choice — and Indiana, out of loyalty, might take Hibbert although I would doubt it. The other 29 would not even hesitate. Everybody’s taking Dwight.

“I understand … Roy Hibbert is playing the best basketball of his career right now (against the Heat). You have to understand that Roy Hibbert during the regular season had seven games where he had (at least) 20 points and 10 rebounds and now he has three in this series. So now people are looking at him and saying he’s great. He averages 11 points per game in his career and he’s not a terrific rebounder although he is an elite-level defender. But on the offensive end of the floor he’s never done (what he’s doing now) and he’s really taking advantage of a very, very small Miami Heat team and a defender in Chris Bosh who right now in the series has just not stepped up into the battle at all.”

Even with Hibbert up and Howard down, Howard averaged more points and rebounds per game and shot a higher percentage in these playoffs. Regardless, we shouldn’t get carried away with such a small sample.

Just a couple months ago, Hibbert’s max contract seemed like a huge burden to the Pacers. After the worst season of his career, Howard will have teams lining up to offer him a max contract.

Howard will have to sink a lot lower for a lot longer before Hibbert passes him.

Al Horford shows he still has hops dunking on Solomon Hill (VIDEO)

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That’s just nasty.

Atlanta’s Al Horford gets the ball out high, but within his range, so when he pump fakes Indiana’s Lavoy Allen goes flying by. That opens up the lane and Horford attacks it, Solomon Hill tries to cut him off, but Horford just finishes threw him.

Pacers and Hawks played an entertaining, close game Friday night.

Dwyane Wade shows he still has hops with dunk on Hornets (VIDEO)

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Dwyane Wade still has some springs.

In what may be his best dunk in recent memory, he shoulders Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to create space in transition, then gets up and throws it down before Nicolas Batum can get there for the block.

Not sure even Wade saw that one coming.

Reigning dunk champ LaVine: ‘I’ve got tricks up my sleeve’

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine is heading back to All-Star weekend to defend his slam dunk title. And he says he has “a few tricks up my sleeve” after dominating the event last year.

LaVine will compete against Detroit center Andre Drummond, Denver swingman Will Barton and Orlando forward Aaron Gordon in Toronto next weekend.

LaVine was one of the breakout stars of All-Star weekend last year with his electric performance in the dunk contest. He says he debated about coming back and made his decision after strong encouragement from his fans.

If LaVine wins, he will become the fourth player in the 31-year history of the event to repeat as champion. Michael Jordan, Jason Richardson and Nate Robinson are the others.

Report: Blake Griffin has second procedure on hand, timeline remains unchanged

Blake Griffin
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Blake Griffin will still return to the Clippers some time in March (barring any setbacks).

That said, he had a second procedure this week to repair the boxer’s fracture in his right hand, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

Clippers forward Blake Griffin underwent a second procedure this week on his broke right hand, sources told ESPN. The procedure was a part of the original surgery last week, so sources said the 4-6 week timeframe for his return remains unchanged.

This might help explain why Griffin’s hand looked so swollen and scarred this week. But to be clear, this was a planned second procedure, not a setback.

Griffin suffered the fracture punching a Clippers’ equipment manager while everyone was out to dinner in Toronto recently, while Griffin was still sidelined with a quadricep injury. The Clippers have moved on, but it is likely the league will tack on a couple of game suspension for Griffin upon his return to health.

And no, the Clippers are not looking to trade Griffin in spite of this. So stop asking.