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One of the biggest news stories recently in the NBA has been which team would sign Dwight Howard. The Houston Rockets were the recipients of the coveted center, but upon hearing about the signing, many fans were ready to name the team the best in the NBA and a likely NBA Championship contender. Here are five reasons you shouldn’t expect Howard to win an NBA Championship anytime in the near future.
5 Other Teams are Better
The NBA Champion Miami Heat have a superstar team that is not losing key players anytime soon. The NBA Western Conference is also loaded with great teams that recently appeared in the NBA Finals, including the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder. The Houston Rockets will need to compete against many other teams during the playoffs, and it remains to be seen whether the Rockets are better than any of them.
Dwight Howard has been limited by injuries throughout his career, most of which have been issues with his back. Big men in the NBA typically have shorter career spans, and Howard’s problems seem to have already begun after he played in only 54 games of the 2012-2013 NBA season. No matter how good a player is, he needs to actually play in the game to make the most impact.
3 Missed Free Throws
Dwight Howard has an abysmal career free throw shooting percentage of 0.557 as of the 2012-2013 NBA season. The statistic is somewhat misleading too, as Howard’s free throw percentage has declined nearly every season of his career down to his second lowest total of 0.492 in his last season with the Los Angeles Lakers. This allows other teams to intentionally foul Howard at any time to lengthen a game while limiting Howard’s time on the court.
2 Chemistry Takes Time
It takes time for the players and coaches in any team-based sport to build up chemistry that is reflected in games. The 2013-2014 season marks Howard’s first year with the Houston Rockets, and James Harden and high profile free agent Jeremy Lin have only been with the Rockets for a year longer than Howard. The three will need time in games to learn what their own roles will be on the new-look team.
It is a widely held belief that Dwight Howard is a selfish player, and whether you side with this belief or not, the facts seem to back this claim. The superstar talked his way out of an Orlando Magic team that had made the playoffs nearly every year of Howard’s career, and he opted out of a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers after his first underwhelming season in which many players on the team, including Howard, were hurt.