Dwight Howard: Does Orlando Magic's Offense Limit Howard?

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Dwight Howard: Does Orlando Magic's Offense Limit Howard?
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
With Boston's Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins both out of position on the outside, Dwight Howard dunks the ball for an easy two points.

Although it may appear to some that a three point happy offense is not the best offense for a center like Dwight Howard to be featured in—I assure you, it is. 

Dwight Howard has garnered just about all of the off-season talk surrounding the Orlando Magic, with the bulk of that chatter speculating what team Howard will play for next year. It should be pointed out though that general manager Otis Smith has made it clear on numerous occasions that Superman isn't flying out of Orlando anytime soon. After all, Dwight Howard has the best chance to thrive within the Orlando Magic's offensive system anyways. 

Head coach Stan Van Gundy has implemented an offense that centers around the three point shot, and the Orlando Magic front-office has surrounded Dwight Howard with marquee three point shooters ever since Howard transitioned from skinny teenager with braces to the best center in the world he is today.

What the Magic have essentially done is given opposing teams the option to either A) double down on Howard in the post and risk leaving a shooter wide open, or B) play Dwight one on one in the paint and hope for the best.

The Magic have developed an offense that gives Dwight Howard the best chance to flourish in—thus meaning the Magic's offense does NOT limit Howard.

Dwight Howard needs the floor to be spread on the offensive end for him to be most successful, and that's exactly the case here in Orlando.

Howard showed great improvement offensively last season as he managed to up his scoring average from 18.3 points per game in 2009 to nearly 23 points per game in 2010. But Dwight becomes turnover prone (3.6 turnover per game in 2010) when the post becomes bunched up and Howard is forced to put the ball on the floor.

If Howard were traded to a team that didn't have elite perimeter shooters like J.J. Redick, Jason Richardson or Ryan Anderson that all spread the floor, it's safe to say Superman would struggle, as defenses would be able to double down in the paint without concern over protecting the three point line.  

When the Magic struggle most in the half-court game is when Howard fails to touch the ball. Even with the Magic being three point shooting team, Howard must get a touch each and every possession. Not only does it give him a chance to get some easy buckets down low—it keeps the defense honest. Every time the Orlando Magic dribble down the court and take a shot with 18 seconds left on the shot clock, they're doing defenses a favor.

The grass isn't always greener on the other side, and for Dwight Howard to be most successful at this time in his career, the Orlando Magic are the ideal fit for the 25-year-old five-time NBA All-Star. 

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