Conference Finals: Dwight Howard’s Post Game Adjustments

For someone without a post game as many fans like to claim, Dwight Howard sure did find a way to bounce back from a 13-point, seven-turnover performance in Game One to score 30 points and get the Celtics into foul trouble in Game Two.

I put together this video to hopefully give you a better idea of how Dwight adapted to the way the Celtics were defending him. Enjoy:

Dwight Howard definitely has a post game and it’s still growing. Ever since some time in January, Dwight has been showing real improvement in the way he scores with his back to the basket and when he faces up and drives on his defenders. Like I said in the video, he doesn’t have a huge repertoire of moves. He’s definitely not going to be doing any Kevin McHale impersonations any time soon. But he has a couple of go-to moves in the paint.

The problem with Dwight is his positioning and the way his body is constructed. Think about powerful centers like Moses Malone, Shaquille O’Neal and even guys like Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon to some extent. All of those guys were blessed with tree trunks for legs. Some of them were blessed with big behinds too. These natural physical assets are the reason they were able to dominate and score so easily in the post when they needed to. They had leverage (not a TNT plug but it feels like it because of the constant promos we’ve seen during the playoffs).

Dwight doesn’t have that luxury. He has skinny legs and a small waist. He’s built much more like David Robinson except he doesn’t have the shooting ability. Guys like that have a hard to moving people around in the post with their lower body. Instead, Dwight has to either accept the postposition afforded to him by the defensive player or try to push his way with his upper body into better position without drawing a foul.

It’s great that his upper body is so physically impressive because it allows him to be very good defensively and a strong rebounder. But the fact that he doesn’t have more junk in the trunk means that he’s going to be a center of gravity disadvantage when trying to score with his back to the basket. Considering he has to make due with the way he’s built, I’d say he does a pretty good job scoring inside.

Give him room to operate by spreading the floor and a confident, relaxed and poised Dwight will unleash his small set of post moves and do it effectively. Hopefully for Orlando, it will turn into some wins in this series.

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