But he isn't.
After tonight's un-magical choke, the Orlando team saw a 13 point lead become nothing and saw a big game on the road slip away from at the expense of a huge 4th quarter Celtic run led by Paul Pierce and Ra -- wait...it wasn't Pierce and Allen; it was Glen Davis and Stephon Marbury -- at the expense of a huge 4th quarter Celtic run led by (yes, I'm being serious) Big Baby Davis and Stephon Marbury.
In the press conference following the game, Dwight Howard very clearly shared some insight on his thoughts on Stan Van Gundy's coaching methods.
"Offensively I have to get the ball," Howard told reporters without the usual smile. "I don't think you are going to win a lot of games when your post player only gets 10 shots. It's tough to get yourself going and get a lot of touches without a lot of shots. We have to do a better job with that."
That's fine. I can get with that. Stan Van Gundy...stop blaming yourself at the end of games and put the loss on your shoulders. Hedo Turkoglu...stop dribbling left, then dribbling right, then dribbling left, take a quick jab step and launch a three; we all know you're going to do the same thing. Rafer Alston...Houston is glad they got rid of you because they have a guy named Aaron Brooks, who is lighter than Larry Brown. Do I have say anything else more?
Just feed the beast. That's all you have to do. Don't tell me that Kendrick Perkins is going to consistently stop Dwight Howard all 48 minutes long. And if you're worried about free throws, why the hell do you give him the ball with less than six seconds left out of an inbounds pass when you are down 3? Does that make ANY sense at all?
In the last seven minutes of the game, Dwight Howard touched the ball an unbelievable one time (with six seconds left) and only three times in the fourth quarter. And you are wonder why a 13-point-lead disappears when Anthony Carter, J.J. Redick and Hedo Turkoglu keep launching shots.
In the series (5 games so far), Howard is averaging 16 points and 16 rebounds per game compared to 24 points and 16 rebounds against Philadelphia. But he's only averaging 11 shots a game. ELEVEN shots for a franchise player? During the regular season, he averaged just two shots more getting 13 a game, but it's the playoffs. Give this guy the ball. We all know what he can do.
This isn't the first time Dwight's complained about shots. He did earlier in the playoffs, and did at times throughout the season to which head coach Van Gundy called him out in the media and publicly and internally bashed on him saying Howard needs to worry about defense more than anything else.
"You've got a dominant player, let him be dominant," he said.
Point taken Dwight. Point taken.
But, Stan Van Gundy does have a point.
While Howard did have 17 rebounds tonight, he was nowhere to be found on defense in the last four minutes of the game. At one point, Rajon Rondo had a wide open lane to the basket with Dwight Howard near the basket, but he failed to make an attempt to stop Rondo. Fortunately, Rondo ended up missing the lay up but the ball was poked out of bounds by the Magic.
Then with under two minutes left to play, Boston got three very, very easy offensive rebounds, which basically sealed the win. While there was one questionable call favoring the home team at the end, one call does not decide a game, as there are a countless number of mistakes made by both teams throughout the game.
And at the end of the day, defense wins a ball game. If offense and getting a more shots up in a game, the Phoenix Suns would be winning their fourth or fifth straight title this year. But defense is key. And when a team with such a dominant force in the middle, the league's Defensive Player of the Year might I add, it's up to him to make sure missed shots by the opposition don't result in more shots.
Howard also finished the game with no blocks and no steals.
This team is Dwight's team. And Dwight is a force to be reckoned with, on both ends of the court. And Dwight does deserve more shots, rather, he needs more shots. But if the team's leader isn't going to play defense all forty minutes he does play, why should anyone else? If he wants the ball, simply put, shouldn't he just go and get it?
Forget about the shots. It's time to control the game with the most precious and consistent part of hoops... defense. Or is that just an illusion? Cause it sure wasn't magic.