Believe me when I say this comes down to more than just point-totals.
Brook Lopez is presently averaging 18.7 points a night to Dwight Howard's 16.5. That said, his 52.6 percent conversion rate from the floor cringes in comparison to the latter's 57.7.
Personally, I'm of the mind that Howard doesn't receive enough credit for what he does on offense. His 6'11", 240-pound build yields to no one and even after the back injury, he's one of the most explosive athletes there is off the pick-and-roll.
Much of the criticism Howard receives, however, is validated.
For a guy who draws double–and triple-teams on a regular basis, the fact that he's never averaged two or more assists per game over the last eight-plus years is troubling. Bigs are so much more valuable when they're threats to pass, but Howard has an innate tendency to put his head down and impede his vision.
The absence of an independent post game is also unsettling. Not only is Howard's range limited, but per hoopdata.com, less than 50 percent of his field-goals have come off assists just once in the last seven years. He also ranks 81st (via Synergy Sports) in points scored per possession (0.76) in post-ups.
Howard is one of the best in the business at moving off the ball, yet his methods of attack are limited courtesy of that lack of range we discussed and a deficient handle on the ball. That he's averaged fewer than three turnovers a night just twice in his career is extremely telling.
Lopez, on the other hand, is far more polished on the offensive end.
He doesn't move about as freely or boast the same caliber of athleticism Howard does, but he can hit mid range jumpers and ranks eighth in points scored per possession (0.97) off post-ups.
Not unlike Howard, Lopez needs to improve his court awareness. He has averaged more than two assists per game just once, unacceptable for another tower who draws as many doubles as he does.
What's important when it comes to Brook, though, is he continues to evolve. His isolation sets continue to improve and his jumper is among the most reliable there is for centers.
Nearly a decade into Howard's career, he's done little to improve his post game. His touch around the basket is far more balanced than it used to be, but given his potential, he just hasn't done enough.
Brighter Future: Lopez