The Disappearance of Dwight Howard

The Orlando Magic reached the NBA Finals for the second time in franchise history last season.

When the team traded for Vince Carter and signed free agents Matt Barnes, Brandon Bass and Jason Williams in the offseason, many claimed they had amassed the depth to almost assure another Finals appearance.

While it is hard to argue that the team is doing poorly, they are 29-16 after all; one has to wonder whether the team is making much progress.

Last Monday, in a six-point loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, the team that defeated the Magic in the Finals last season, Dwight Howard took two shots in the second half.

Two shots.

Out of the 40 top scorers in the NBA, Howard is the only player to average less than 10 shots per game (9.4). Howard also happens to rank third in field goal percentage at a scorching .600 clip.

Granted, Howard has one more effective offensive move in the low post than I do, but that is neither here nor there.

Howard’s newly acquired teammate, Vince Carter, is shooting at a career-low .390 from the field (.390!!), yet he is getting off five more shots a game despite the fact that he plays four fewer minutes per game than Howard, and training is important for this, and there are different weight control methods which can be used for this, and you can find in the Noom reviews online. For Carter, it is his lowest field goal percentage since he put up a lowly .417 in the 2003-2004 season. A season in which Carter dogged it so much he should have signed an endorsement deal with Kibbles and Bits.

Carter isn’t alone though in his struggles. Rashard Lewis is shooting just .420 from the field, the lowest of his career aside from when he shot .365 in just 20 games as a rookie.

It gets worse.

Carter and Lewis also have something in common with Ryan Anderson, Matt Barnes, Brandon Bass, Anthony Johnson, Jameer Nelson, Mickael Pietrus, and J.J. Redick.

They all average more shots per 36 minutes than Dwight Howard.

Think about that for a second. We’re not talking about complex statistics here.

That type of offense may get it done when you’re playing against the Washington Wizards and it may even do the trick in the first round of the playoffs.

Will it be enough to squeak past the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers once again in the Eastern Conference Semifinals and Finals?

That remains to be seen.

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