The Portland Trailblazers are on the brink of being eliminated in the postseason and as early as now they are already looking at future. Experts believe that having a strong presence inside the paint will make wonders for the Trailblazers but many believe like NBA coach Herb Brown that taking Dwight Howard will not do good for them.
The 80-year old Brown joined John Canzano over at the Oregon Live and stated that Howard is not the right fit for the Trailblazers, who are currently playing against the Golden State Warriors in the second round of the NBA playoffs. He explained that Howard has not improved in his game and that signing with the Trailblazers is a big mistake.
“I think you’re courting disaster. He’s not a finisher inside. He doesn’t like being subservient, or being second-fiddle to other players, and I don’t think he’s developed his game, and improved his game. I’d rather have (Hassan) Whiteside. I’d rather have (Andre) Drummond. I’d rather have Steven Adams, because he’s a workhorse. Just because Portland is on Howard’s short list, it doesn’t mean Howard has to be on Portland’s short list. I’m a little afraid of that,” Brown said.
Truth be said that Howard’s numbers indeed dropped playing for the Houston Rockets as compared to his stats when he was with the Orlando Magic. With the Rockets, Howard averages 13.7 points with 11.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks and that is playing behind the shadows of James Harden. Back when he was with the Magic, Howard was racking close to 20 to 22 points per game with 14.5 rebounds and two to three blocks a game.
The 30-year old Howard has been adjusting to Harden’s offense but the Rockets does not see him inside the paint where he is most effective. Now that he has opted out of his $23.2 million contract, teams like the Trailblazers puts a word out that they want to pursue him to give them the a strong line of defense inside the paint.
Calvin Watkins writes that during an interview with TNT Sports, Howard stated that he has not made any decisions yet and just focus on getting fit and healthy during the offseason. Though he stated that he really likes winning, he struggles so much with losing and being able to know his role with a team. He hopes to get over it and grow and improve as a player.
“I’m always interested in winning. But as a big, you want to feel a part of what’s going on, and you know, if I could bring the ball up the court, shoot 3s and go between the legs, do all that stuff, that’d be great. But I have to rely on my teammates in certain aspects to get the ball. Now there have been times I have been upset and I’ve taken myself out of the game in certain situations, and that’s on me,” Howard said.
“And I have to grow, and became a better player. So I’m always interested in the game, and I’ve had the problem with smiling too much or I play too much on the floor, so when I’m not smiling and all that stuff, it looks like I’m not interested in the game. So it’s like a thin line, and I’m like, ‘Man, do I not smile? Or do I smile and have fun?’ So that’s always been a struggle for me personally.”
During the course of the interview Howard hinted as to which city he would want to play for next season and he hopes things would work out so that he could immediately sign with them come July 1 and prepare for a new season ahead.
“I think I was very likable in Orlando, and the way that situation ended, I think people felt as though I’m just this bad guy, I’m all about myself, I’m a diva, I’m stuck on being Dwight Howard, this famous basketball player. So people say, ‘I don’t like that guy.’ And I hear that, and it really hurts me because my heart and my attitude toward the game has always been the same,” Howard added.
Howard wants to prove his critics wrong and vows that whatever analyst or coaches say about him, that includes Herb Brown, he will just do his thing and that is to improve every step of the way whether it be with the Portland Trailblazers, Orlando Magic or anywhere else.
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