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Saturday August 4, 2007 2:17 pm

Dropping Dimes Mock Draft Blog 2007: Round 2, Pick 6 - Dwight Howard

Dwight Kissing Rim

The Fig Cap: “Shoot, my game is so pretty, the rim should kiss me back!”

Yes, the love continues for Orlando Magic players with ‘Shard going with the previous pick, but have no fear, Tony Battie won’t be the next selection.  And neither will Pat Garrity.  However, the Man-Child, Dwight Howard IS being chosen here and some of it does have to do with that aforementioned ‘Shard guy.  Right off the bat, I’ll say that both are getting pay-haid after signing new contracts with the Magic and it’s fitting that they are both in the money at the same time because both of their values could go hand-in-hand with how they play off of each other.

Now, do I need to tell you all that Howard is an absolute beast down in the box?  We even thought that last year.  He’s like Predator without the dreads and the basketball and the hoop are his prey.  Yup, Howard goes in there and grabs boards like they’re Jesse “The Body” Ventura’s neck meat and attacks the rim like he’s gonna ram the rock between Arnold Schwarzenegger’s teeth gap.  Smear mud all over you, opposing players in the paint, but it’s not going to matter… Howard sees you and he’s just going to jump over you. But, hey, at least you’re not getting the laser cannon through your chest.

Okay, let’s get serious (yes, I can do that) and check out what Howard has been able to do throughout his short three-year career:

2004-05: 82 G; 32:36 Min; 52.0 FG%; 0.0 3PTM; 67.1 FT%; 10.0 RPG; 0.9 APG; 2.0 TO; 0.9 SPG; 1.7 BPG; 12.0 PPG  
2005-06: 82 G; 36:47 Min; 53.1 FG%; 0.0 3PTM; 59.5 FT%; 12.5 RPG; 1.5 APG; 2.7 TO; 0.8 SPG; 1.4 BPG; 15.8 PPG  
2006-07: 82 G; 36:53 Min; 60.3 FG%; 0.00 3PTM; 58.6 FT%; 12.3 RPG; 1.9 APG; 3.9 TO; 0.9 SPG; 1.9 BPG; 17.6 PPG

The one thing that stands out most here to me and sometimes it’s overlooked, but indubitably an important factor, is Howard’s durability.  The boy has not missed a single game thus far, which is as big as Britney Spears’ crazy level because a player can’t put up stats without being on the floor.  And The Man-Child is getting things done when he does.

Look at the upward trend in scoring, field goal percentage, and dime drops.  All of this tells me that Howard is getting comfortable on the court and ready to rule.  The boards are a given and he should easily be in the top five for the rest of his career every single season.  The blocks don’t stand out like Marcus Camby’s blocks average, but seriously, who’s going to turn a Hellen Keller eye to about a deuce of rejections per game?  Naturally, you’re not going to get any treys, but so be it.  You don’t want Howard trying to get all fancy-like.  No, you want him to stay down in the low-post and crush his enemies, see them driven before him, and hear the lamentation of the women… sorry, I couldn’t resist another AH-nold reference.

Anyway, I’d expect more of the same from DH, but with an uptick in his points scored per game.  Howard is getting more refined in his post moves and won’t see a double-team when he and Rashard Lewis are on the same side of the court, which they should every time they’re running an offensive set.  The presence of ‘Shard and the good chance of him sticking J’s should keep Howard free to move in the block and with more shots and opportunities coming his way, on top of the ever-improving accuracy from the field, it’s very possible that the D-Ho train will be riding strong on the way to 20-Point Station.  On top of the boards and “get them weak shots outta here"s, think Elton Brand from a few seasons ago.  Plus the center eligibility has me channeling my innner Borat - VERY NICE!

Teaming up Howard and Nash lays the foundation for a team with very good points production, outstanding accuracy from the field, potential league leading stats in rebounding and assists, and luckily Nash’s accuracy from the charity stripe neutralizes Howard’s inability to convert much from the line.  Since it’s only the second round, finding a player to add to the rock rips category, as well as hit from the beyond the arc could be filled in in the coming rounds.  But, I’m liking the way this team is shaping up, unlike my fat gut.  Six pack?  Pfftttt!  I’m talking full-blown keg right here. 

Previous Picks
NOTE: Fantasy basketball mock draft teammate in bold.

1.1. Lebron James, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers
1.2. Kobe Bryant, SG, Los Angeles Lakers
1.3. Shawn Marion, SF/PF, Phoenix Suns
1.4. Kevin Garnett, PF, Minnesota Timberwolves  
1.5. Dirk Nowitzki, PF, Dallas Mavericks
1.6. Gilbert Arenas, PG, Washington Wizards
1.7. Steve Nash, PG, Phoenix Suns
1.8. Amare Stoudemire, PF/C, Phoenix Suns
1.9. Dwyane Wade, PG/SG, Miami Heat
1.10. Chris Bosh, PF/C, Toronto Raptors
1.11. Elton Brand, PF, Los Angeles Clippers
1.12. Yao Ming, C, Houston Rockets

Previous Picks this Round

2.1. Pau Gasol, PF/C, Memphis Grizzles
2.2. Chris Paul, PG, New Orleans Hornets
2.3. Jason Kidd, PG, New Jersey Nets
2.4. Andre Iguodala, SG/SF, Philadelphia 76ers
2.5. Rashard Lewis, SF, Orlando Magic

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