Dwight Howard must take the next step...

Dwight Howard must take the next step toward superstardom

There are 163 comments on the Orlando Sentinel story from May 26, 2009, titled Dwight Howard must take the next step toward superstardom. In it, Orlando Sentinel reports that:

One more win. Now it's up to him. If he wants it, if he really wants it, he must earn it.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Orlando Sentinel.

TylerDurden

Tallahassee, FL

#22 May 27, 2009
We are truely blessed. Orlando Magic are the best team in the NBA. Ive been waiting for this day for a long time. 21-61.
Reason to be optimistic

Winter Park, FL

#23 May 27, 2009
Biancha: we you slurrrrping on LeBron recently? I believe so...The bandwagon is shut..
Reason to be optimistic

Winter Park, FL

#24 May 27, 2009
oops: "Were you slurrping"...my bad
Harish

India

#25 May 27, 2009
Stop it. I hate when local sportswriters get delusions of grandeur about the worth of their players, and this case is no different. Yes, Dwight had a monster game and is an amazing talent. But these simple facts remain:
- Lebron James is a once-in-a-generation superstar who's been playing at the highest level of any player in the playoffs. He also happens to be the most marketable, and Nike doesn't seem to be doing too badly with his campaigns, so any questions of signing the wrong talent are unfounded.
- I am no Cavs apologist, but objectively the Magic have a much better supporting cast than Cleveland. The Magic's dominance this series is attributable to the slew of matchup problems that Orlando presents (granted, Dwight is one of them), not a one-man effort like Lebron is putting up.

Yes, Dwight Howard does not get his due, especially when you consider his Game 4 overtime performance. But please stop propagating this inane myth that Dwight is better (or a bigger superstar) than Lebron James.
magicfan

Rock Hill, SC

#26 May 27, 2009
Let's not celebrate to soon. We have been in this situation before as a team. It is obvious though, that the refs are awestruck with Lebron. Lebron had a great game offensively but the 7+ turnovers nullified his performance at the end. ONE MORE, MAGIC!

“Life's a Beach”

Since: Dec 07

Cocoa Beach

#28 May 27, 2009
The Magic have been disrespected this entire season. They took Cleveland's best punch yesterday and if wasn't for a miracle shot by Lebron, we would be resting waiting for our next opponent right now.

Did anyone notice that in the Boston series one of the commercials they played over and over was the one with tires that get like 2600 better gas mileage. The guys are in the blimp and they are like, that a lot of mileage between Boston and Cleveland. You think those advertisers thought Boston would win that series and be playing Cleveland. Now, how about the advertisers that put all their money into a Kobe/Lebron finals. Don't count your chickens before they hatch!

GO Magic!
Tony

AOL

#29 May 27, 2009
I am concerned about the technical Dwight received. I think Kobe had one rescinded - I hope the NBA is smart enough to look at this and remove this. Would like to have the extra T before suspension in case of a situation where a double T is called with Dwight and some opponent pushing each other!
ORLMAGIC

Lincolnshire, IL

#30 May 27, 2009
scott wrote:
Howard had FOUR points in the second half!! That's the next great superstar??
If Delonte West corrals that loose ball after Pietrus' missed 3 in the final seconds, this series is tied and Howard would go down as the leading reason for their failure. Oh and Howard played all 24 minutes of the second half too, he just disappeared from the stat book.
Tell me the last NBA superstar that was so one dimensional? Can't shoot free throws, can't shoot beyond 5 feet, can't pass, routinely is in the top 5 in the league in turnovers despite being a center, and is always a league leader in fouls committed.
He's a poor man's Shaq.
The Magic may win this series, but credit their perimeter shooters NOT the man spending 5 seconds in the paint every possession.
If you want to play the hypothetical "if this would have happened game", then here's one for ya... Game 2, 1.5 seconds...Lebron shoots a brick.. then hypothetically Cleveland would be on summer vacation
mike

Cleveland, OH

#31 May 27, 2009
Harish wrote:
Stop it. I hate when local sportswriters get delusions of grandeur about the worth of their players, and this case is no different. Yes, Dwight had a monster game and is an amazing talent. But these simple facts remain:
- Lebron James is a once-in-a-generation superstar who's been playing at the highest level of any player in the playoffs. He also happens to be the most marketable, and Nike doesn't seem to be doing too badly with his campaigns, so any questions of signing the wrong talent are unfounded.
- I am no Cavs apologist, but objectively the Magic have a much better supporting cast than Cleveland. The Magic's dominance this series is attributable to the slew of matchup problems that Orlando presents (granted, Dwight is one of them), not a one-man effort like Lebron is putting up.
Yes, Dwight Howard does not get his due, especially when you consider his Game 4 overtime performance. But please stop propagating this inane myth that Dwight is better (or a bigger superstar) than Lebron James.
agreed 100%. if you replace dwight with gortat, orlando is STILL a really good team that could get to the nba finals. if you replace lebron with sasha pavlovic, i dont know if the cavs get out of the first round, let alone even make it to the playoffs. one could even argue that rashard has been the bigger issue this series. howard has been fantastic, but rashard has been making ridiculous shots. look at it like this. would orlando be here if dwight had a mediocre or just "good" supporting cast? probably not. lebron has - at best - a decent (or maybe just an ok) supporting cast, and he has his team in the ECF and they are a legit championship caliber team. if you swap lbj for dwight, orlando wins in a sweep and its not even close. in this case, even though the series is 3-1, either team could have reasonably won any single game.
sfer rof cigam

Cleveland, OH

#32 May 27, 2009
Howard does get leeway with the refs. Why do you think he smiled and said No Comment. Just check out the video with 0.5 seconds left in regulation play. He wrestled, yes wrestled Varejo to the floor...no foul there!!! Look for yourself.
Come ON

Pharr, TX

#33 May 27, 2009
this is one of your dumber articles. seriously. When Dwight Howard starts hitting big time 3's or fade aways...or doing anything but DUNKING for that matter...then come talk to me. Dwight can't do half the stuff Lebron is doing and the only reason the Magic are successful is because they play an NCAA type of offense of jacking up three's! It's pitiful you are putting Howard on a pedestal so early, especially after criticizing everyone else for putting Lebron on one.
Haha

Old Greenwich, CT

#34 May 27, 2009
Another absurd article from Orlando. The truth? Dwight < Shaq.
Joe

Tampa, FL

#35 May 27, 2009
scott wrote:
Howard had FOUR points in the second half!! That's the next great superstar??
If Delonte West corrals that loose ball after Pietrus' missed 3 in the final seconds, this series is tied and Howard would go down as the leading reason for their failure. Oh and Howard played all 24 minutes of the second half too, he just disappeared from the stat book.
Tell me the last NBA superstar that was so one dimensional? Can't shoot free throws, can't shoot beyond 5 feet, can't pass, routinely is in the top 5 in the league in turnovers despite being a center, and is always a league leader in fouls committed.
He's a poor man's Shaq.
The Magic may win this series, but credit their perimeter shooters NOT the man spending 5 seconds in the paint every possession.
If LBJ's 3 pt shot were an inch off the series would have started 2-0 for the magic. Where is the MVP then?

having 4 pts in the 2nd half isn't anything.. What it shows is that the Magic don't NEED DH to perform at a 40pt level each game to stay in it. He, as is pointed out in another post, contributes in other ways. Look at the jump ball with LBJ. When the game was on the line in the OT, DH stepped up. Where was LBJ? Huffing and puffing since his teammates aren't giving him much help.

If you take Dwight out of the game, the Magic can still win. Take LBJ out of the game and the Cav have a much lower chance of winning.

And admit it.. who'd you rather have playing for you? Pietrus or the entire Cavs' bench?????
Unapologetic Cavs Fan

Hudson, OH

#36 May 27, 2009
So three baskets in overtime makes someone the biggest star? After a virtually invisible second half that had nothing to do with his nightly battles with foul trouble?

Furthermore, does beating someone in a series make them a bigger star? Is Paul Pierce a bigger star after last year's conference semis? Tim Duncan after the '07 Finals? Rip Hamilton after the '06 conference semis?

It's stunning that NBA organizations would even give fanboys like this guy a press credential, much less a real-life newspaper give him a job.

Writers like Mike Bianchi are why newspapers are destined to fail.
mdt2315

New York, NY

#37 May 27, 2009
mike wrote:
<quoted text>
youre writing about the classic double standard. if a superstar takes over, hes selfish. if he doesnt, he's labeled soft or a loser. besides, your argument is specious at best. isnt this the same dwight howard who after a loss against the celtics threw his coach under the bus and "demanded" that he get the ball more? lebron has never once in his career complained through the media that he doesnt get the ball enough - unlike dwight has. im not trying to take anything away from howard - hes a no doubt superstar. but any argument that lebron is "selfish" is just plain ignorant.
Lebron, doesnt have to go to the media to demand the ball. He already takes 30 shots a game. If he demanded the ball anymore no one but him would ever take a shot.
Ron

Chicago, IL

#39 May 27, 2009
Mike in Cleveland:

I stand by my argument. Lebron is selfish. Definitely moreso than Dwight. Lebron's actions speak louder than his words. He IS what he DOES. And what he DOES, is tank his team's chances of winning with all the one-on-ones. He takes the podium and talks about how he's such a team player and in the second half of these games, he's anything but. The Magic have a tougher time with the Cavs offense in the first half of these games because LBJ tries to get his team more involved during that time frame. The second half of the game, LBJ is selfish. There's no denying LBJ is a freak of athletic talent. But right now, from beginning of game to the end of a game, Dwight Howard is a better team player than Lebron. And to me, that makes him a better superstar.
mdt2315

New York, NY

#40 May 27, 2009
jimmy wrote:
Dwight is not in the same league as those tow other players. Its a stupid argument and really amazing that a sports writer would make that comparison? You know very little about sports and more about soap opera drama. I am a magic and Dhow fan, but
if you make Dhow 6' tall, he does not even play in the NBA, if you make Lebron and Kobe 5'10" they are still awesome ball players.
Trouble with you is, you don;t understand the difference. They have complete games and Dhow does not. Do you understand now
D12 isnt in the same league as the other two guys? Are you kidding? Let people play defense on them like the refs do on Dwight and lets see how good they really are. Give me a break that Lebron and Kobe's size has nothing to do with them being in the NBA and Dwight's does. Man sounds like you dont really watch many NBA game, especially ones with the guys mentioned in the article.
Ron

Chicago, IL

#41 May 27, 2009
Lebron's team is good enough to beat the Magic. They can do it in the first half of these games, but they can't do it in the second half. It's mainly because of the way Lebron plays. And that's the sad thing for Cleveland fans. They know it. Here's a guy (LBJ) with all this talent and plays the right way in the first half but then becomes more selfish and plays nothing but one-on-one's in the second half and blows the game. The Magic defense isn't as challenged in the second half if LBJ is doing all these one-on-ones. If LBJ was a better team player for a full 48 minutes and more concerned about make his team better for a full 48 minutes, then maybe the series would be different right now.
mike

Cleveland, OH

#42 May 27, 2009
Joe wrote:
<quoted text>
If LBJ's 3 pt shot were an inch off the series would have started 2-0 for the magic. Where is the MVP then?
having 4 pts in the 2nd half isn't anything.. What it shows is that the Magic don't NEED DH to perform at a 40pt level each game to stay in it. He, as is pointed out in another post, contributes in other ways. Look at the jump ball with LBJ. When the game was on the line in the OT, DH stepped up. Where was LBJ? Huffing and puffing since his teammates aren't giving him much help.
If you take Dwight out of the game, the Magic can still win. Take LBJ out of the game and the Cav have a much lower chance of winning.
And admit it.. who'd you rather have playing for you? Pietrus or the entire Cavs' bench?????
and if rashard's shot in game 1 was an inch off, cleveland starts off up 2-0.
mike

Cleveland, OH

#43 May 27, 2009
Ron wrote:
Mike in Cleveland:
I stand by my argument. Lebron is selfish. Definitely moreso than Dwight. Lebron's actions speak louder than his words. He IS what he DOES. And what he DOES, is tank his team's chances of winning with all the one-on-ones. He takes the podium and talks about how he's such a team player and in the second half of these games, he's anything but. The Magic have a tougher time with the Cavs offense in the first half of these games because LBJ tries to get his team more involved during that time frame. The second half of the game, LBJ is selfish. There's no denying LBJ is a freak of athletic talent. But right now, from beginning of game to the end of a game, Dwight Howard is a better team player than Lebron. And to me, that makes him a better superstar.
you can stand by your argument if you want. you can argue the moon is made out of cheese, but it doesnt make it right. theres not a single writer nationwide who would subscribe to the argument that lebron is a "selfish" player. maybe bianchi would, but thats not saying much.

does howard lead the team in passes? no. does howard defend anyone from PG's to Centers? no. is howard versatile enough to play in the post AND on the wing? no.

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