Ever since the departure of Michael Finley, Josh Howard has found himself as the primary Mavericks swingman. He filled in the role of wing slasher, hustler, rebounder, defender, and more.
In the 2007 playoffs against Golden State, a series where many say Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs faltered, Josh Howard was quietly the most effective Maverick as he went on to average 21.3 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 2.8 APG, and 2.2 SPG while shooting 51.5% from the field.
From then on, things seemed to decline for J-Ho as a bad playoff performance against New Orleans and some questionable decisions even caused some fans to question his heart. Some even wished he would be traded for a draft project or another team's star.
Howard was determined to win his fans back in the 08-09 NBA season, but unfortunately, injuries would not let him. Although, he did impress in the first round series against the Spurs as he torched their older perimeter defenders. But still, a gimpy Josh Howard proved to be destructive for the Mavs as they had no one to guard Carmelo Anthony in the next round and they missed Howard's offensive production.
Along comes this past off-season, and the Mavericks' front office somehow managed to snatch Shawn Marion. In Marion, the front office and fans hope to see some of the things they used to rely on Josh Howard to do. The flashy fast-break dunks, The hustling offensive rebounds. The tight one-on-one defense. They were all Howard's thing. Now, fans are hoping that the Matrix can do it better.
Make no mistake about it. Josh Howard and Shawn Marion are shockingly similar. Only slight difference is that the Matrix is a little bigger and can bang in the paint while J-Ho has more polished perimeter skills.
"He’s pretty amazing, I got to admit," Dirk Nowitzki says about the Matrix. "Playing against him all these years, you don’t really know all the little things he does. I really like playing with him. He doesn’t demand the ball, he just gets his points on the go."
"I really think, especially on the break, that’s going to open up my shots on transition," he says. "And we can get some baskets where we don’t have to work extra, extra hard."
Deja vu anyone? Wasn't that Josh Howard's thing???
Mike Fisher from DallasBasketball.com called out Josh on his website, "J-Ho, while you sit, and when you study film, watch what Shawn Marion did in Washington while on the offensive end...if you’re gonna sit, you might as well sit and learn."
With all the love for the new guy, former MVP, and 6th Man of the Year, where is J-Ho's love?
The league better be careful. Josh Howard is expected to be fully healthy and ready come this season.
Watch out for a motivated Josh Howard.
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