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In Praise of Dwight Howard

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Henry Abbott, of TrueHoop fame, finds it hard to repress his journalistic neutrality when he watches Dwight Howard play:

But over the last few weeks, as I have been watching Dwight Howard every chance I get, I find it is getting mighty tough to write about him with any measure or balance at all. All the things I'm thinking are so hyperbolic and salesy that it would sound like the brochure for Dwight Howard Enterprises.

Welcome to the club. Dwight has indeed been amazing this season, reaching new heights... literally and figuratively. Henry was particularly impressed by the levitation Dwight had on this block of an Austin Croshere dunk attempt from the other night:

Are you kidding me? Did that really happen?

Abbott also draws our attention to this piece in Sports Illustrated by Jack McCallum, who wrote the indispensable book Seven Seconds or Less. The article contains this nugget of info about the Suns' approach to guarding Howard:

At one point Suns guard Raja Bell, never one to shy away from contact, asked assistant Alvin Gentry what approach to take when Howard comes steaming down the lane on a screen-and-roll.

"Should I step in and plug?" said Bell.

"I'd just get the hell out of the way in that situation," answered Gentry.

"Just making sure we were on the same page," said Bell.

Raja Bell had the intestinal fortitude to clothesline Kobe Bryant, but not even he is willing to stand in the way of Dwight Howard. That's a testament to Howard's beastliness, and why he's worthy of our respect.