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Tag:Dwight Howard
Posted on: January 20, 2012 10:10 am
Edited on: January 20, 2012 11:16 am
 

Report: Bryant lets Howard know whose team it is

Kobe Bryant is talking to Dwight Howard, but is he moving Howard away from the Lakers? (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

There are various rules and regulations that prohibit NBA teams and players from talking to one another in regards to recruiting for a trade. But when that player has been given permission to talk to other teams, that all goes out the window. Such is the case with Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant, who have apparently become like teenage girls gabbing on the phone with Howard weighing where he wants to be traded to, if at all. Unfortuntely for Lakers fans, it doesn't sound like Bryant's doing a great job as a pitch man.  From the Los Angeles Times
Kobe Bryant has had at least one in-depth phone conversation with Howard recently, even discussing how Howard might fit in with the Lakers' scheme.

One person with knowledge of the conversation said Howard came away feeling as if he wouldn't be the Lakers' top option, for obvious reasons. It's Bryant's team.
via Lakers-Magic center swap might be on back burner - latimes.com.

It's slightly bizarre that two stars on different teams playing Friday night have been chatting casually about their prospective dynamic should one of them join the other. But that's the new NBA. 

Bryant scaring off Howard is pretty much the most Kobe thing ever. Yes, the Lakers are 10-5, but they've also looked very beatable this season, more like a "good team that isn't winning a title" than a true contender, never more so than against the Heat (without Dwyane Wade) Thursday night. And yet Bryant has to make sure Howard knows the pecking order. It's his team, and no Defensive Player of the Year, MVP candidate,  most dominant center in the league is going to come in and take touches away from him. Bryant feels he's earned the right to determine his order in the pecking order, what with the rings and the Hall of Fame eventually and everything. 

But this isn't how you bring a talent like Howard in. That's not how his makeup is geared. You have to try and get him excited. But if Bryant is good with his guys, this is a great effort to sabotage a trade, which the Times says is on the back burner, with both teams not having talked for weeks. 

At least if Howard does push for and agree to a trade to the Lakers, he'll know for sure what he's getting into. It won't be Dwight's team. It will be Bryant's.
Posted on: January 19, 2012 2:35 pm
 

Howard leads second returns for All-Star 2012

Posted by Royce Young

The second batch of All-Star ballot returns are out and leading the entire league again in votes is Dwight Howard with 1,161,797 votes with Kobe Bryant still second with 1,110,379. Second in the East is Derrick Rose (1,040,210), who jumped LeBron James (972,580) and second in the West Kevin Durant (973,152).

If the voting ended today, the East's starting five would be Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, LeBron, Carmelo Anthony and Howard. In the West it would be Chris Paul, Kobe, Durant, Blake Griffin and Andrew Bynum.

And looking over the vote totals, those starting lineups seem to be a bit set in stone, barring injury. Nobody is really all that close to catching anyone (Dirk was close to Griffin in the last voting, but Griffin has opened up a 300,000 vote lead).

So, are the fans getting it right so far? Kind of looks like they are, quite honestly. Can't argue with the West too much. I still take a little issue in that Kevin Love has been absolutely killing it in Minnesota so far this season averaging 26-15, but he's not part of Lob City, so it's hard to see him ever topping Griffin. Same goes for LaMarcus Aldridge, who is off to a fantastic start.

In the East, there's really nothing to change. Melo isn't really a power forward, but you can fudge the All-Star rosters a bit. Rajon Rondo isn't playing better than Rose, there's no better 2 in the East than Wade and of course LeBron and Howard are the best at their positions in the entire league. Injuries have played a role early in the season though, so you have to wonder if everyone will be healthy for the All-Star Game.

If the voting holds like this -- and it should -- we'll have a pretty accurate representation of the best in each league to start the All-Star Game. Again, I'd go with Love over Griffin, but that's not a sure thing case to make at this point. And it's not going to change anyway.
Posted on: January 16, 2012 6:15 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2012 9:40 am
 

Howard denies Clippers on his list

Posted by Royce Young and Matt Moore

Update Wednesday 9:36 a.m.: Howard denied that he had added the Clippers to his list Tuesday, via the Orlando Sentinel. SheridanHoops.com responded to the report by indicating that the Clippers are on his list but that due to the CBA, he woul be unable to join the Clippers until later this summer:
The key word in that question is “now.”

Because right now, he wants to play for the New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks or Los Angeles Lakers — and the Lakers are a distant third on that list. The Clippers would be something to consider if circumstances over the next several months make those first three destinations unattainable, and as I reported in my story on the Howard-Clippers possibility, it would only happen next summer through a sign-and-trade (a detail too many people are overlooking).
via More on Dwight Howard and the Clippers. 

Whether you believe Howard as a flat denial or that the Clippers could be a possibility if he reaches free agency, don't expect Howard to be joining Lob City this season, if ever. 

************

It's the power of Blake. It already brought Chris Paul to the Clippers and it could have Dwight Howard interested in joining Lob City.

Howard has a list of teams he's reportedly interested in and it includes the Nets, the Lakers and the Mavericks (along with the Magic, I guess). But you can add one more: the Clippers. Via Sheridan Hoops:
SheridanHoops.com learned exclusively Monday that Howard recently expanded his list of preferred future destinations, adding the Clippers to a list that already included the Nets, the Mavericks and the Lakers.

“He’s been watching them a lot. He’s intrigued by the Clippers,” said the source, who is privy to the trade talks that have taken place between all of the aforementioned teams.

That source also said it now appears more likely that Howard will play out the season with the Magic, who improved to 9-3 Monday afternoon by defeating the New York Knicks 102-93 while making 17 3-pointers and getting just 8 points and 10 rebounds from Howard.

Howard’s agent, Dan Fegan, already has been given permission to speak to the Nets, Mavericks and Lakers about possible trades. It was unclear if similar permission has been granted in regards to trade talks with the Clippers.

But the source said the most likely scenario that would land Howard in Lob City would be an offseason sign-and-trade deal.

The Clippers aren't really in need of a big man as they just signed DeAndre Jordan to a long extension, but you don't say no to Howard. Especially to the idea of a trio of Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard. If the Clips are Lob City now, that would be Lob Universe, Dunk Continent or Oop Galaxy. It would be... something.

It doesn't seem to be the most plauisble destination for Howard as the Clips are fairly structured right now and Howard could be a fit elsewhere. But if he doesn't get traded before the deadline -- and it's looking less likely that will happen -- his options will be open to a whole lot of places, including both Los Angeles teams.

Howard has options. The Mavs have positioned themselves to make a strong run at both him and Deron Williams this summer. The Nets could do the same. The Lakers might offer Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol to get him at the deadline. Or maybe the Clippers decide to go all out and try and work that sign-and-trade, which could include Jordan.

Whatever the case, one thing seems to be a constant right now: These scenarios most definitely do not include Orlando.
Posted on: January 16, 2012 4:57 pm
Edited on: January 16, 2012 5:13 pm
 

Is Ryan Anderson the Most Improved Player?

By Matt Moore

We saw the early signs in New Jersey, but so many players drift away. We saw it his first year in Orlando, but the system has produced a lot of quality scorers. But what Ryan Anderson has done this season in Orlando deserves significant recognition. 

On Monday, Anderson dropped a career high 30 points on 13 shots along with 7 rebounds in the Magic's 102-93 win over the Knicks in Madison Square Garden. After the game, Anderson was demonstrably humble, saying essentially that he was just open. And he's right. He was. But that has value in this league. 

Anderson has been knocking down perimeter shots all season thanks to the attention paid to Dwight Howard down low. That's the model for what the Magic want to do, better or worse. And when you have a shooter as hot as Anderson right now, it makes it extremely difficult to stop. The Knicks have a huge, tough center inside in Tyson Chandler to attack Dwight Howard, and the Knicks gameplanned to stop him. He scored just eight points. But when you open up opportunities for the Magic's supporting players, and they're ready to contribute instead of, say, Vince Carter, the Magic are still a deadly team.

There is a metric used in the NBA stat circles called True Shooting Percentage. It factors the impact of hitting threes and free throws for a better indicator of how good a shooter a player is. Anderson entered Monday 11th in True Shooting Percentage, then went out and hit 11-19 from the field, 7-13 from three, and 1-1 from the line. That efficiency means that the Magic are highly likely to get a productive possession with him on the floor. That's a big reason why the Magic are the most efficient offense in the league

Anderson admitted post game he can't really create his own shot, but in a league where so many players are struggling with a tightened schedule, Anderson has made a strong statement and helped carry the Magic. The Dwight Howard circus continues, but Anderson may be the league's Most Improved Player this year and will be a central part of whatever the Magic do going forward. On Monday, he sunk the more hyped team with the famous arena and he did it efficiently. A modern style player for a more efficient age.
Posted on: January 16, 2012 1:55 pm
Edited on: January 16, 2012 3:01 pm
 

Baseline Awards 1.16.12: Rosey Run



Welcome to the Baseline Awards, a weekly feature that goes over the biggest stories of the past week and hands out awards. Because awards are fun!

Eastern Conference Player of the week: Best overall performance by Eastern Conference player

Tie: Dwight Howard/Derrick Rose

Dwight Howard absolutely annihilated teams this week. He only played in two games. During that back-to-back set he destroyed an elite team, the Blazers, and a pretty good team, the Warriors. Howard missed an epic tonnage of free throws vs. Golden State... and still scored 45 points and grabbed 23 rebounds. Against Portland he only scored 13 but had 13 rebounds and four assists. Howard is showing why everyone wants to trade for him.

But Derrick Rose? He's back to playing at an MVP level. No, I'm sorry, that's not right. Because he won the MVP last year and he's actually playing better this season, and did so this week. Rose played four games last week, sitting out with turf toe against the Wizards, and averaged 24 points and 9 assists. That last digit is particularly important. Rose has become a better passer, and is helping what is largely the same Bulls unit become better offensively. Be afraid, NBA.

Western Conference Player of the Week: Best overall performance by Western Conference player

Kobe Bryant

Um... have YOU scored 40 points in each game this week, four times straight? I didn't think so. If I have to explain this, you've been either living in a cave or in suspended animation only to discover a strange new world. Either way, let me break it down. Kobe Bryant = dominant offensively this week. There may be a cost on the Lakers' offense as a whole and the competition was a little weak, but that doesn't change the fact he scored 40 freaking points in four straight contests at age 33.

Struggler of the week: Player with worst performance qualified for expectations

LeBron James

The numbers are fine. The numbers aren't everything. I rarely if ever use the phrase "choked" but James choked away a very winnable game vs. Golden State by missing free throw after free throw. Then had similar issues against the Clippers, struggling in the fourth quarter and overtime. And finally he was frustrated and beaten handily by the Nuggets.

It was probably an outlier, he'll likely rebound, at least in the regular season. But James had a huge letdown after a promising start to 2011-2012.

DOMINATOR AWARD: Most dominant performance

Paul Millsap

Millsap was an absolute beast for the Jazz this week, helping them to a 3-1 record while averaging 23 points and nine boards...while shooting 62 percent from the field. In three of those games, he shot better than 55 percent. Millsap's ability to hit from range, finish inside, and score in the post is making him one of the most complete power forwards in the league. The Jazz really have something going (again) in Salt Lake, and Millsap this week has been a huge part of it.

Broken Promises Award

Mark Jackson, Golden State Warriors

Jackson's guarantee of a playoff trip was questionable when he made it after being hired last summer and it looks even worse now, just 12 games into the season. The team's major free agent prize, Kwame Brown, is likely done for the year, a desperate ownership is realizing it can't make stars appear out of nowhere, and Stephen Curry is tragically sidelined yet again. Jackson, meanwhile, embarked on an historically stupid Hack-a-Dwight strategy en route to a home loss and then watched as his team laid an egg in Charlotte, of all places. The good news: the W's season will be over and Jackson will have plenty of time to get back to the rhyming dictionary to craft some new catchphrases. I know you wanted to make a splash; your mouth made a promise that your team can't cash.

Home Cookin' Award:

Portland Trail Blazers

Portland's hot start and contender buzz hit the brakes this week thanks to a 3-game losing streak. After an early-season win at Oklahoma City raised hopes that this new-look Blazers team might be over the road struggles of previous years, Portland lost back-to-back games in Texas to start its current 6-game road trip, bringing their road record to 1-4 through 11 games. Losing to the undefeated at home Spurs is no shame, but dropping one to the Houston Rockets in overtime can't happen if Portland is to reach its high internal expectations.

Fuzzy Math Award 

Boston Celtics 

The "Big 4" is Boston wasn't supposed to be a reference to how many wins the Celtics have through the first three weeks of the season. But that's where the aging C's find themselves and it's brought on the possibility of a full-fledged identity crisis in the works. Boston is average on offense, average on defense and pathetic on the boards. Given the major cap flexibility the Celtics will have this summer, the worst case scenario is that this season ends up being a waste of time between eras. But settling for that is painful given that four Celtics were 2011 All-Stars.

The Walter White Award

Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder.

It's not a coincidence that the two teams rolling along early in the season are the two squads that had virtually everything in place. With teams like the Knicks and Mavericks looking a bit lost with new pieces early on because of no training camp, the Thunder and Bulls haven't had issues because they haven't had to work on any chemistry. It's already there.

Dead Man Walking Award

Deron Williams 

I don't know how Deron Williams is putting up with this stuff, but he's obviously playing through gritted teeth. Kudos to him, but it has to be painful to basically be flushing a year and a half of your career down the toilet. The injury to Brook Lopez was unfortunate, but let's be honest: The Nets weren't going to be good regardless. If it all works out and Dwight Howard finds his way there, I'm sure he'll look back on these days as a good character builder, but if Howard goes elsewhere and Williams does as well, it'll just be wasted time.

The "Really, guys? Really?!" Award: Worst performance that isn't just bad, but inexcusable

Washington Wizards

You lost to the Bulls without Derrick Rose? Really? You let John Lucas go off on you, John Wall? Really? It's like every time we think the Wizards have hit the very bottom, they show us they can go just a little bit lower.

The "Begin Assembly" Award: Team starting to get it together

Memphis Grizzlies

A tough loss to the Lakers seemed to spark this team. They needed a boost and since that game in which they competed to the end, Rudy Gay has started to produce at the level he has to. Mike Conley is playing well. Marc Gasol is beasting. O.J. Mayo has his shot going. The Grizzlies are moving away from the debacle that was their first game against Chicago.

The "Tom Brady Is Better Than You" Award for Offensive Failure

The Sacramento Kings scored 42 points on Saturday through the third quarter. The Patriots scored 42 points againt the Broncos on Saturday. The Kings were outscored by an NFL team. I don't know who that's sadder for, the Kings or Tebow and the Broncos.

Awkward Water Cooler Conversation Award for Coaching Struggle:

Mark Jackson

Jackon's own players asked him not to go hack-a-Dwight vs. the Magic, feeling they could defend Howard. It would be one thing if it had worked, but Howard dominated them even with the missed free throws and it completely detonated the Warriors' offensive flow. Jackon's been pretty good overall this season, but that was a pretty damaging series of events.

Blog of the Week:

The Two Man Game

With the Mavericks starting to put it together, their analysis is relevant again, and TMG is the best Mavs blog out there. Thoughtful analysis and discussion on the bigger picture, which is what the Mavericks are all about this season.

Awards Watch:

MVP Five to Consider (no particular order):
Derrick Rose
Kobe Bryant
LeBron James
Dwight Howard
Kevin Durant

ROY Five to Consider:
Kyrie Irving
Ricky Rubio
MarShon Brooks
Kawhi Leonard
Iman Shumpert

6th Man of the Year Five to Consider:
James Harden
Al Harrington
Lou Williams
Jamal Crawford
Ricky Rubio
Posted on: January 13, 2012 3:54 pm
 

Report: Howard has 'no interest' in Warriors

By Matt Moore

Yesterday was pretty much "Bad Dwight Howard News" for the Warriors on Thursday. Howard missed an epic number of free throws, and still dropped 45 and 23 on the Dubs Thursday night. And to top it all off, all that talk about the Warriors making a swing at Howard in trade? Yeah, Howards says no thanks. 

From Sports Illustrated.com:

On topic of Dwight-to-Warriors, source says his agent, Dan Fegan, has made it clear to GS that Howard has no interest in playing there.
That doesn't necessarily bar the Warriors from making the gamble and acquiring Howard should their package prove tempting for Orlando, but it would be way too great of a risk for the Warriors to send Stephen Curry or Monta Ellis in the trade, and Orlando would insist on one star guard or the other. 

So the Warriors, who lost Kwame Brown on Wednesday for most of the season with a chest injury, are now seemingly out of the Get Dwight race. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported this week that the Warriors have been very aggressive in the trade market and could make a move before the trade deadline as they continue to move towards a more defensive approach. 

Golden State continues to struggle with attracting a big name free agent, despite having a raucous crowd, new aggressive ownership, a player's coach in Mark Jackson, and a large market in the nicer weather of California (not that San Francisco's really a treat this time of year, but it's nicer than say, Milwaukee). Evenually they may have to pull the trigger on sending one of those guards out in order to augment their supporting system, since it doesn't look like anyone will be shopping for David Lee under his sizeable contract any time soon.  
Posted on: January 13, 2012 1:25 am
Edited on: January 13, 2012 1:51 am
 

Dwight Howard sets NBA record for free throws

Posted by Ben Golliver howard-free-throw

Orlando Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard set an all-time NBA record for free throws attempted in a game by shooting 39 free throws during a Thursday night win over the Golden State Warriors.

Howard shattered the previous record set by Hall of Fame center Wilt Chamberlain, who attempted 34 free throws for the Philadelphia Warriors in a February 22, 1962 game against the St. Louis Hawks. Chamberlain's record stood for more than 49 years.

Howard connected on 21 of his 39 attempts, finishing with 45 points on 12-21 shooting in 44 minutes. The 45 points matched his regular season career-high, set in a February 17, 2009 game against the Charlotte Bobcats.

His previous best for free throw attempts in a game was 24, which he had done four times.

Warriors center Andris Biedrins and forward David Lee both fouled out of the game. Reserve big man Ekpe Udoh was also whistled for five fouls. The Warriors announced earlier Thursday that starting center Kwame Brown is out for at least three months after he tore a muscle in his chest that will require surgery to fix.

The Magic defeated the Warriors, 117-109, at Oracle Arena.
Posted on: January 13, 2012 1:12 am
Edited on: January 13, 2012 1:42 am
 

Report Card: Grizzlies drop kick Knicks

Posted by Ben Golliver 

grizzlies-knicks

Your nightly report card gives you a big picture look at what happened each night in the NBA. Grades are granted based on team or individual performances, and are graded on a curve for each element. Leave your own grades in the comments. 

Memphis Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies have had a turbulent start to their season, losing franchise forward Zach Randolph to injury and shaking up their roster in an attempt to compensate for the loss. Their 4-6 record indicates there have been plenty of struggles but they put on a pretty face for a national television audience on Thursday, drop-kicking the Knicks and leaving no doubt in a 94-83 victory. Rudy Gay led the way with 26 points on 16 shots, and while Memphis didn't shoot the lights out they scored at will when they needed to. Given New York's effort level recently, scrappers like Tony Allen (12 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals) and Marc Gasol (10 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 blocks) were free to have a field day.

Kyrie Irving

The NBA's best kept secret keeps cranking out hits. If hype was dispensed purely on merit, Irving would eclipse Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio easily. Instead, he toils away for a forgotten Cleveland Cavaliers team that just happens to be at .500 after the first ten games of the season. He's been called mature, efficient and intellignet, but on Thursday he showed he was fearless, too, taking the game to Steve Nash in Phoenix to finish with 26 pointes, 6 assists and 2 steals. His 11-17 shooting helped compensate for the 6 turnovers. Irving is currently off to the best start of any rookie point guard in recent memory.

Dwight Howard

After complaining in Portland on Wednesday that he couldn't find an offensive rhythm this season, Dwight Howard destroyed Golden State's thin front line to the tune of 45 points and 23 rebounds. Howard made it to the free throw line an astonishing 39 times, smashing a 49-year-old NBA record, and added 1 blocks and 4 steals to his absurd stat line. Orlando didn't play nearly as crisply against the Warriors as they did in beating the Blazers the night before, but Howard's monster night ensured Orlando earned its third straight win to start a 4-game road trip, 117-109.

Jon Leuer

Jon Leuer? More like Jon Who-er? Am I right? Milwaukee's 22-year-old rookie forward has hit for double figures in three straight games for the Bucks, capped by a career-high 15 points in a 102-93 win over the Detroit Pistons. No basket was bigger than a late dunk in traffic that helped seal the win. Milwaukee didn't draw many fans on Thursday, but those who were there were on their feet to salute his all-around play. Leuer finished with 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks. Call this a hearty B+.  

Greg Monroe

He gets docked from an "A" only because it came in a losing effort (Detroit's sixth straight loss), but second-year Pistons center Greg Monroe had arguably the best individual performance of his career, tossing in a career-high 32 points and adding 16 rebounds. Detroit has such an oddly-assembled lineup that it's difficult to know who will be around in a few years if this team ever gets headed back on an upward trajectory, but Monroe's development sticks out as one clear positive indicator. Thursday marked his fourth double-double in 11 games so far this season.

Boris Diaw

Diaw is an easy target, in no small part because he's so big you can't miss him. The Bobcats got drilled by the Atlanta Hawks, 111-81, in the first game that Atlanta played without key big man Al Horford. Hawks coach Larry Drew inserted Zaza Pachulia into his starting lineup and played his starters heavy minutes. Diaw might as well not have shown up, finishing with zero points and 6 rebounds, all defensive, in 26 minutes.

New York Knicks

Name a way the Knicks can fail and you saw it on Thursday against the Grizzlies. Carmelo Anthony was lost to injury. Amar'e Stoudemire never bothered to show up. New York got beaten badly on the boards and couldn't stop Memphis' offense from pouring it on. Rookie point guard Iman Shumpert took 20 shots and his back-up, Toney Douglas, took 13. Combined the two guards shot an atrocious 8-for-33 and tallied 7 assists to 9 turnovers. Thanks to some garbage-time lead-cutting this one wound up as an 11-point loss but it played out more like a 25-point blowout.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com