The Rockets Daily – September 9, 2013

When Bad News Is Good NewsESPN’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss broke down some of the best and worst layup makers in the NBA, and found Omer Asik to be among the worst:

Made 48 percent of layups, attempted 145

I stayed away from listing big men because so many of their “layups” are really post moves or strained putbacks, but Asik deserves a mention. He converted 94.6 percent of his dunks, nearly 47 better than he managed on layups. From 3-10 feet, he shot 27.4 percent.

Few players better demonstrate the difference between grip and other kinds of fine motor skills. Asik is good at dunking; he has no issue putting his clamps on the rock and tomahawking it through the hoop. Once his hands try a more delicate layup, though, the ball flies off the window as if Asik’s playing handball.

This is wince-inducing. However, it’s a perfect illustration of how much more potent Houston’s offense should be with Dwight Howard rolling to the hoop. Howard shot 59 percent on layups last season, and 42.2 percent from 3-10 feet. At the rim, he shot 70.5 percent compared to Asik’s 60.9 percent.

Despite very hard work and respectable progress by Asik on the offensive end last season, the truth is that he’s still one of the most offensively limited players in the NBA. Howard is a threat to score any time he catches the ball within 10 feet of the basket. I don’t know what the ceiling is on Houston’s offense next season. Other than the very debatable Hack-A-Dwight strategy, I’m not sure if there’s a ceiling at all.

Perspective - In the midst of this article at The Diss about dunking, one of the writers nailed the perspective on Dwight Howard’s post game.

Wayne Washington: Labeling a professional basketball player as a “dunker” is an insult.  There is a difference between an athletic basketball player and an athlete who plays basketball.  A dunker is just an athlete that has selected basketball to play.  He has low skill level, low basketball IQ, and only contributes to his team by using his athletic ability.  Deandre Jordan is the perfect example.  Dwight Howard gets flack for his lack of moves in the post but he looks like Kevin Mchale compared to Deandre Jordan.

This caught my eye because I wrote-then-deleted this sentence for the previous segment: “Howard’s offensive game seems limited because he is constantly compared to all-time greats like Olajuwon, but the reality is anytime he catches the ball within 10 feet of the basket, he is a threat to score.”

Howard isn’t a low-post wizard, but in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. 25-year-old Kevin McHale isn’t walking through that door, so Dwight Howard is still one of the best post-play options in today’s league.

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Total comments: 3
  • John P says 3 months ago

    "...Dwight Howard is still one of the best post-play options in today’s league."
    I guess this is right if you count all of his rolls to the backet, alleyoops etc... but wouldn't it be nice if he could even develop 1/3rd of Dream's post move spins, jumpers, etc....that would truly make us unstoppable.

    As to Asik having brick hands/offense, ....the guy still was extremely effective for what he was paid to do. He regularly cleaned up garbage, shut down the lane and did put backs or dunks when called upon.

    Call me crazy, but if we had never gotten Howard and instead got Iggy and Millsap I think this team may have been just as good....maybe add in Allen as well for perimeter D. Asik is that good at D and not that big of an O liability considering his capabilities elsewhere.

  • NorEastern says 3 months ago

    Asik has hands of stone. Always will. But he did progress from granite hands to limestone hands last season.

    Comparing Howard to Asik is like comparing night and day. Howard today sports unbelievable athleticism for a big man. Which is one reason that I expect the efficiency of the Rockets offense to take a huge leap forward next season. Asik in the other hand is a 7 footer with bad hands and a 14" vertical. He makes his money on the defensive end. But we knew that. Morey knew that.

    Howard has never played with a great dribble drive penetrating guard. The Rockets have two, both decent assist players. I am looking forward to an avalanche of lob passes 18" above the rim for emphatic dunks. Howard is the perfect DDMO center. Put on your seat belts people.

  • bboley24 says 3 months ago

    Dang, I get no respect! Not even a mention!

    Yeah Omer needs to throw it down. He got a ton better as the season as the season progressed. Id like to see the statistical difference between the allstar break. I love watching him throw it down. Not many people in the league at his size. Let's just see if he can hold on to the ball.