Why Steve Nash Will Improve Dwight Howard’s Offensive Efficiency

September 28th, 2012 by Stephen Babb Leave a reply »
You really can't describe 57 percent shooting as inefficient while keeping a straight face. After all, it led the league in 2011-12.

But for Dwight Howard, it was actually a step back—the second time in as many seasons his average declined from his 2009-10 career high of 61 percent. Now let's be clear. Between then and now, Howard has remained the league's most efficient scorer, and the difference between his highs and lows is relatively marginal.

It's a difference nonetheless, though. Over the course of a season, making a few extra baskets can pay dividends for greats teams having to win series against other great teams.

It's also a difference you might be willing to overlook as an outlier were it not for the fact that Howard played fewer minutes and took less shots. Marcin Gortat was beginning to emerge as a solid backup, and this was his last full season with the Magic prior to being traded to the Phoenix Suns.

Howard's 34.7 minutes and 10.2 field-goal attempts were (and are) the lowest since his rookie season, and his 18.3 points per game rank as the lowest in a five-year stretch from 2007-08 to 2011-12.

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