Dwight Howard is a phenomenal basketball player. He is a phenomenal athlete. He is an amazing defender and rebounder. He is awesome in the paint.
But he is not one of those guys who can take a team on his back and win playoff games. He just isn't.
In the series with Atlanta, the Magic lost three games on the road. In all three, they were right there at the end with a chance to pull it out, and could not get one of them.
Contrast this with the Chicago Bulls in their playoff series with Indiana. In the first four games of the series, the Bulls fell way behind. And then in the fourth quarter, Chicago rallied behind its superstar, Derrick Rose. In three of those games Rose took over and carried the Bulls to victory. He did it by making the big shot that put the Bulls over the top. He did it three times.
Had Howard been able to make the key play just once, one time, the Magic would be looking at a home game to win the series. In Game 4 and Game 6, Atalanta was able to get key offensive rebounds in the waning seconds to preserve the victory. Rebounding is supposed to be where the Magic, and Howard, had the biggest advantage.
In all those games, the Magic went with other guys to try to make the big shots down the stretch. It was either Hedo Turkoglu or J.J. Redick or Jason Richardson trying to hit the big shot to get the Magic over the top. Why not Howard? Apparently the Magic did not feel that Howard was their best bet to complete the comebacks. And why would they?
Howard is a liability at the line. Atalanta knows this. If the Magic relied on Howard down the stretch, the Hawks would have just sent him to the free-throw line and watched him toss up bricks. In a series with one bona fide superstar and three close games, wouldn't one think that the team with the one superstar would win one of those games?
This is precisely the reason Howard MUST join himself with another superstar player. He is not a first option on offense. He needs to be matched up with a scorer. He needs a Batman to his Robin. He is a great player. But he cannot do it without help.
Orlando is either going to have to get him some help or they should trade him away. Because Howard and his agent are not stupid. Both have to realize that Dwight needs a guy who can take over on offense in a tight playoff game. So if that guy cannot come to Dwight, then Dwight will have to go to him.
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