Check Out The Man of Steel!

It Goes to XI proudly presents the first post from contributing editor Gordon Jones, an NBA authority who actually owned a pair of XI’s (white low tops with red patent).

Dwight Howard is clearly more powerful than a locomotive. Can he also leap tall buildings in a single bound? Photo by NBAE/Getty Images, courtesy of NBA.com.

Can someone please teach Dwight Howard a post move?

Go ahead and teach him to shoot free throws while you’re at it.

Has any other professional team hired two assistant coaches to work specifically with one player? Orlando has hired Patrick Ewing to work with Howard on his post game and Mark Price to help him at the charity stripe.  And apparently, neither is earning his salary.

After watching the Celtics, without their best player Rajon Rondo, thrash the Magic 87-56, I was appalled.  Howard went just 4-15 from the field against the likes of Jermaine O’Neal and 54-year-old Kevin Garnett.  Oh, and let’s not forget Greg Stiemsma.  None of those players should have a prayer of holding Howard to those kind of numbers.  Howard should be steamrolling through the league to the tune 25 and 20 every night.

And he would, too, if he could develop a post game.  I am tired of seeing the league’s best center fall back on his only move.  The “take a dribble, run throughout the lane and throw up a fading hook that occasionally looks like it could take down low-flying military aircraft move.”  If he can’t dunk, that is his go-to move.  No up-and-unders, no bank shots or baby hooks.  No fade-away jumpers or dream-shakes.  Not a single move that makes it apparent that he plays basketball for a living.  Pretty stunning for the best center in the league.

Maybe the Magic should have hired Hakeem Olajuwon or Kevin McHale to be the offensive assistant in charge of Dwight Howard.  With a few more moves in his repertoire, Howard wouldn’t have to rely so heavily on his brute strength and natural athletic ability.  Teams would also brutalize him far less if he shot free throws more consistently.  These two improvements would help lengthen his career and increase his stature.

Howard is a fantastic player; he is the best rebounder in the NBA and reigning defensive player of the year, but he also has the potential to be even greater.  It’s time for Dwight Howard to go from being the best center playing now to being the best center ever.

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