Dwight Howard isn’t Shaquille O’Neal’s favorite center in the NBA, this much we know, but from one Superman to another Superman, O’Neal offered a few helpful hints to the Lakers’ big fella during TNT’s doubleheader telecast Thursday night.
Said O’Neal: “We all think he’s a dominant center. To me, a dominant center should be averaging 28 and 15. You look at his stats in Orlando and he was averaging 18.4 and 13 rebounds. In L.A., this year, he’s averaging 18.5 and 11.2 rebounds. I actually broke down how he can get 28 and 10. The first thing is to get three shots a quarter. What I mean by three shots a quarter … that means run your big ass down (the court). We’re coming to you right now. We need you to score. Three times four is 12. You’re not going to make all of ‘em, shoot 50 percent. That’s six makes that’s 12 points right there.
“You’re the highest jumper in the league … Anyway, Dwight, four offensive rebounds, you need to score on all of those. You’re the highest jumper in the league, that’s eight points. Twelve plus eight is, what, Chuck? Too late. Twenty. You get three drop-offs from (Steve) Nash coming off the pick-and-roll, from Kobe (Bryant) coming off the pick-and-roll, and from (Pau) Gasol on the drop-down pass, that’s six points. Twenty plus six is, what, Chuck? Too late. Twenty-six points. Now, you need to get to the free-throw line 10 times a game. I know you’re not going to make all of them, but at least make 50 percent. That’s five. Twenty-six and five is 31.
“We know you’re not going to make 31, but to be a dominant center, you should be 28 and 10. If you’re a dominating center and you play like that, the Hack-A-Howard won’t work. Trust me. I know this for a fact.”
Chuck, of course, is Charles Barkley, one of O’Neal’s TNT sidekicks.