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Why is Dwight Howard scoring so much less this year?

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by bmd, Dec 3, 2015.

  1. aelliott

    aelliott Contributing Member

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    The pick and roll isn't counted in postups. That's a completely different category. If his back is to the basket when he pins his man (it usually is) then those are included in the postup stats.

    The bulk of Dwight scoring is on pick and roll and on putbacks of offensive rebounds.
     
  2. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    Here's an example of the ridiculousness of basketballholic providing Splits for Howard when we win versus lose.

    Check this out:

    Rockets are 8-4 when Harden shoots 20 times or more
    Rockets are 0-7 when Harden shoots less than 20 times


    Does that mean we want Harden to shoot 20 shots every game. No!!

    So, providing W-L player Splits is meaningless. basketballholic knows that, but made an entire post about Howard splits, because he's got an agenda to uphold.
     
  3. Houstunna

    Houstunna The Most Unbiased Fan
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    In the land of blinds, the one-eyed man is king.

    Rockets employ so many substandard defenders, Dwight is king.


    But like you said, Rockets organization conducted business by signing so many substandard defenders.
     
  4. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    He is not right - his body is not right that is. It was obvious from day one of the season. His knee is done.
     
  5. basketballholic

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    Rockets are 7-7 when Dwight plays. They are 1-4 when he doesn't.

    Clint Capela is 1-4 when he has to play without Dwight. And Dwight is 0-0 when he plays without Clint.


    But all your responses to my posts are doofus responses. ;)
     
  6. PhiSlamma15

    PhiSlamma15 Member

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    hmm Interesting....didn't know he had a funky history here on the site...note to self...Thx =)
     
  7. basketballholic

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    So you're saying Howard has caught the ball facing the basket 132 times of the 193 possessions he has used. aelliott, that's bologna. Anybody watching the game knows Howard isn't catching the ball at the rim facing the rim 2/3's of his possession usages. Because if that's the case, then his efficiency on those touches is through the freaking roof and everybody and their brother would be agreeing that we need to get the ball to Dwight more frequently in pick-and-rolls and alley opps.

    Any way you look at it, Dwight is the 3rd most efficient offensive player in our current rotation. He should be getting half Ariza's looks. He's much more efficient at this point in time, and we won't have to worry about Ariza jacking around with the basketball and trying to drive and make a play or clanking another 3-ball. Not to mention Brewer's and Terrence's absurd usage rates when they're not as efficient as Dwight is.

    A huge problem our offense is having is our opponents are simply guarding us on the perimeter because they know we aren't going to be feeding Dwight down low. They can guard tight and leave one defender on Dwight. They know we ain't looking for Dwight down there. It's ridiculous how many times he's open in a game and we aren't even looking for him. And we're 8-11. If you wanna win games, Dwight has to score. Get him the ball down low and let him finish. IF we simply worked on that one aspect of our offense, Dwight's scoring average would go up to around 17 a game and our perimeter shooters would start to really open up as we play inside-out.
     
  8. Htownballer38

    Htownballer38 Member

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    I've seen a lot of teams packing the paint and leaving our shooters open because they can't consistently knock down wide-opened shots.

    I agree with a lot of what you're saying. But the bold part isn't true.
     
  9. rocketshopeful

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    the problem with your argument is within your own post.
     
  10. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    Very interesting thread instead of the generic l whining.

    I think Dwight has gotten the message that he is not good a traditional post up moves and he is better off being more efficient offensively and concentrating on defense. I am not sure we should be complaining that Dwight is getting less free throw attempts either, but part of this is there has not been as much Hack a Dwight.
     
  11. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    I don't think its a problem. I think we're using him better now. He's valuable focusing on rebounds and defense. I think it's good that he's willing to take the role and not worry about being an offensive star. My concern is who is taking the shots in his stead. Right now, it seems to just be more shots for Harden. He's a good player and all, but the lack of diversity isn't good for us.
     
  12. valorita

    valorita Member

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    1) Rockets offense doesn't create enough easy open shots
    2) Even when he is open right under the rim, we don't have the passers to get him the ball during that split second
    3) Even when he gets the ball in the paint, Dwight has not been able to finish as well. Before it used to be a dunk and chance for and one. Now he is getting blocked by the likes of Seraphin.
    4) He doesn't run the floor like he used to thus no more late break dunks
    5) We are a team searching for answers and on that list, Dwight's offense is very low in terms of priority.

    you're welcome
     
  13. mdrowe00

    mdrowe00 Member
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    One of the problems I've always had with Dwight Howard as an offensive player...

    ..and it's become more pronounced now that I've seen him more often in a Rockets uniform the past couple of seasons...

    ...is the innaneness of the offensive approach he's been either coached (or not coached) into trying to adopt, for what seems like the balance of his career.

    I don't say anything going forward as any type of a slight against Howard, generally. But sometimes, there's a pretty good reason to ignore those voices in your head (or in somebody else's head) about what kind of player you SHOULD or NEED to be, as opposed to what kind of player you ARE.

    Shaquille O'Neal has virtually crafted his second career in broadcasting as a foil for Howard's "euro-Big-Man" style of play...essentially mocking the player Howard is (or was) because it's something O'Neal himself never was or never tried (or had to try) to be to be an effective low-post player.

    Howard, despite any type of deal or wish that got him to sign with Houston...would have been the biggest beneficiary to having a facilitator (point-guard) in charge of whatever the heck type of offensive approach you settle on with him in your lineup...and pretending otherwise (James harden or no James Harden) has had as much to do with the Rockets' offensive woes as anything else this season.

    I've said before that I felt that if there was any one player that Dwight Howard could look to emulate offensively, that player would be Alonzo Mourning.

    Mourning, some people should remember, was almost exactly like Dwight Howard, to me, as a player. Mourning (particularly in his early days in the league in Charlotte) was a high-post, face-the-basket offensive player. Mourning was competent (and quick) enough to take an opposing big to the basket from the elbow routinely enough, and Howard (even in the limited times it's happened here) has shown that same ability...it was even more pronounced in his time in Orlando. The fact that it was ever suggested that he needed to do something else or something different (and that Howard either believed it or wanted to try it), is still baffling, to me...

    The separating factor between Mourning and Howard, to me, is that Mourning could hit a mid-range jump-shot fairly consistently (especially, again, early in his career).

    The time for that molding for Howard, for a lot of reasons, may be passed. He has always needed perimeter and/or wing facilitators to set him up offensively. There was never as much wrong with that as was proposed, by Howard or anyone else.

    I shudder to think what might have been had Los Angeles (Jim Buss) not blundered into not re-signing Phil Jackson to coach the Lakers. Jackson would have been the only person in the league who would have had the gumption to shut Kobe Bryant's mouth (and handcuff his shooting arm more than a few times) in order to get that type of offensive set around Howard...

    ...not to feature Howard by any stretch of the imagination (because, again, a high-post player without a jump-shot isn't more than a passer, by-and-large, over an extended period)...but to get a team and team concept around Howard that works for him and for the personnel around him.

    ...and that would mean, again, moving the team away from almost exclusively standing around and watching what James harden pulls out of his offensive hat next.

    Effort without purpose is just as meaningless to me as philosophy without structure.

    I just wish that the Rockets had figured out what their purpose was long before this.

    The preseason was disjointed, to say the least for this team. It makes a certain kind of spurious sense if you're looking to explain or justify the team's ragged start, particularly considering how much of a factor Ty Lawson was expected to be...certainly in regards to chemistry-building among teammates takes time.

    But it might have made things easier for the less-than consistent perimeter guys to get to what they CAN do well (cut and slash to the basket more frequently) if the idea from the beginning was to put the ball in a point-guard's hand and let him determine the pace and tempo...

    ..that would have helped a lot of people out here, I think.

    Long season yet, so anything's possible...
    ...but raising the dead is a trick even Christ only tried to pull off once...

    ...or, well...maybe twice, if you keep up with that sort of thing....
     
  14. dragician

    dragician Member

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    because he's busy with non-basketball stufff.
     
  15. KingLeoric

    KingLeoric Member

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    Down 3 pts/game seems normal for a player that has passed his prime
     
  16. aelliott

    aelliott Contributing Member

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    Maybe this will clarify for you. Here's the NBA's definition of each Shot Type that it tracks:

    Transition - When the possession-ending event comes before the defense sets following a possession change and a transition from one end of the court to the other.

    Isolation - When the possession-ending event is created during a “one-on-one” matchup. The defender needs to be set and have all of his defensive options at the initiation of the play.

    Pick & Roll: Ball Handler - A screen is set on the ball handler’s defender out on the perimeter. The offensive player can use the screen or go away from it and as long as the play yields a possession-ending event, it is tagged as a pick and roll.

    Pick & Roll: Roll Man
    - When a screen is set for the ball handler, and the screen setter then receives the ball for a possession-ending event. This action can include: pick and rolls, pick and pops and the screener slipping the pick.

    Post-Up - When an offensive player receives the ball with their back to the basket and is less than 15' from the rim when the possession-ending event occurs.

    Spot-Up - When the possession-ending event is a catch-and-shoot or catch-and-drive play.

    Hand-Off
    - The screen setter starts with the ball and hands the ball to a player cutting close by. This enables the player handing the ball off to effectively screen off a defender creating space for the player receiving the ball.

    Cut - An interior play where the finisher catches a pass while moving toward, parallel to or slightly away from the basket. This will include back screen and flash cuts as well as times when the player is left open near the basket.

    Off Screen - Identifies players coming off of screens (typically downs screens) going away from the basket toward the perimeter. This includes curl, fades, and coming off straight.

    Offensive Rebound (putbacks) - When the rebounder attempts to score before passing the ball or establishing themselves in another play type.

    Miscellaneous - When the action doesn't fit any of the other play types. This includes, but is not limited to, last second full court shots, fouls in the backcourt, or errant passes not out of a different play type, etc.

    These categories aren't mutually exclusive. A particular play can fall in to more than one category.

    For Howard, his totals for the year are as follows:

    Postup 61 poss 0.67 ppp
    Transition 9 poss 1.33 ppp
    ISO 0 poss
    PnR Ball Handler 0 poss
    RnR Roll Man 27 poss 1.04 ppp
    Spot up 0 poss
    Handoff 0 poss
    Cut 38 poss 1.32 ppp
    Off Screen 0 poss
    Put Back 30 poss 1.17 ppp
    Misc 28 poss 0.50 ppp

    If you feel these stats are inaccurate , then feel free to contact the NBA league offices and discuss it with them.

    Looking at those numbers it's pretty easy to see where Howard is the least efficient.

    As far as your idea that teams are guarding us on the perimeter, that simply isn't true. Teams are playing off the perimeter guys and sagging to the middle. Truthfully, they are not playing this way because of Howard, they are sagging back to prevent Harden or Lawson from driving. If teams were truly playing tight on our perimeter guys then a) we wouldn't be getting the large number of uncontested 3's that we are getting and b) Harden and Lawson would be driving on most every possession.

    Let me ask you this, if you were coaching against a team that is shooting as badly as we are, would you play up on the perimeter guys? Of course you wouldn't. You'd invite that team to shoot all the 3s that they wanted and you'd take away the drives and the shots at the rim.

    Efficiency-wise, Howard's strength and weaknesses are very similar to Capela's.

    EDIT: Added Capela's stats for comparision

    Capel's shot types:

    Postup 10 poss 1.0 ppp
    Transition 15 poss 11.13 ppp
    ISO 2 poss 1.0 ppp
    PnR Ball Handler 0 poss
    RnR Roll Man 27 poss 1.04 ppp
    Spot up 2 poss 0.0 ppp
    Handoff 0 poss
    Cut 41 poss 1.34 ppp
    Off Screen 0 poss
    Put Back 34 poss 1.26 ppp
    Misc 9 poss 0.44 ppp
     
    #76 aelliott, Dec 4, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
  17. basketballholic

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    aelliott,

    good post, thank you for the detail. But all you're doing is helping me make my case for Dwight getting more touches.

    You want to define post-ups under the broad brush stroke the NBA paints them as. If you read through my posts you will see that I very clearly have not advocated for Dwight getting the ball on a post-up possession, holding it while the cutter(s) cycle out of the paint, and then put the ball on the floor and make a move with it. I have been very clear that I'm not an advocate for that and that it isn't an efficient play. (There are reasons why it's such a terribly inefficient play and I'll address that later.)

    These are what I consider "post-up" possessions. I don't consider Dwight catching the ball at the lip with his defender pinned underneath where Dwight simply has to go back up and either get fouled or get the dunk/layup as "post-up" possessions.

    So, if you want to dig deeper into the NBA's definition of "post-up" possessions then we can sift through types of post-ups and positions on the floor where Dwight posts up. And what you're going to find is Dwight is very efficient on those "post-up" possessions where he has his defender pinned down low.

    Here's the issue with the rest of Dwight's post-up possessions that suck. They're not a designed part of the offense. Dwight gets a post-up possession when we ain't got nowhere else to go with the all. He then steps outside of his shooting range to about 7-10 feet and catches the ball as an emergency outlet when the perimeter ball handler is in trouble. From there on it's bad news for the possession. It comes later in the shot clock. Dwight's not touching the ball enough early in the shot-clock and on enough possessions when he is wide-open so he goes into his move. Dribble, back down, dribble, back down, dribble, back down, then dive to the middle and throw up a contested hook shot. It takes up too much time, it allows the defense to recover and contest, and it allows the perimeter defenders to pester him because he's out too high when he starts his move. All those things add up to a huge failure of efficiency on post-up possessions.

    You don't fix that by not throwing Dwight the ball, limiting his touches, and not looking for him. Because as you clearly showed in your post, when Dwight gets the ball in the right position he is a very, very efficient offensive option. Much more efficient than all of the rest of our guys not named Harden and possibly Capela. But he's probably still more efficient than Capela. Capela simply gets rid of the basketball in these pressure situations and it goes out to the wing for a missed chucked 3-ball.


    My point is and remains....if we want to win a lot of basketball games, Dwight has to be a focal point offensively EARLY AND OFTEN. That is to say early in the 1st quarter and early in the shot clock. Not late in the quarter and late in the shot clock.

    And that's the huge problem for this team right now. They ARE NOT good post entry passers. They ARE NOT good lobbers. They DO NOT have good vision to even see Dwight when he's open. They ARE NOT even looking for him most of the time on the perimeter. They ARE NOT good at getting the basketball to Dwight when he is positioned to finish the play efficiently.


    The facts speak for themselves. The more points Dwight scores the greater percentage of games we win and when Dwight doesn't score much and isn't involved in the offense early and often, our winning percentage goes down, down, down. That's been true ever since Dwight has been here. So, my point is even if you have to put up with some of those bad "post-up" possessions, just the idea that you make Dwight a focal point of the offense early and often puts a lot of pressure on the interior defense of the opponent and overall Dwight is a more efficient scoring option than every player on this roster not named Harden and Capela......even with his turnovers.....even with his inefficient post-up possessions thrown in there. Look it up. Total up his possessions used (FGAs+.44*FTAs+TOs) then divide his points by that total and the numerical proof of his efficiency above his teammates is right there for you to see.

    Now, on top of that, if this team would work the ball to Dwight early and often, they would avoid a whole lot of those late in the shot-clock possessions where he steps outside of his range and catches the ball with the clock running down and then tries to make a play. Not only that but his turnvoers would decrease significantly if our perimeter players learned how to throw the entry pass and to lob it up high instead of all these stupid bullet passes and bounce passes in traffic.

    As to your point about the defense sagging off to help on Harden's drive, that is absolutely correct. But that happens when Harden has the ball in his hands. The second he gets rid of it the defense is back to contesting the 3's. They're not worried about our perimeter guys making the extra pass to the interior to Dwight. And that's the problem. And it's why they are able to help on Harden's drive as well as challenge on the few shooters we put out there on the floor (Thornton, Jet, Ariza) around Harden.
     
  18. Deuce

    Deuce Context & Nuance

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    As it should be. That is where he is the most efficient. That is the type of player DH has evolved to. And that is fine.

    1) Leave the post ups to DMO.
    2) Get Howard more involved in the PnR with Harden & Lawson.
     
  19. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    aelliott,

    The NBA SportsVU player-tracking stats also shows touches in the paint and touches in the post.

    Guess who is second in the league in combined touches in the paint and post?

    That's right -- Dwight Howard (he's 3rd in both separately, and 2nd combined. Andre Drummond leads the league).

    as for ppp. Many comparable players (offense skill-wise) like Drummond, Favors, Hibbert, Jordan, Capela have better (if not significantly better) ppp than Dwight in combined Post/Paint touches. Dwight beats Monroe and Gobert. So, he's around average to below average.

    Oh, and before someone says "well aren't some of the touches from being a great offensive rebounder" as a means to say those shouldn't caught as getting Howard more involved in plays. Yes, I think the stat includes those as touches in the paint, and Howard is second to Drummond in OffReb. But note, that's a strategy in itself. Put the best rebounders in the best rebounding position. You give a center more play calls, and his Off Rebounds tend to go down.

    So would it be a Zero Sum Game to inject Howard into more plays that might leave him out of rebounding position.


     
     
    #79 heypartner, Dec 4, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
  20. basketballholic

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    A good basket is better than rebounding position.
     

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