Friday, July 5, 2013
Howard's potential statistical fits: Hawks
By Gregg Found
ESPN Stats & Information
Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY SportsThe fifth in a five-part series of posts looking at Dwight Howard's statistical fit on the teams he’s most likely to sign with.
Dwight Howard (right) was one of the best post-up defenders in the NBA last season.
The Atlanta Hawks know just what they’re getting in their pursuit of Dwight Howard.
He’s played 1,206 regular-season minutes in his career against the Hawks, the equivalent of more than 25 full games if he played every single minute of each game.
Only one team – the Miami Heat at 1,260 – has seen more minutes against Howard.
But the Hawks only saw the Los Angeles Lakers version of Dwight Howard twice this season, both in an 11-day span in March.
Here’s the effect Howard could have on the Hawks if he chooses them to be his free agent destination.
The Hawks were one of the worst offensive rebounding teams in the NBA last season. They grabbed 22.2 percent of available offensive rebounds, ranking 27th out of 30 teams.
For his career, Howard grabs 11.9 percent of available offensive rebounds while he’s on the floor. Pairing Howard with Zaza Pachulia, whose offensive rebounding rate was 13.9 last season, would be tough on opposing rebounders.
The Hawks were middle-of-the-pack overall on offense last season with 102.7 points per 100 possessions, ranking 15th in the NBA. But they did rank in the top six in the league in effective field goal percentage.
Howard was an excellent post-up defender last season as he has been for much of his career. He allowed a 31.2 FG pct and 0.56 points per play as the post-up defender last season, the best mark of any player that defended at least 50 such plays.
That figures to jump the Hawks from a decent team in post-up defense last season (0.82 points per play ranked 12th in the NBA) to an elite one.
Hawks haven't seen 18-and-12 lately
For his career Howard holds averages of more than 18 points and 12 rebounds per game. Even last season he wasn’t far off that mark when he finished with 17.1 PPG and 12.4 RPG.
But a guy who averages 18-and-12 for the Hawks would be a rarity.
Only three players – and none in the last 18 seasons – have averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Hawks since they moved to Atlanta.
Kevin Willis was the last to do it in 1994-95. Truck Robinson (1976-77) and Walt Bellamy (1971-72) are the only other Atlanta Hawks to do so.
For more on Howard fits with other teams:
Lakers, Warriors, Mavericks, Rockets