Dwight Howard is Still a Good Basketball Player

In an online chat yesterday, Bill Simmons continued his bizarre crusade against Dwight Howard:

Bill Simmons: The Cavs have the best team – they can play D, they can shoot 3’s, they can post up Z, and they have LeBron. They have an answer for everything. Watch what they do to Orlando. They’re going to single-team Howard (which Boston should have done), stay home on the 3-point shooters, swarm high screens and drive the shooters away from the basket … and Orlando is going to flounder offensively. You watch. Dwight Howard couldn’t score 40 points in a game if he was going against Yi Jianlian’s chair. That’s how you beat Orlando – make Howard score 40 to beat you and shut down their shooters. […]

Dwight Howard (Ohio): Who is guarding me 1 on 1? Please don’t say Ben Wallace who might actually be a mummy at this point. And if you mention the guy with the glass feet or the crazy hair I am coming to find you.

SportsNation Bill Simmons: Dwight, you have no moves other than that Sling Hook that is going to break a backboard soon. The FG stats for you when Orlando posts you up are BRUTAL.


Meanwhile, in yesterday’s game Dwight Howard put up 30 and 12 and only took 20 shots to get it. As best I can tell, this irrational aversion to Howard goes back to the 2004 Draft Diary when Simmons was a big Emeka Okafor fan:

7:37 –The Magic are on the clock with the first pick. If they’re smart, they take Emeka Okafor. If they’re dumb, they take Howard. It’s that simple.

7:39 — They go with Howard. Of course they do. He’s the third high schooler taken overall in the past four years, as well as the first top pick with braces since Pervis Ellison. Not a good sign. “Praise the Lord!” screams Dwight Howard Sr., who didn’t realize that the Lord had Okafor going first in his mock draft.

Notwithstanding yesterday’s loss, I think you’ve still got to favor Cleveland in this series. Still, I’m rooting for the underdogs in both conference finals’ and I’m glad that a Lakers-Cavs matchup no longer looks inevitable.