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Dwight Howard‘s tremendous offensive improvement might be one of the underreported stories of the 2010/11 NBA season. In his seventh professional season, Howard has set career highs in usage rate (27.4 percent of the Orlando Magic‘s possessions end with a Howard shot attempt, trip to the foul line, or turnover) and per-game scoring (22.1, tenth in the league) without seeing a meaningful drop-off in efficiency. His 61.8 percent True Shooting mark ranks him sixth in the league, and Paul Pierce is the only one of those players who approaches Howard’s scoring volume. He’s also trimmed his turnover rate despite the increased offensive responsibilities. Anyone still criticizing him for lacking a refined offensive game simply isn’t paying attention. [...]
Despite these improvements, opposing defenses will continue to concede the jumper to Howard, given that he connects on all other two-point shots at 58.7 percent. The issue for the rest of the league is that few players can consistently muscle Howard out of the painted area.
I believe Howard’s gone about refining his jumper the right way: he’s improved it to a reasonable degree without compromising his volume of higher-percentage shots closer to the goal. The jumper is simply a tool he can use when he absolutely has to.
There’s been a lot of chatter surrounding Dwight Howard’s improvements on offense.
If there’s anything that’s stood out the most from Howard’s expanded repertoire this season, it’s his ability to make mid-range jumpers with regularity.