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Monday, February 13th, 2012 at 9:00 am  |  74 responses

Dwight Howard: ‘I Do Want the Ball More in the Fourth Quarter’


by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

You’ll never believe this, but Dwight Howard is upset about something again.

The only twist about Dwight’s latest complaint is that it came following an Orlando Magic victory. Howard was unhappy with the amount of touches he got late in the game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.

From Fox Sports:

Howard touched the ball only six times on offense in the fourth quarter, with one of those coming from his own offensive rebound. Despite Orlando’s 99-94 win over the Bucks, Howard made it clear that this is not the role he wants. “I do want the ball more in the fourth quarter,” a frustrated Howard said. “I want to become a closer. The only way you get there is by getting the ball and have coach have the confidence in giving me the ball. That’s how Kobe (Bryant) and the rest of the great fourth-quarter players got that way. It’s trial and error. When Kobe first got in the league, it took him a while to become the killer he is in the fourth quarter now. That’s because he went through that phase where he had to learn what shots to take and just get confidence in taking shots in the fourth quarter.”

“That’s one thing that I want for myself, so I can become the guy who finishes games for my team. I want to be that guy whose team wants him to close games out for them. Coach just needs to have confidence in me … Just run plays through me, so I can be comfortable in being the guy and have confidence in getting the ball late in the game and scoring,” Howard said. “That’s what I’m worth. I want to be that guy who controls games. As a kid, that’s what you dream about in the NBA, taking that shot. I want to do that. I’m the leader of the team. Ride my back. I’ll lead. I don’t care if I miss every single shot, I’m going to continue to play hard. Just get on my back. That’s why they call me Superman.”

Despite pulling down 14 rebounds, and getting 4 blocks, Dwight Howard struggled against the Bucks, as he missed 10 of the 15 shots he attempted, and only shot two free throws. Jason Richardson (31 points) and Hedo Turkoglu (19 points) carried the Magic offensively

Whether or not he has a point about not getting enough touches in the fourth quarter is beside the point; it doesn’t look good on Dwight Howard’s part that he complained to the media following a tough road win.

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  • http://zogs.ca zogs

    CHILLL OUT KOBE

  • AD

    i feel like you need it too dwight…. but SVG likes jason richardson

  • bigA

    superman… at this point he just wants to piss off shaq.

  • Sam

    He missed 10/15 but he wants more shots in the 4th quarter. “I don’t care if I miss every single shot, I’m going to continue to play hard.”

    If you are reading this comment, you should know I’m a Nets fan. I am pretty confident at this point that my team is getting Dwight Howard, but is this how he’s going to act in Brooklyn?

    Maybe this is Dwight continuing to try and force his way out but I’m not sure. It seems like D12 AKA Fake Superman might just really have an ego bigger than Lebron James.

  • thor

    no way^

  • coco

    you’ll have it, when you can shoot freethrows

  • FnF

    LOL… Dwight could have said it much better than that. “J-Rich came up huge for us in the 4th quarter, he made some plays and hit a few 3s for us to get a win tonight. When I grow up, I want to be just like him [laughs]… As a team we need to get to the point where I can be the 4th quarter closer, and kick out to shooters if I’m doubled. When we play inside-out with our wings shooting like they did tonight, we are unstoppable.”

  • AD

    on the real tho dwight needs to stay away from the media bcuz evry question is going to be controversial and if not he needs to just tell us on National Televison that “I want to be on the New Jersey Nets Now!!”

  • http://averysmith.org Avery

    @FnF great response…

    It’s almost as if Orlando has 2 Big Babies.

    He says that “he doesn’t care if he misses every shot. Ride my back…” Why is he so me first? So emo? He doesn’t know how to lead and I’m getting a strong sense that this cat isn’t ringing up anytime soon. Why is he complaining about a win? If you miss every shot, you will lose the game Dwight! Kobe can transform his game based on the situation. You ain’t Kobe! Be you! Such a follower.

  • m3lo

    wow dwight the diva is at it again….

  • Shem

    This dude is a walking soap opera. Make 75 percent of your free throws and you ll get the ball. Teams can just foul Howard assuming that he’ll miss 1 and that’s considered a good defensive stand.

  • Joe

    @ Avery

    2 Big Babies

    Best Comment yet

  • Joe

    @ Avery

    2 Big Babies

    Best Comment yet

    Dwight, learn to make 70% of your Ft’s and then demand the ball in the clutch

    Until then, be a high priced decoy and kick out to your scorers and get put backs

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    he’s right. and he’s wrong. If its before the last 2 minutes he should, without a doubt, touch the ball on almost every possession. If it’s inside the last 2 minutes, I would not let Dwight even see the ball on offense. Can’t rely on him at the FT line.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    ^I say give it to him, and let him throw up brick after brick from the foul line and then ask him if he still wants the ball.

  • http://www.blogspot.com LLC#12

    If I’m on the opposing team, I want him with the ball more in the 4th as well…

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I don’t think people understand, even if he goes to the foul line, before the last 2 minutes, he’s going to get the team more points then the offense would. No team regularly shoots higher then 50% from the field. And Dwight is a 50% foul shooter. Hence, a more efficient offense. Dwight (if he got the ball) would also be able to put opposing teams in foul trouble early in quarters. The positives to giving the ball to Dwight in the 4th (before the last 2 minutes), heavily out-way the negatives.

  • shawnkemp4prez

    Damn, Dwight becomes more of a diva everyday

  • robb

    We want you to keep your mouth shut Howard.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    What nbk said. I like to think I know the Magic offense pretty well (I know what SVG hand signals correspond to what plays) and Dwight getting touches outside of the last two minutes is not a bad thing.

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    want the ball in the 4th…why, so you can brick free throws or so you can airball hooks??? For the sake of both parties Dwight needs to be traded immediately, the longer this carries out the worse it is for both. Dwight isn’t taking this well at all, I know he’s a good guy, but this has brought out the worst of him….He needs to go somewhere with a nice supporting cast where he can ultimately grow into a basketball player….because after 8 years…WOW…he still hasn’t honed the fundamentals of his position.

  • FnF

    @NBK, I think it depends on the situation[but not really]. Orlando as a team shoots 38.7% from 3. Dwight shoots 49.1% from the free throw line. For simplicity we’ll round up. If Orlando shot 3′s for 10 straight possessions, they’d make approx. 4 of them giving 12 points. If Dwight shoots 20 FTs over 10 possessions, he only makes 10 of them. Unless Dwight can up his FT% like several people have mentioned here, Orlando is better off jacking 3s and hoping for the best. Would you rather take your chances with a wide open Ryan Anderson from 25 feet out or Dwight using all 12 seconds at the free throw line?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    lol do they shoot a 3 on every possession? Or is there more then 1 long 2 mixed into every 3 or 4 possessions? And how much foul trouble does shooting 3 after 3 create? Henry Abbott (i believe) wrote an article about how stupid of a strategy it is to put a player on the line outside the last 2 minutes of a quarter. If the player is a 50% or higher foul shooter, it is NEVER a good strategy. Ever. – The offense becomes more efficient, the defense gets an opportunity to set up on every possession (while your team is literally giving points away) – The team gets into the bonus, giving free points on every non-charge foul from that point forward. — In essence, by hacking Dwight your assuring free points to his team, while allowing his team (Dwight being the best defender in the league) to set up their defense on every possession. It’s better to force Dwight to literally try and beat you, or to let Orlando hoist 3 after 3.

  • shutup

    I dont understand what he’s thinking; why say something like this after a win? his team played well, yet he continues to disrespect their effort by complaining to the media. With all the potential this guy has I dont see why he isnt improving. Ive seen players with so much less do so much more, can you imagine what Al Jefferson would do with that athleticism? Lets see if we can keep this discussion civil, so because Dwight shoots 50% from the free throw line; as a team they should consign themselves to getting maybe 1 pt for every possession? The reason for fouling people at the end of the games is in the hope they miss at least 1 freethrow so that way when you go down the other end you can get a basket, maybe a 3-point play or hit a three pointer, thus for every point you give up you can possibly score 2-3 and gain ground, or did you think people just foul at the end of games to be stubborn and not let time run out? and lets point out that the stop and go would take the flow out of the offense and take the wind out of the defense.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    The Orlando Magic score 100 points per 100 possessions. With that in mind, 1 point per possession, plus the bonus, plus getting to set up on defense = net positive.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    it’s very simple.

  • doyouwantmore

    Dwight wants the ball to do what with exactly? Post-up? Shoot the mid-ranger jumper? Or maybe he just tosses it to the other teams point-guard and gets back on defense where he can change the game. Yeah, that must be what he meant. He wants the ball more so that he can play his great defense more.

  • MUBWAR

    i swear you guys too funny. a lot of ball players nowadays are missing a little logic and basic understanding of the game(fundamentals)

  • Kurino

    Kobe can drive, shoot the three, post as a guard, come off screens, and create space for shots. Of course he can get the ball. Dwight don’t have enough in his repertoire.

  • FnF

    @NBK, How often does Dwight turn the ball over himself with picking up offensive fouls, throwing errant passes, or getting stripped? Other teams have no problem letting Dwight have the ball. Orlando seems to be the only team that doesn’t want him to have the ball. Look at the Hawks-Magic playoff series. Dwight had monster games but they still loss. Then he has like a 6 point game and they win big. His skill set just isn’t there yet, for him to demand the ball in the 4th. He says he wants to win now, but how does letting him lose close games and then blaming his teammates help Orlando?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    3 turnovers a game. And what do you mean other teams have no problem letting Dwight have the ball? Teams don’t double Dwight because they know Orlando as a team strategy would rather shoot 3′s. THat doesn’t actually mean Dwight isn’t the best offensive option. It just means defenses (teams) understand what the Magic (Stan Van Gundy) like to do. – And that Hawks series Orlando shot absolutely horrible. Did you not watch it? Dwight scored like 23PPG on 60% from the field, (and averaged like 14 or 15 rebounds). He was in no way at fault for losing that series.

  • http://facebook.com/tronjohnson Chief

    This is just bad, does Dwight have any concept of team chemistry? No it’s just me, me, me out of this guy’s mouth. And he isn’t even the stud that Wilt Chamberlain was. He needs to watch the film of how they won and not complain about touches. Maybe if they had a good Pointguard who could feed the post he’d shut up. However the W changes everything. Please make sure this baby never gets in the HOF.

  • Dungeon Family

    Didn’t Dwight say a couple of weeks ago He DIDN’T want to be the first option?

    He don’t wanna be there Plain and simple

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    not that I know of.

  • FnF

    Dwight(11.4 FTA) takes a huge chunk of Orlando’s FTs anyway, so them being in the Bonus doesn’t mean JJ Reddick (2.6 FTA) is getting to the line to take advantage of it. I’ll agree that any other team should take advantage of shooting FTs and being able to set up on defense BUT Orlando is a special case because their primary FT shooter is 49.1% on the season, as a team they are 6th in the league at making 3s and aside from Dwight, Orlando’s set defense isn’t all that great. Since when has Reddick/Anderson/Nelson/Hedo been able to stick their man in a halfcourt set?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Orlando still has a top 5 defense. Dwight makes them elite by himself. And the teams effective field goal % is 49.8 – Dwight’s free throw % is 49.1 – The difference is, to get to the line you have to get fouled. If he gets fouled enough then every little foul that isn’t offensive will earn points. (For Example, a reaching foul 40 feet from the basket) It’s hard to beat a team that gets free points against aggressive defense. This is why Shaq’s teams (he did get the ball in the 4th – and was much more effective then Dwight is he didn’t get fouled – but still) hardly ever lost leads.

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    Cosign all of nbk’s comments.

  • shutup

    its real simple you want the ball at the end of quarters? go work on your game, stop resting on your god given athletic ability and put some work in, Doc did it, Bird did it, MJ did it, Kobe does it and so does Rose and Durant, first one in and last one to leave. The reason people kept sending Shaq to the line was to avoid him scoring on the play, with Dwight that isnt really a threat, his post game is basura (thats trash for those that dont watch Dora) and I keep saying there is a reason his teammates and coach wont defer to him, they know whats up, hes just not that go to guy. and lets just say his fg% is inflated, most of his plays are oops and off offensive rebounds where the D is out of position, how many of his points come off un-assisted plays or plays were he is the one getting the offensive rebound? and the reason they shoot outside in, is to put him in the position to beat his man to the rebound thus putting him in the best possible position to score for his skill set.

  • AD

    @shutup so dwight scores 20 pts a game on putbacks and alley opps huh?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    On Golden State using the Hack-A-Dwight Strategy: “Excluding three and-1 opportunities, Dwight Howard was sent to the line for a pair on 18 possessions during the Golden State Warriors’ loss to the Orlando Magic on Thursday. On those trips, Dwight converted 20 free throws, giving him 1.11 points per possession.

    Dwight shot 11-21 from the floor and converted one and-1 for 23 points. On those attempts, then, he scored 1.09 points per possession.

    The rest of the Magic scored 72 points on 57 possessions, or 1.26 points per possession.

    There are three reasons to hack Dwight to the tune of a new free throw attempt record: to force Stan Van Gundy to pull him (Howard played 44 minutes, fail), to lead him to be less effective on the court (Howard scored more efficiently from the line than the floor, fail) and to force the Magic to play keep-away from Dwight and rely on the less talented supporting cast (which was much more effective than Dwight in any way in this game, fail).

    Kudos for trying something different; boo for trying something that in no way, shape or form worked.”

  • shutup

    and who said teams would decide to foul Dwight if they kept dumping it down to him? If I’m the other team I’d live or die with him with the ball in the post as opposed to dealing with the bombs from outside, How many times a game is he double teamed? a good coach could have the double team come from different angles; unless someone wants to sit here and say now Dwight has amazing court vision and excellent passing ability?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Dwight is one of the most efficient one on one scorers in the league. Just because he isn’t Shaq doesn’t mean he isn’t one of the best players in the league. Oh and only 10.4% of Dwight’s points are off of assists. So there goes that dumb theory.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    He should get the ball on damn near every possession but the magic are too busy chucking up 40+ 3s each game.

  • shutup

    I asked you to keep it civil, but you want to start with the “dumb” theory bullsh!t,. You can disagree without being insulting. Back to the article, Dwight should just keep his mouth shut and get in the gym. there are so many more skilled players that would kill with his athletic ability R.I.P. Franchise, the best bigman I ever played against.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    The theory is dumb. not you. but if your sensitive enough to take that insulting then i’m sorry i hurt your feelings.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    So 20/15 on 55% shooting with 2.2 bpg and 1.4spg in this era isn’t “killing” it?

  • http://dsfklf.com Jukai

    It has nothing to do with FT shooting, it has to do with his inability to kick out of double teams and his high turnover rate with the limited time he handles the ball. To me, he isn’t a go-to scorer yet, although if he were given more opportunities perhaps he could become one.

  • shutup

    lmao, it doesnt hurt my feelings, just dont wanna start the flaming back and forth, dunno I’m in a good mood, channeling my inner allenp banana-walnut muffin zen type sh!t

  • shutup

    lmao, it doesnt hurt my feelings, just dont wanna start the flaming back and forth, dunno I’m in a good mood, channeling my inner allenp banana-walnut muffin zen type ish

  • shutup

    lol, it doesnt hurt my feelings, just dont wanna start the flaming back and forth, dunno I’m in a good mood, channeling my inner allenp banana-walnut muffin zen type ish

  • shutup

    wow sorry for the 3x post

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    hahah all good. Wasn’t trying to be offensive, was just saying, attributing is offensive efficiency to ally oops was pretty dumb. it felt like a cop out.

  • shutup

    Dwight seems to be a sore subject for you, a magic fan? or just a Dwight fan?

  • http://leipzig-eagles.de/ Speedy

    It really seems to me as if this Magic team is no team.
    This is part of SVG’s work. Get everybody involved and a goal to strive for.
    These guys just see their own problems – especially Dwight.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Neither. I just think he’s Over scrutinized. Don’t get me wrong, he should shut up, but his complaints generally make sense (even though he comes off whiny) – and this trade hoopla magnifies everything 1,000% – so I per almost every player that us heavily disliked am usually “defending” his actions. It’s not that I necessarily agree wih him or anything

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I agree with NBK and shutup to a degree.
    I think that if i was a team with a post defender who would force Dwight to make shots, I would never double team him and only rarely front him. I don’t think dude is a shot maker in the post.
    But, against 90 percent of the big men in the League, who have no idea how to play defense against him, he dominates with more touches. It’s weird. Dude has improved his post game, but it’s still mechanical and kind of raw. But you ignore him at you’re own peril.
    It’s like Carlos Boozer. Boozer dominates inferior bigs, shrinks against the best. The difference is that there are far more decent forwards than centers.

  • shutup

    I agree with the over analyzed idea, but thats what happens when you standout at your position. I just feel his development should be faster. Theres a difference in being great right now and an all-time great, the thing that makes people legends is the time they put in, it just bugs me when people waste potential, now you can argue how can he be wasting potential if he’s the best center in the league? we’ll I would ask is he the best center he can be? I taught myself how to play by watching older dudes ball, seeing what moves work and what dont, sh!t I learned how to use a baby hook from watching bluechips, why is it so hard for him (with the best coaches money can buy) to develop a post game, with great footwork? the blueprint is out there, take a lil Shaq, mix it with Olajuwan, maybe a lil duncan, and a lil bit of Patrick Ewings fire. I would just ask him too Stop smiling all the time, wait to smile until you have that trophy, and please, just please stop sh!tting on your team through the media, you cant blame the media for publishing the stuff you say, if you keep saying stuff. The team won and he still has something negative to say, I dont understand.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    I just don’t think you can be considered the “go to” guy and only be able to get the ball consistently for the first 10 minutes of the 4th like NBK is suggesting. I don’t think he made that comment meaning “get me the ball up until the last 2 minutes then go away from me.” He wants to be the guy that you give the ball to down 1 with 10 seconds left in the game and with his low free throw percentage raw post moves and limited passing ability, he’ll never be that. IMO.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    if that’s what he meant dfrance, then he’s dead wrong. He in no way deserves the ball at that juncture.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    shutup, I am in no way shape or form arguing for Dwight’s work ethic or all-time status. I am referring to people calling him a whiny b*tch and all the other things they are saying. He still has heaps of unrealized potential, but I am not going to hold a grudge with him for not living up to that. Getting better is his prerogative. – I feel like people (you included) dislike him for how he isn’t living up to their expectations, not for what he’s actually saying or doing.

  • shutup

    I admit I prefer my sports icons to be more determined to hone their craft, I respect nothing more in life then the ambition to become the best that one can be, second to that is loyalty. so its like a double negative with him, he has so much potential, couple that with the fact that the center position is barren in todays NBA, the fact that he seems to care about himself first and has no respect for the team aspect of this game. Maybe I’m spoiled from growing up on watching great centers play follow that up with the emergence of legendary pivots -Shaq and Duncan. and having great expectations from Dwight because of all the natural gifts that he has; i dont think its a bad thing. I want him to succeed but theres something to be said about doing it the right way.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I understand that POV

  • golakeshow

    a kobe reference. Just get him to LA

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    This f’ing guy… Every single day itching and moaning… Am I the only one who really hope a couple of great young center’s suddenly gets to the L and starts obliterating Dwight’s hiney on the regular… The 2012 Most Annoying Player award should go to Howard by unanimous decision…

  • flipnoyce

    I’ve never did like Dwight from the getgo and it is because of his constant whining for such a big guy. The man is useless if cover the by the right person. Without a decent post moves like Shaq or Dream he will never be that 4th quarter man on any team. And, he refers to himself as Superman, pathetic.

  • http://anyoldthing Ugh

    Quit throwing your freebies off the top of the backboard and SVG might tell the PG to throw you the ball every once in a while.
    Quit throwing your PG under the bus and maybe they’ll listen to the coach.

  • jpm34

    “I want I want” Im seriously gettin tired of hearing what Howard wants. He shoots 49% from the line, and he wants to close games? REDICULOUS!!!!!

  • shutup

    Just waiting to hear something else from him after the win tonight, I think he had 11-7.

  • Justin G.

    @nbk…Is it his perogative to get better though? Or does he owe it to his teammates, organization, and fans that pay his salary to get better? I’d say it’s the latter

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Depends if you think he is paid to get better or if he is paid for what he has done.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Well too keep up what he has done*

  • Justin G.

    @shutup…It will be the refs’ fault for bad calls leading to foul trouble or his teammates fault for putting him in a position to foul someone. lol
    @nbk…Well, what do you think? In any job aren’t you paid to do your job as well as you can? Whether it’s working in the kitchen at McDonalds, running an online business, or being a professional athlete aren’t you expected to work hard and do your best at all times. For an athlete, this should include keeping in shape in the offseason and working on your game. Do you think he’s paid to get better or for what he’s already done?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I think he’s paid for both. And he has improved. Steadily. He also stays in shape. So I don’t understand what people are griping about. He’s not improving fast enough for you? Who sounds like they really have the problem there? Does it make sense for someone you don’t know to criticize how you do your job because you haven’t improved rapidly in a year, if at all?

  • Terrell

    I have a way to help Dwight Howard shoot a much higher free throw percentage..
    There are two “guaranteed techniques” I was taught in highschool and it absolutely works..I shot 39 out of 45 consecutive free throws once using this technique even after highschool, just on the fly.

    IT WILL WORK FOR HIM I AM 100% SURE
    SOMEONE PLEASE CONTACT ME AND GET ME IN TOUCH W/DWIGHT HOWARD’S AGENT..
    THANK YOU

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