The enigma that is Dwight Howard just suffered through one of the most draining and personally difficult seasons he’s ever had to deal with.
A lot of Howard’s struggles were due in part to him being sensitive and unable to mesh with Kobe Bryant. Those struggles have caused many a pundit and so-called expert to question if Howard is still the premiere big man in the NBA.
Many in the basketball world believe Pacers center Roy Hibbert has caught up to Dwight or even passed him in terms of overall talent.
There is one person who still believes Howard is a dominant force, and you’d be surprised who he is.
Former Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy was on the Open Mike radio show, and even though Howard is responsible for him losing his job, Van Gundy had no interest in buying the Hibbert is better than Howard hype.
In fact, Van Gundy said that “every GM in the league would take Howard over Hibbert,” and that “Hibbert can’t hold a candle to Dwight Howard.”
“Come on, that one’s not close,” Van Gundy said during his weekly Thursday segment on our Open Mike morning radio show on 740 AM. “You could put that question to 30 general managers in the league — and give them the choice — and Indiana, out of loyalty, might take Hibbert although I would doubt it. The other 29 would not even hesitate. Everybody’s taking Dwight.
“I understand … Roy Hibbert is playing the best basketball of his career right now (against the Heat). You have to understand that Roy Hibbert during the regular season had seven games where he had (at least) 20 points and 10 rebounds and now he has three in this series. So now people are looking at him and saying he’s great. He averages 11 points per game in his career and he’s not a terrific rebounder although he is an elite-level defender. But on the offensive end of the floor he’s never done (what he’s doing now) and he’s really taking advantage of a very, very small Miami Heat team and a defender in Chris Bosh who right now in the series has just not stepped up into the battle at all.”
All you really need to know is that even with Hibbert having some dominant performances, Howard still averaged more points and rebounds per game and shot a higher percentage in these playoffs.