Dallas Mavericks: Kenyon Martin
Williams, the three-time All-Star who starred at The Colony High School, chose to remain with the Brooklyn Nets. Still, three other local lads also hit free agency on July 1, plus one former Mavs forward. All remain on the market.
Unfortunately for them, the Mavs have filled their 15-man roster.
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle had dinner in New York on July 1 with Skyline High star and Utah Jazz shooting guard C.J. Miles, who is just 25 years old. Dallas showed initial interest in Minnesota Timberwolves big man and Woodrow Wilson product Anthony Randolph, just 23. And the elder statesman of the Dallas group, power forward and Bryan Adams product Kenyon Martin, is still looking for work at 34.
Josh Howard, drafted by the Mavs with the 29th pick in 2003, is also still without a team. He played last season with the Jazz.
Nelson has also maintained that West, 28, has other options on the table. Those options might include multiyear offers, something West made a high priority and something Dallas, at this point, is doubtful to provide.
As worthwhile as it might be -- not to mention a load of fun -- to have the hard-nosed, two-way guard on the team, would the Mavs be wiser to focus attention elsewhere, such as acquiring additional frontline help, and specifically an above-average rebounder?
Dallas was not a good rebounding team last season, and most teams aren't when their small forward leads the category. Shawn Marion did that, in the regular season and postseason, and by a decently substantial margin.
* The Mavs ranked 11th in the league in rebounds per game last season, averaging 42.8 a game. Not terrible, right? Well, not compared to ranking 26th in boards allowed, 43.9, and thus 21st in rebound differential, -1.1.
* Particularly late in the season, Dallas was brutalized by opponents' second-chance points. They gave up too many and rarely scored their own, ranking 27th in offensive rebounding.
* The Mavs' revamped frontline of Nowitzki, Chris Kaman and Elton Brand all appear to have seen their best rebounding days pass them by. Nowitzki has been on a steady decline, from 7.7 in 2009-10 to 7.0 in 2010-11 to a career-low 6.8 last season; Kaman has dropped from 9.3 in 2009-10 to 7.0 in 2010-11 and 7.7 last season; and Elton Brand hasn't reached his 9.4 career average since 2006-07 (9.3, close enough) and has posted career-lows in two of the last three seasons.
* Injury concerns also must be considered, particularly in regard to Kaman, 30, who has had his troubles staying on the court throughout his career. Brand, 33, has been quite durable over the last three seasons and Nowitzki, despite his brief right knee issue last season, rarely misses time. Still, all three players are getting older and only frail Brandan Wright and rookie Bernard James serve as reinforcement.
If Dallas wants to add some free-agent brawn, quality role players specializing in board work remain on the market. Here's a look at a half-dozen:
Ronny Turiaf -- Dallas had interest in him when Denver waived him in March, but the 6-10, 249-pound power forward signed with the Miami Heat instead. The Mavs still have interest in the veteran who could eat up six or 10 or 12 minutes a game as necessary, simply to rebound. When his career stats are extrapolated over 36 minutes per game, the average minutes of a starter, he's averaged 7.7 rebounds and 9.4 in 13 games with the Heat.
Louis Amundson -- One of the more under-the-radar players in the league, this six-year vet of five NBA teams simply knows how to get position to rebound. In 60 games last season for the Indiana Pacers, the 6-9 forward averaged 10.6 boards per 36 minutes and his career mark is 10.0.
Nazr Mohammed -- The 6-10 center has bounced around the league a long time and Oklahoma City's drafting of Baylor's Perry Jones and signing of disappointing, but young big Hasheem Thabeet made Mohammed expendable. Still, as a career backup, he's averaged 10.7 rebounds per 36 minutes and averaged 9.7 and 8.8 rebounds per 36 minutes in his two seasons with the Thunder.
Joel Przybilla -- Dallas had interest him last season when he made his return and eventually signed up with Portland. The rugged, 7-1 center might be a health risk at this stage, but he'd provide physical minutes at center and his 11.1 rebounding average per 36 minutes shows he can still pound the glass. He could also possibly be had on a veteran minimum deal.
Jordan Hill -- Signs point to this athletic youngster signing somewhere on the West Coast, but he is certainly an energetic talent that would be a strong addition to a plodding front line on the down side of its rebounding prowess. Hill gave the Lakers a spark on the boards after arriving from Houston in the Derek Fisher trade, averaging 12.2 rebounds and 12.7 points per 36 minutes.
Honorable mention -- Darko Milicic, Andray Blatche (must clear amnesty bidding process), Chris "Birdman" Andersen (must clear amnesty bidding process).
With the coming crunch of the new tax penalty, teams are becoming increasingly wary of handing out multiyear contracts. As Dallas Mavericks fan have quickly come to realize, the local plan is to sign up players preferably on one-year deals. Dallas might be able to hand out a higher salary for the one year than a player might be able to make in the first year of a multiyear deal with another team, then setting the player up to become a free agent again in 2013.
That's the type of decision with which a player such as point guard Ramon Sessions is likely to grapple. He wants to start, and the security of a multiyear was initially high on his priority list. The Mavs can offer a starting job, but not the security.
Over the last few days, some players have been taken off the board and others added.
Here's a look at five players at each position who remain on the board. Some are realistic options for the Mavs and some might not be. Dallas, still with just seven players under contract -- plus three draft picks -- needs reinforcements just about everywhere.
The offseason certainly arrived much sooner than anyone could have predicted, just like Lamar Odom's premature exit from the Dallas Mavericks.
The 6-foot-10 forward kicks off our offseason blog series that ranks the 2011-12 Mavericks roster in order of importance for the front office to bring back. Four of last season's six free agents found new homes with the exception of Peja Stojakovic, who called it a career after winning his first championship, and Brian Cardinal, who re-signed but made virtually no impact on the season.
Eleven months ago, the title team proved difficult to rank in importance and I started the Countdown with DeShawn Stevenson as the least important. It drew quite a few raised eyebrows from those wondering how I could possibly consider the defensive bulldog and surprisingly valuable 3-point shooter the least important member of the title team to bring back.
In retrospect, the choice probably violated the spirit of this series. I chose Stevenson not because I didn't think he was an asset and worthy of returning for a chance to repeat, but because the Mavs traded for shooting guard Rudy Fernandez, a move that, to me, signaled that Stevenson wouldn't be back. Who would have figured that neither Stevenson nor Fernandez would start the season with the Mavs?
This time around the lead-off man in these rankings is a no-brainer. Odom's career-worst season has to go down as the most disappointing season in the league and one of the more frustrating ones for a franchise in recent memory.
With that, on with the series:
Ht/Wt: 6-10, 230
Experience: 13 years
Age: 32 (Nov. 6, 1979)
2011-12 stats: 6.6 ppg (35.2 FG%), 4.2 rpg
Contract status: Signed through 2012-2013
2011-12 salary: $8.9 million
2012-13 salary: $8.2 million ($2.4 million guaranteed)
His outlook: Odom is actually under consideration for a spot on Team USA for the London Games because of the rash of injuries that have taken out star players like Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard. Cuban actually said he'd love to see it, but only because he has such disdain for Olympic basketball, so he figures the two were meant to be together. Where Odom lands next season will be a far more intriguing story to follow. For starters, Dallas will try everything it can to dump him off on a team with loads of salary cap space such as Toronto or Sacramento and throw in $3 million to offset the $2.4 million guaranteed on Odom's deal next season. If the Mavs can't dump him in a trade, they'll waive him and be responsible for the $2.4 million, which will eat into their cap space this summer. Such a result will not please Cuban. No matter what, Odom will be long gone from this organization. A return to the Lakers is not likely since they can't add him to the roster for a full year after the date he was traded, Dec. 11. Could he land with the Miami Heat, one of his former teams that obviously will be a contender for years to come? Well, if he wants to sign for a fraction of his actual 2012-13 salary, then it's possible. Of course, no team might risk much more than a couple million anyway. How about the team with which he started his career, the Los Angeles Clippers? Possible. Caron Butler is signed for two more years at small forward, but Kenyon Martin and Reggie Evans are free agents.
No. 15 Lamar Odom
No. 14 Coming Tuesday
How it happened: The Clippers got a taste of what some of the other Western Conference contenders experienced during the playoffs last season. They were on the business end of a Mavericks close-out.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 11 of his 22 points in the final 6:03, but defense was the primary reason the Mavs pulled out this win.
The Mavs held the Clippers to nine points and three field goals in the final six minutes. Shawn Marion spearheaded the phenomenal defensive effort.
Marion guarded Clippers star point guard Chris Paul (16 points, nine assists) for much of the game, including the final 5:13. Paul had only one basket -- a falling-away 3-pointer with 17 seconds remaining -- and one assist in that final stretch.
Marion made two huge plays in the final two minutes as a help defender: a steal of a Blake Griffin pass and a block of a Kenyon Martin layup attempt.
The Mavs also benefited from a little luck in the last minute. A turnover led to an open transition 3-point attempt by Caron Butler. But the ex-Maverick, who received his championship ring in a touching pregame ceremony, missed the potential go-ahead shot with three seconds remaining.
What it means: The Mavs have started off one of the toughest stretches of their schedule, in terms of quality of competition, with four consecutive wins. The Clippers went 4-2 on their road trip.
Play of the game: Vince Carter offered a reminder that Griffin wasn’t the only dunk contest champion in the house, and Randy Foye was on the wrong end of the reminder. After catching the ball in the post and facing up, Carter went right to blow by Foye on the baseline, took off at the charge circle and threw down a sweet one-handed slam on the other side of the rim.
Stat of the night: This was the first time the Mavs have won a game they trailed after three quarters this season. The Mavs, who were only down two entering the fourth, were 0-9 in such games.
"I was surprised they got rid of both of us," Brewer said in the visitors locker room of the American Airlines Center Monday prior to facing his former team. "Not a bad package."
When the Mavs signed 34-year-old Vince Carter and then traded for Lamar Odom, Fernandez and Brewer, two of the Mavs' younger players, became expendable. Denver was taker for Fernandez, but wanted Brewer in the deal. The Mavs, who acquired the lanky, 6-foot-8 wing last season and signed him to a three-year deal, decided to make the move.
"I was surprised," Brewer said. "I was really looking forward to being here. Donnie [Nelson] called me and they decided they were going in another direction, which I respect that."
The Mavs received a 2016 second-round draft choice in return. Dallas has spun the trade as another step to create more cap space for next summer. Brewer, 25, will earn $3.1 million this season, so the Mavs save that amount, plus another $3.1 in luxury tax. Fernandez is in the final year of his deal and will make $2.2 million. Carter signed with the Mavs for $3 million, plus two more partially guaranteed seasons.
"From a basketball standpoint it's tough," coach Rick Carlisle said of losing Brewer, a player in which he invested a lot of one-of-one time. "From a business standpoint it's easy because it's, in luxury tax money, it's a $6 million contract instead of a $3 million contract, so I understood it. Corey got better. He was an important guy here, the minutes he had that one game against the Lakers (Game 1 of the West semifinals) may well have been the key game in the entire playoff run, you never know."
The deal could be a good one for Brewer and Fernandez. They join a young squad that will run the floor under coach George Karl. Both figure to receive solid minutes off the bench behind Aaron Afflalo and Danilo Gallinari, and contribute to a team shifting out of an era that included Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin and J.R. Smith.
"I like the style of play," Brewer said. "It's a bunch of guys that like to get up and down, two good point guards, both of them like to push it, so you get a chance to run in this system."
As for Fernandez, he said he had already selected a home in Dallas and was prepared to join the defending champions despite reports out of Spain for much of the offseason that he was more interested in remaining in his home country and playing for Real Madrid.
"When Vince Carter signed with Dallas it probably meant less minutes for me," Fernandez said. "Right now Denver is really interested in me and Brewer and ... we have the opportunity to be an important part of this team."
Brewer got in a good look at the championship banner raised Sunday and at his name stitched around the border with his former teammates. But, there is one thing missing: Brewer, a two-time NCAA champion at Florida, didn't get sized for his championship ring before the trade.
"I've got two already," Brewer said, "so I can send them my size."
The good news is the Nuggets aren't the Miami Heat, who outrebounded Dallas 51-31, scored 97 points through three quarters and drove to the rim with impunity. Still, a revamped Nuggets squad that is without the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Kenyon Martin, J.R. Smith and Wilson Chandler averaged 118.5 points in two preseason games and will look to run and gun and hand the defending champions consecutive losses for the first time since April 21 and 23 in the first round against the Portland Trail Blazers.
"The rebounding is a concern, turnovers are a concern, overall defense from a consistency standpoint is a concern," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "Denver is going to come in here with a shot at the champs. It's a situation where we've got to work to make quantum leaps as often and as quickly as we can as a team.
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: American Airlines Center
Radio: 103.3 FM ESPN/1270 AM (Spanish)
What to watch: So, who starts at shooting guard? Vince Carter started Sunday, but Delonte West got the call to start the second half against the Heat because Carlisle said he was looking for playmaking. Carlisle also said the starter at two-guard could change from game to game depending on matchups. The Nuggets start veteran Andre Miller at point guard and the 6-foot-5 Aaron Afflalo is expected to start at shooting guard. This would seem to favor Carter starting with West coming off the bench to back up Jason Kidd and check Denver reserve Ty Lawson. ... Look for the Mavs to involve Lamar Odom early in the offensive sets. He swished his first shot on his first possession entering the game midway through the first quarter, but he missed all of his next five shots and was saddled with early foul trouble before ejected in the third quarter for arguing a charging call.
Key matchup: Brendan Haywood vs. Nene
Haywood had little offensive impact Sunday and defensively he finished up Sunday's opener with no blocked shots and one defensive rebound in 13:38 of playing time. The Heat don't have much of a low-post game, instead using their All-NBA wings to attack the rim. Tonight Haywood gets a chance to bang with skilled and agile big man Nene, who spurned lucrative free-agent offers elsewhere to return to a young and intriguing Nuggets team. Haywood was plagued by foul trouble Sunday, picking up two quickies before the end of the first half for three and then another quick one to start the second half for a fourth. On the surface, this is a difficult matchup for Haywood, but asking Ian Mahinmi or Brandan Wright to stick with Nene for long stretches could be a dangerous proposition.
Injuries: Nuggets - None. Mavs - Shawn Marion (fractured left pinkie finger) is probable.
Up next: Mavs at Oklahoma City Thunder, 7 p.m., Thursday
The 2011-12 season has lifted off and the high-speed ride has only just begun. Following Sunday's Christmas Day opener that included a rousing championship banner-raising ceremony, there is no time to even exhale.
About 27 hours after the players left the American Airlines Center after the 105-94 loss that was actually much worse than the final score against the Miami Heat, they'll be tipping off against the Denver Nuggets in the first back-to-back of 20 on the season.
Every Monday we'll break down the week ahead. This should be a fun one with a stop at the Okahoma City Thunder on Thursday, a visit by former Mavs assistant Dwane Casey and his new team the Toronto Raptors and a visit up north to say hello to old friend J.J. Barea and his new pal Ricky Rubio with the Minnesota Timberwolves on New Year's Day.
Here's a look:
Today: vs. Nuggets, 7:30 p.m.
TV/Radio: FSSW/103.3 FM ESPN; 1270 AM (Spanish)
What to watch: Who are these guys? Nene returned to anchor coach George Karl's latest incarnation, one that does not include Chauncey Billups, Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith or Kenyon Martin. Still,this is an intriguing club with Nene, Aaron Afflalo, Danilo Gallinari, Ty Lawson and Mavs castoff Corey Brewer. Expect an up-tempo game that play into the hands of the Nuggets because while it is their season opener, the Mavs will be coming off the big Christmas Day game against the hated Heat.
Thursday: at Thunder, 7 p.m.
TV/Radio: TNT/103.3 FM ESPN; 1270 AM (Spanish)
What to watch: The Thunder beat up Dallas pretty good in two preseason games, building 23-point leads in both contests. But, while OKC played its regular rotation, the Mavs didn't show much. Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd sat out the first game and illness forced out Jason Terry and Delonte West in the second game. The Thunder will have to scour tape of the Mavs' games against the Heat and Nuggets to get an idea of Dallas' rotation. The Mavs should have fresh legs and they'll need them because OKC will be primed to run and gun its West finals ouster out of the building.
Friday: vs. Raptors, 7:30 p.m.
TV/Radio: FSSW/103.3 FM ESPN; 1270 AM (Spanish)
What to watch: Former Mavs assistant and defensive architect Dwane Casey has his own club again north of the border. He doesn't have a lot to work with and his first season will certainly be challenging. He'll have his new club up to play the defending champs and might even show off a new defensive wrinkle or two.
Sunday: at Timberwolves, 6 p.m.
TV/Radio: FSSW/103.3 FM ESPN; 1270 AM (Spanish)
What to watch: No longer is it safe to assume that a trip to Minneapolis will be a walk in a snowy park. This is an interesting team under the guidance of Rick Adelman. Barea joins the rookie Rubio in the backcourt and Kevin Love and Michael Beasley up front with a few other exciting young players. Another second night of a back-to-back could turn into a track meet, and that's never easy for the older team, even this early into the season.
Obviously, a guy named Dirk Nowitzki has the position pretty well locked down, but could the Mavs again be in the market for more of a traditional power forward -- perhaps a Carl Landry, Chuck Hayes or short-time Mav Kris Humphries -- to back up Dirk? Remember, for much of the season small forward Shawn Marion shifted between the two forward positions.
Or did the little-used, yet ever-ready Brian Cardinal, also a free agent, secure his return to the team next season and potentially bigger minutes after filling such a vital role in the NBA Finals?
For starters, scratch high-priced free agents such as Kenyon Martin and David West off the wish list. The Mavs will not be dipping into the deep end of that pool, and there's obviously no reason for entrenched starters to join Dallas.
With that, here's a somewhat intriguing list of power forwards that will hit the open market whenever the lockout comes to an end:
The Denver Nuggets took it to the Mavs despite playing without its top three frontline players -- 6-foot-9 forward Kenyon Martin, 6-foot-11 center Nene and 6-10 forward/center Chris Andersen.
"I do think we're cheating a little bit," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "We're cheating whatever the level of integrity of size is in an NBA game."
The Mavs didn't seem to notice or were just unable to take advantage in Saturday's 103-92 home loss. Dallas' center tandem of Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood combined for one field goal, three points, 12 rebounds, two blocked shots and three turnovers. In two games against the depleted Nuggets, the duo has combined for 14 points and 25 rebounds.
Chandler played almost 27 minutes Saturday night and 30 minutes in the game in Denver, while Haywood's time was more sporadic, totaling about 31 minutes in both games.
In Saturday's game, Denver's fill-in trio of Shelden Williams, Gary Forbes and Melvin Ely, combined for 21 points and 14 rebounds.
In the home loss to Memphis, the Grizzlies were without Zach Randolph, a known Mavs killer, yet Dallas still lost the game as their centers combined for three points and 13 boards. As in the past, the Mavs' centers will never be offensive focal points, but to score so little, especially off put-backs or easy lobs against smaller defenders, is difficult to comprehend.
"Yeah, that's definitely disappointing," Chandler said. "You definitely want to get more than that, regardless of the situation. Maybe we've got to assert ourselves a little more. We've got to do so in the flow of the things. This is a team where it's not going to be dump-and-down."
Haywood, who signed a $55 million contract with the Mavs in the offseason, has been held scoreless twice in five games and scored two points in two others. Chandler, who averaged a double-double the last time he was fully healthy in 2007-08 with the New Orleans Hornets, has yet to notch double-figure scoring and twice now has posted just three points.
"Our opportunties are going to come to us," Chandler said. "And when they do come to us, we've got to make the other team pay for them."
He was a game--time decision and was initially listed among Denver's starters. But, he will not go, giving Gary Forbes another start.
That's good news for Dirk Nowitzki, who also doesn't have to face the often-times irritating defense of Chris Andersen and Kenyon Martin. Nowitzki went for 35 points and 12 rebounds in the Mavs' one-point win in Denver.
For large chunks of the game played in Denver on Wednesday, a one-point Mavs victory, the Nuggets ran with a super-small lineup much of the time that presented matchup issues for Rick Carlisle.
"It’s a tough challenge for us because they go small, what do you try to do?" Jason Terry said. "You try to counter that and go small with them? Or do you go big and punish them? I think you have to find a good mix, which we did last game."
Dirk Nowitzki certainly took advantage without the injured Kenyon Martin and Chris "Birdman" Andersen to try and fluster him, going for 35 points and 12 boards in 39 minutes. The Mavs' two-headed center, though, combined for 11 points and 13 rebounds. Starter Tyson Chandler (nine points, nine rebounds) logged nearly 29 minutes, but because of Denver's undersized lineup, Brendan Haywood saw just 15:46, about five minutes off his usual court time, and had just one bucket and four rebounds.
The Nuggets didn't start anyone taller than 6-foot-9.
"We have to try to keep our length in the game as much as we can. That’s one of our real defining attributes," Carlisle said. "But, there are times when sizing down makes sense. We looked at it a little bit the first game. Anything’s in play. It’s an important game for both teams."
Carlisle said the Mavs' key to winning the rematch on their home floor is to keep the Nuggets' free throw attempts low, as they did in the first meeting with Denver getting to the line just 12 times.
"When they go small, they’ve got some dynamic athletes and some really good skill guys that can drive it, shoot it, so it’s tough," Carlisle said. "You really got to be a in a stance defensively, and it’s hard to keep them off the free throw line. Somehow we kept them to a low number of free throws. I just believe coming back in here they’re going to make a more concerted effort to just put that ball down and drive it and try to get to the line more, and we’re going to really have to be ready for that."
The Dallas native and Bryan Adams High School product threatened to boycott the postseason if he didn't find out who put buttered popcorn inside his Range Rover -- the car had a white interior. Former Nuggets ballboy Laquan Johnson owned up to the act and has apologized to Martin.
Martin has missed the last 13 games with tendinitis in his left knee. It's been obvious during the Nuggets' recent 1-4 skid how much Denver misses their glue guy.
"He’s a physical, spiritual leader and a terrific all-around player, great defender," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "I know they miss him right now. But it sounds like he’s going to be back soon."
Mark Cuban, who spent much of that playoff series in a public war of words with Martin (and his mother), said he had "absolutely nothing to say" when asked about Martin.
The last time the Mavs and Nuggets met, a depleted Dallas team limped into Denver, arriving at 4 a.m. after playing in Golden State the previous night. The Mavs, minus Erick Dampier and Shawn Marion, got their butts kicked by 36 on the butt end of a brutal back-to-back just before the All-Star break.
Now the Nuggets come to Dallas to cap a brutal five-game road trip. Denver, which has lost five of six and doesn't have Kenyon Martin, landed in Dallas in the wee hours of the morning after a loss to the Orlando Magic.
"None of that matters," said Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, whose team has a half-game lead over the Nuggets and Utah Jazz for second place in the West. "When the ball goes up, it’s one game. We’ve got to have our game ready."
The Nuggets took advantage of the favor the schedule-makers did them for the Mavs' February visit. The remodeled Mavs must take advantage of their high-stakes chance for revenge.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.
Play Podcast Mark Cuban joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Mavericks' new GM Gersson Rosas and much more.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.
Play Podcast Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.
Play Podcast Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.
Play Podcast ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.
Play Podcast Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.
Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.