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Dwight Howard Delights NBA Twitter with 38-Point, 25-Rebound Debut in Taiwan

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVNovember 19, 2022

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 5: Dwight Howard #39 of the Los Angeles Lakers walks on to the court before the game against the Phoenix Suns on April 5, 2022 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

Former NBA star Dwight Howard was dominant in his T1 League debut in Taiwan on Saturday, leaving NBA analysts and fans buzzing on Twitter.

Howard, who played for seven different teams during his 18-year NBA career and was an eight-time All-Star, three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and one-time NBA champion, dazzled with 38 points, 25 rebounds, nine assists and four blocks in a 120-115 win for the Taoyuan Leopards.

Observers marveled not only at Howard's impressive line, but the fact that he has seemingly expanded his game compared to his style of play in the NBA by shooting more three-pointers and distributing the ball more.

Twitter users also suggested the 36-year-old Howard may have found the fountain of youth by making the move to Taiwan:

Dan Wolken @DanWolken

How many years has it been since a crowd went nuts like that for Dwight Howard <a href="https://t.co/SY9OGS6zws">https://t.co/SY9OGS6zws</a>

Kevin O'Connor @KevinOConnorNBA

Dwight Howard turning into Joel Embiid in Taiwan, these games look so fun lol <a href="https://t.co/W4FyhvyoPD">https://t.co/W4FyhvyoPD</a>

KENNY BEECHAM @KOT4Q

Dwight Howard as a pick and roll ball handler is nuts. Got him looking like Bron <a href="https://t.co/STUv8e4Gg0">https://t.co/STUv8e4Gg0</a>

Chris Mannix @SIChrisMannix

I need a way to watch every single Dwight Howard game in Taiwan. <a href="https://t.co/xlk8rKOUWU">pic.twitter.com/xlk8rKOUWU</a>

NBA Slime @TerryFranconia

Dwight Howard in Taiwan <a href="https://t.co/t5GWGQpKmy">https://t.co/t5GWGQpKmy</a> <a href="https://t.co/rv8m3riN1v">pic.twitter.com/rv8m3riN1v</a>

Josh Smith @SmiJosh

Dwight Howard done went overseas and re entered his prime ๐Ÿ˜‚

GGGusto @aboutnuthinpod

I hope Taiwan and overseas hoops allows Dwight Howard to reinvent himself and get the respect for his game he deserves a la Steph Marbury <a href="https://t.co/DINlFNiKxH">https://t.co/DINlFNiKxH</a>

Howard, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft, was once one of the most dominant big men in the NBA, averaging 18.4 points, 13.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game in eight seasons with the Orlando Magic.

He became more of a role player over the past several seasons, though, starting a total of just 44 games in the last four campaigns.

While the level of competition is much lower in Taiwan than it is in the NBA, Howard looked revitalized Saturday.

Howard has never been much of a passer, averaging just 1.3 assists per game during his NBA career, but he distributed effectively in his Taiwan debut.

Also, Howard made just 22 three-point field goals and attempted only 103 in 1,242 NBA regular-season games. On Saturday, he attempted a whopping 10 treys and made two of them.

Regardless of what Howard does in Taiwan, he isn't likely to be a superstar in the NBA ever again, but he figures to capture the attention of some NBA teams if he continues to play at the level he displayed Saturday.

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