“Go off” might be a little extreme but Hakeem Olajuwon was very critical of Dwight Howard in a recent interview from Nigeria where the legend was launching a basketball initiative for the the youth.
The truth is that I can’t wait to get back to Houston to do more work with Dwight. I wish he was doing a better job.
Dwight has always been athletic and aggressive and he still is. But when I watch him, what I see are opportunities that he is missing. When he gets the ball, he seems to be taking his time to decide what move to make, where he should go. There should not be a delay for Dwight. He must be able to make a faster recognition of the situations and react immediately with a go-to move. You must move right away before the defense has a chance to set up. You must be the one making the first move so that you can force the defender to always be the one reacting.
I thought we were doing a good job with this when we were working together over the summer and at the start of training camp. But what I see now is that when Dwight gets in competition, he has a tendency to go back to all of his old habits. He’s just doing all of the things that he did before. He needs a reminder.
Dwight should be used to the criticism now but maybe the words from Hakeem did bother Howard a little because he did “go off” in last night’s game against the Mavs. He scored 33 points on 12-16 shooting and a more impressive 9-13 from the free throw line. He even made a deep 3 pointer that didn’t count.
But despite the monster stats, Dirk, Monta, the Mavs, their fans and the refs were just too much in the end.