This post was written by Chris Fedor of WKNR in Cleveland. Dwight Howard is the best center in the entire NBA and gets better every season. He is the best rebounder in the game and dominates the paint on the defensive side of the ball. The ceiling is incredibly high for Dwight Howard and if he continues to refine his offensive game and work on his poor free-throw shooting, he will be a dominant center for next decade in the NBA.
A season ago, the Magic surprised everybody in the NBA by beating the defending champion Celtics, then going on to beat the Cavaliers, and advance to the NBA Finals where they were finally upended by the Los Angeles Lakers. The Magic lost Hedo Turkoglu in the offseason, which was a big loss because of his versatility, but they added Vince Carter to take some pressure off Dwight Howard on offense.
Dwight Howard joined the Dan Patrick Show to talk about his rating in NBA Live 2010, his top five NBA players, playing with Vince Carter and the expectations for the Magic this season.
On his rating in NBA Live 2010:
“Yeah, I’m in the 90’s, that’s good. That’s good enough for me. (Host: Just as long as you’re the top-rated center you’re okay?) Well I think at the end of the season, the ratings will go up even higher. Hopefully they will, but I’m not too much focused on it right now.”
Who are your top five players in the NBA:
“I don’t want to include myself. (Host: Would you include yourself?) I would, but not for this. (Host: Okay, let’s take you out, who’s the top five players?) I’m going to go with Kobe (Bryant), LeBron (James), Dwyane Wade. You’re making me choose, wisely. There’s a lot great players and I don’t want to leave anyone out. (Host: You’ve already given me three so you might as well give me two more.) Okay, just for the show, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony. (Host: So not a lot of rebounding on your top five?) Yeah but the sixth man coming off the bench is me, so I’ll make it up.”
On replacement officials:
“Well you know what? They’re going to be fine. I had a tough one last night with the referees. (Host: Are you lobbying already for calls Dwight by saying they’re going to be okay?) No, I’m not lobbying for calls, I just think they’re going to be okay. They’re going to be a little nervous at first I believe. They’ve got to get used to how the players might react to certain plays, but once they get used to everything they’ll be fine.”
On playing with Vince Carter:
“Oh it’s fun. He’s a great guy, he’s a great teammate and I think he’s going to be great for us. He’s just a great scorer and any given night he can for forty. (Host: He did tell me that he’s the best dunker on the team.) He told you that? Well he’s the best dunker under 6’5 because he’s only about 6’5, so I always say he’s the best dunker under 6’5.”
On his struggles at the free throw line:
“I’ve been working on it. I’ve spent a lot of time this summer working on free throws. The main thing is just confidence and going out there shooting it. I think it will be fine this year. I’ve been in the gym working on free throws and I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a big change from last year.”
On why people should believe in the Magic:
“Because we’re hungry, Jameer Nelson is healthy, we’ve got half-man, half-retired…I mean amazing, Vince Carter (laughing). We’ve got a lot of new guys and I think they are really going to help us in areas that we needed last season. We added some more big men to our roster and it’s going to be great, it’s going to be great.”