Double Teams and Dwight Howard

After Kobe went for 40 last night, there was a lot of discussion, both by the players and coaches in the post-game press conferences, and by Chris Webber among other talking studio heads that the Suns need to consider running two guys at Mamba to keep him from going off again. From the sounds of things, Alvin Gentry, at least immediately after the game, was of the mind that they simply ran into “greatness being great” and that there wouldn’t be a major, strategical change imminent for Game 2.

In my mind, however, at least the occasional doubling should take place. Jared Dudley spoke about how he loves to trap last time he joined the Sports Guy on the BS Report, and when you’re facing someone as unbelievably talented and smart as Kobe, you almost have to keep him guessing by running a double at him at least on a few possessions during the game. It’s the same reason you don’t sick any of Jason Richardson, Grant Hill or Jared Dudley on him full time. Give Mamba the same look time and time again, and the only thing you’ll look is stupid.

Tonight, Boston will have to make a similar decision.

But, Jared, those of you who read the byline on this post may ask, why would the Celtics consider doing anything but playing Dwight straight up since they so utterly contained him in Game 1? To such a question, I would have little to say. If it aint broke, don’t fix it, right? Perk is one of the best low-post defenders in the game and, if the Cs aren’t doubling, they will have a better chance of contesting all the threes that Orlando will be taking. Sure, the Magic shot terribly from the perimeter in Game 1. And sure, the Boston D had plenty to do with that. But they also missed a lot of open shots. And I would not expect the team that just set the all-time record for most made treys in a season to have such another poor outing from deep. Not at home anyway.

So you need to play Dwight one-on-one and cover the shooters.

Not so fast, says Kevin Arnovitz. He broke down Boston’s Game 1 defense on Dwight in the video below, and in talking to David Thorpe, came up with some reasons that Doc might want to consider mixing up the looks they run at Superman.

Seth Carstens