Dwight Howard is Superman.
But make no mistake about it, he's not that super of a man who will dominate the Boston Celtics.
Howard is the best weapon that Orlando has, but even Superman can't possibly overcome what is still the best defense showcased in the playoffs.
(But we'll talk more about that in another article.)
Dwight Howard will most likely get his buckets, and probably have a few flashy, semi-posterizing dunks along the way as well.
Nevertheless, Dwight Howard's usual buckets and flashy dunks will do far less damage to the Celtics than most will make it out to be.
Kendrick Perkins has done a very sufficient job against Howard, allowing him 16 and 12 points in Games One and Two, respectively. In the two games combined, Howard earned 28 points and 34 rebounds, while Perkins has a combined 22 points and 25 rebounds.
As good as Howard is, his performances have been very mediocre—especially for a guy who Magic fans dub as the holocaust for Boston.
A guy who can be a monster within the paint? Yes.
A guy who will constantly dish out in double figures every night? Yes.
A guy who will destroy the opposition with his own points, and carry his team such as Shaq or Yao Ming?
I don't think so.
No one can argue that Number 12 will have an impact, but the Celtics can efficiently absorb that impact to minimal damage.
In two games, Perkins has bothered Dwight Howard considerably. Kendrick Perkins left Howard resorting to wild and often unpredictable hook shots, negating any consistency from Orlando's big man.
Other times, Howard was left on the line to attempt his very shaky free throws. When Dwight wasn't doing either of the two, he was left trying to rebound a heavily contested jumpshot produced by his teammates.
So what? It's just the first two games in the series, right? Theres no way that Superman Dwight Howard won't finish off the Celtics! Especially since Boston doesn't have Kevin Garnett, and without Kevin Garnett, there's just no way that they can win!
There is just absolutely no flabergastical way that the Magic will lose, all because they have Dwight Howard, and especially because Dwight Howard is Superman! And nobody beats Superman! (Dun, dun-dun dun-duuun, dun-dun duuuuuuuuuuuuun!)
Unfortunately, Dwight Howard will never "take over" this series as many people still believe he will do.
And it's no coincidence either.
Orlando relies much too heavily on their jumpshots, and relying jumpshots as the primary way to score never amounts to any consistent postseason success. (Look at Orlando's past five playoff runs for more details.)
At times, jumpshots can make Orlando look very good (J.J. Redick in Game Two), but look is the key word.
Orlando's constant shooting hurts them tremendously within the paint. You never saw the Phoenix Suns or the Houston Rockets constantly shoot when their big man was open. Even when Howard was noticeably open in both Games One and Two, Turkoglu and Alston often resorted to bad jumpshots or highly-contested jumpers.
As a result, Dwight Howard could never even get enough touches to overpower the Celtics.
Dwight Howard has also never been the "go to" guy in the clutch, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. It seems that the longer the game goes, the less and less Orlando gives the ball to Howard.
In fact, the Orlando Magic don't even have that proven clutch "go to" player on their team.
According to stats, Rashard Lewis would seem to be the most capable to knock down a jumper at the end of games. Or the Magic often let Hedo Turkoglu shoot the ball when the games on the line.
Tell me—how is Dwight Howard going to absolutely dominate a championship team when he's clearly scratched from plays at the end of games?
I have never seen a player dominate and take over a series when the player isn't his team's main option on the offensive end.
Kendrick Perkins has already showed that he's very capable of containing Dwight Howard, and I expect more the same to continue in Disney World.
Howard is a beast and a monster in both ends, who will many times lead the Magic in rebounds and points.
But Superman will not take over this series.
Number 12 is just not that super of a man.