I wrote this morning on the impact of losing Dwight Howard, citing the team’s drop-off since losing the big man in both overall defensive efficiency and on the defensive glass. While the disparity isn’t as big as you’d expect, it’s still significant.
However, I’m wondering how the numbers would look if the pairing were Dwight and Terrence Jones, rather than Dwight and D-Mo or D-Mo and Jones. In essence, I’m wondering how last season’s pairing would look now in light of Jones’ improvement.
Jones is a far superior shot blocker and rebounder to D-Mo, so you would have to think the team’s rebounding rate would skyrocket with Dwight and Jones playing together. But what happens to the offense? The team’s offense has actually been better without Dwight, and that’s probably not too big of a shocker. The floor is more spread, the middle is unclogged, and valuable possessions aren’t wasted on Dwight postups. You could also say D-Mo is a better fit for Jones than Dwight. D-Mo can play outside leaving the paint unclogged for Jones to operate.
It will be interesting to see how things play out once Dwight comes back. The team absolutely needs him to survive, but there will certainly be concerns.