The more nuanced offensive game Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard put on display earlier this season and in the preseason shows no signs of going away, writes Josh Robbins in this morning's Orlando Sentinel. Now in his seventh season, Howard is establishing himself as a more versatile, reliable offensive threat. Robbins studied footage of Howard's first 10 games of last season and compared it to his first 10 games this season, and the results were telling:
Howard's offensive game remains a work in progress, but it's clear that he's now more effective away from the basket.
Even though he's scoring more this season, he has made almost half as many dunks (12) as he did in the same period last season (22).
This season, Howard already has made six face-up jumpers from at least 10 feet. In the first 10 games last season, he didn't make any face-up jumpers from that distance.
Robbins supplemented his top-notch reporting--which includes quotes from Howard, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kevin McHale, and others--with this interactive shot chart on the Sentinel's Website. Read Robbins' story, play with the graphic for a few minutes, and understand that Howard stands a good chance of averaging 23 points per game this season if he can keep himself out of foul trouble. So far, he's posting a career-best 21.2 per game, but his 4.4 personal fouls have limited him to 32.7 minutes.