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In last years playoffs I truly believed that Dwight Howard had changed the way he approached games. Early in the 08-09 season, I said that Dwight Howard would never win a ring because he doesn't take the game serious enough. That all changed as the playoffs approached last year and he played both the Celtics and the Cavs with a new look in his eye. No longer was it all smiles, and instead it was all business.
Well, this years playoffs roll around and I have been in awe again at the lack of intensity coming from the Orlando Magic's "Superman". On several occasions throughout the past 3 games, you can see camera angles of Dwight Howard smiling and laughing it up with the fans or other players.
Sure, it seems great that he is a friendly guy, but this is the Eastern Conference Finals. The Magic are depending on this guy to win a championship? They are depending on a guy who at less than 3 min left in a 1 point game against the Boston Celtics in a must win game, is giggling over who knows what with a guy sitting courtside?
That only begs that question as to how much does winning mean to him? Give me Kendrick Perkins who won't put in 30 points.. hell he wont even bring down 15 rebounds, and I will show you a winner. The Celtics do not depend on Perk as much as the Magic do Dwight, however the Center position is the epicenter of where a teams toughness originates.
You will never, EVER, see Perkins smile during a game (unless it is the regular season in a blow out and Big Baby swats the crap out of a guy). People can dump on him about how he never smiles, never thinks he is fouling people, and always looks so angry, but as a fan you want that type of a player on your team. You understand that guy is out there to get the W, and not to make friends or gain a favorable image.
For that reason, I am sorry to Magic fans for having to deal with Howard. He may bring you all the highlight dunks and highlight blocks during the regular season, but he isn't what is going to lead the troops when the going gets tough in a playoff run.