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Is Dwight Howard Top 75?

Back in the 2021-22 NBA season, the NBA was celebrating its 75th season. To celebrate this milestone similar to the 50th anniversary the NBA released a list of its top 75 players.

Many outstanding players past and present were on this list. Past players like Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant were on this list. Current players like Lebron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Anthony Davis made the list. However, one player who is not on this list that deserves to be on there is Dwight Howard.

For his career, Dwight Howard is an 8x all-star, 5x rebounding champion, 2x block champion, 8x All-NBA player, 2004-2005 All-Rookie Team, 5x All-Defensive player, 3x defensive player of the year, and a 1x NBA champion.

Dwight Howard was drafted 1st overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2004 NBA Draft straight out of high school. While such a thing is precedented, while playing for Orlando, Dwight Howard was one of the best players in the league. During his eight seasons in Orlando, he averaged 18.4 points per game, 13 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game. It's not just his stats that were impressive, he also helped carry the Magic to the NBA finals in 2009. In the 2010-11 season, Howard finished second in the MVP race, barely losing to Derrick Rose.

After signing with the Lakers, he continued to show flashes of brilliance, but the overall level of play went slightly down for Dwight Howard. His stats did drop a bit only averaging 17.1 points per game, 12.4 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game after averaging 20.6 points, 14.5 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks in his last season in Orlando. Leaving the Lakers after only one season, Howard would join the Houston Rockets and team up with James Harden. He averaged 18.3 points, 12.2 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks in his first season with Houston. This would also be his last season of being an all-star after seven straight years.

This is where people believe Howard became "washed". However, this is far from the truth. He may have bounced around from team to team during the final years of his career, but he was still not only productive, but he also made history on these teams.

Now, those were just Dwight's regular season stats, What about his playoff stats? For his playoff career Dwight has averaged 15.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game. One of his best playoff games was game six of the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals. Howard put up 40 points, 14 rebounds, and 1 block while shooting 75% from the field. That same season as mentioned earlier was the year he brought the Magic to the NBA Finals. He may have lost that series against the Lakers, but ironically it was with the Lakers where he won his first and only NBA championship in the 2019-20 season.

For his career totals, Howard has a total of 19,485 points placing him 56th all-time, 14,627 rebounds placing him 10th all-time, 2,228 blocks placing him 13th all-time, and shot 58% for his career placing him 10th. Those three defensive player of the year awards are the second most of any NBA player. The only players to have more are 4x winners Ben Wallace and Dikembe Mutombo.

I'll leave it to you all to make the final call. Is Dwight Howard really a top 75 player of all time?


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