Dwight Howard has had a solid season in Charlotte: He’s averaging 16.5 points per game on 56.1 percent shooting, grabbing 12.1 rebounds and racking up 1.7 blocks per game. Charlotte is going to miss the postseason dance, but Howard is not the reason.
Howard had 33 points and 12 rebounds in Charlotte’s win over Atlanta Thursday night, one of his better games of the season. The Hawks are one of Howard’s former teams, which prompted this comment from Atlanta point guard Dennis Schroder:
Howard has played better against the Hawks: through the four meetings he has averaged 22.8 points on 63.5 percent shooting, with 13.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots. Is that because Howard plays harder or because the Hawks are a bottom 10 defensive team in the league, so everyone feeds on them.
It’s not quite the same against the other former Howard squads. In two games against the Lakers (who can roll out a big in Brook Lopez who can match Howard physically): 18 points per game on 60.0 shooting, 11 rebounds and two blocks a night. In three games vs. Orlando Howard averages 18.7 points on 53.5 percent shooting with 10.3 rebounds and 1 block.
Against L.A.and Orlando Howard may be slightly better than his season averages, but he’s saving his real big games for the Hawks.