Dwight Howard is Back?

It has been a while since Dwight Howard was considered one of the top defensive players in the league. It has been an even longer while since Howard was considered one of the top players in the league. So is Howard back? Not quite. Yes, ESPN’s Haberstroh is right. Howard is back to being one of the top defensive players in the league. While he says that 28.1 (opponent's shooting percentage when Howard is within 2 feet) is the most telling stat that Howard is back as one of the top defensive players in the league, I believe that 7.4 is a more important state. 7.4 is the Rockets’ defensive point differential when Howard is on the floor and when he is on the bench. That number basically means that the Rockets are allowing 7.4 more points per game if they did not have Howard. That is a huge difference. Howard is why the Rockets right now are #3 in defensive efficiency. So, yes, Howard the defensive machine is back. Howard the MVP candidate? Not quite. Not until he can start to average 20+ ppg, 14 boards, and 2+ blocks...

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