Blog Entry

Theory and Proof: Perk handles Dwight Howard

Posted on: December 25, 2011 11:48 pm
Edited on: December 26, 2011 12:42 am
Posted by Royce Young

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Thunder topped the Magic 97-89 behind 30 points from Kevin Durant. But that wasn't the story. It was the way the Thunder handled Orlando on both ends, specifically Dwight Howard.

THE THEORY: The new Kendrick Perkins makes Oklahoma City a title contender

THE PROOF: Dwight Howard: 4-12 from the field, 11 points

Perkins shed 32 pounds in the offseason and re-discovered a bit of his old athleticism and agility. But the question for Oklahoma City was if the new Perkins was going to make that much of a difference. Would a quicker, lighter, more agile Perk mean the Thunder could dominate the paint.

OKC's opener against Orlando came down to an essential, simple matchup: Perkins got the better of Dwight Howard. Howard was just 4-12 for 11 points, but here's the kicker: Howard shot just eight free throws.

That's one major improvement from Perkins because of his new body: He doesn't foul. He can move his feet much better and doesn't have to use his hands to keep someone in front of him. It's a big reason Howard only took eight free throws. Perk was quick enough to stop Howard off the dribble.

When Howard can’t roll inside, it completely limits the Magic’s inside-out game, which is what they’re basically designed to do. Orlando started the game 8-9 but went through a 5-30 stretch after that and shot just 37 percent for the game.

“I thought Perk was really good staying between Dwight and the basket,” Scott Brooks said. “That’s what you want to do.”

Perkins basically played Howard by always keep a body pressed against him, staying home and giving him a 12-foot jumper if he wanted it. Howard tried it three times, hitting one. After that, Howard never went near the paint without Perkins' barrel chest right up against him. That’s how he's going to play everyone and that’s why he can change the Thunder defensively almost all on his own.

At one point after Perkins was a little hot after getting tangled with Howard. Ref Bill Kennedy told Perk to chill and then even went over and told Brooks to calm Perkins down. Brooks didn’t look at all interested in that.

“We like him a little angry,” Brooks said. “We like him mad at his opponent.”

Perkins did pick up his first technical of the season though by scuffling with Howard later. That’s No. 1 for Perk, and because of the shortened season, he’s got 12 more until he faces a suspension.

“He told me he’d slow it down when he got to nine,” Brooks said. “I’m trying to talk him into six.”

While Perkins has a new body, he's still got the same old attitude. He's rough, mean and wants to play nasty. With that kind of interior defense, the Lakers won't be able to overpower OKC with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. Nene won't give the Thunder big fits. Memphis's duo of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol shouldn't take down the Thunder inside.

By process of elimination, if that's what the new Perkins is going to do for the Thunder defense, that's championship caliber stuff.


Since: May 16, 2009
Posted on: December 26, 2011 11:19 pm

Theory and Proof: Perk handles Dwight Howard

Okc is a very dangerous squad, and will lead the changing of the guard in the western conference. Minnesota and Sacremento are young and loaded with talent, and of course there is a new king of Lala land, the Clippers. The Mavs look old, the Spurs ARE old, and the Lakers are a disaster. Don't forget the Grizz and the new look Blazers, who upgraded their back court and will actually be a more dangerous team without, and titis is not a typo, Brandon Roy. The new look Wild Wild West is going to be great this season!

Since: Nov 25, 2009
Posted on: December 26, 2011 2:25 pm

Theory and Proof: Perk handles Dwight Howard

I, also did not see the game.  So that's out there.  However just looking at his numbers for the OKC-Orlando game vs. his career numbers I would say that (yes I know one game is a small sample size to compare to career numbers) the weight drop didn't really benefit him all that much.<br /><br />


<li>He played more minutes versus his career average.</li>

<li>He had a better FG% versus his career average.</li>

<li>He had a better FT% versus his career average.</li>

<li>His offensive and defensive and consequently total rebounding was down from his career average.</li>

<li>His assists were up versus his career average.</li>

<li>His steals were down versus his career average.</li>

<li>His blocks were down versus his career average.</li>

<li>His turnovers down versus his career average.</li>

<li>His personal fouls were <strong>UP</strong> versus his career average.</li>

<li>His scoring was down versus his career average.</li>


<br />Is he better?  I don't know.  I didn't see the game but he got four fouls which is one of the things the article said he did a better job of doing.  So he either defended Dwight without fouling and picked up boneheaded fouls elsewhere or... he's not really all that different afterall.  It's only one game people.  Let's not jump to conclusions.

Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: December 26, 2011 2:22 pm

Theory and Proof: Perk handles Dwight Howard

bynum is about half the player howard is. gasol is ok, but he flourishes in the lakers system. may not do so well with a new bunch of inferior players. of couse why would anyone want to pay 25 mil to somebody that doen't want to play for them.

Since: Feb 5, 2010
Posted on: December 26, 2011 1:13 pm

Theory and Proof: Perk handles Dwight Howard

This isn't really a story.  Perk has been handling Dwight for years.  If you saw any of the games between the Celtics and Magic over the years you would have saw the same.  Perk can single cover Dwight and when you do that you take away the Magic 3 point shooters because no one on the Magic can get their own shot.  They are spot up shooters and not quick or athletic.  WHen you look at it position position the Magic are average to below average at every position.  I can see why Dwight wants to leave because this team is a bunch of niche players who are no longer filling their niche.  Everyone except Dwight knows he is limited on offense, so everyone takes away the 3 and see how many Dwight can score, you know he will miss free throws.  That's the key to Perks game against Dwight.  He will foul him and not let him get his dunks and then when Dwight starts missing free throws he gets less agressive because he doesn't want to go to the line.  It's no secret, it's just that there aren't that many men out there powerful enough to stand up to Dwight.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: December 26, 2011 10:04 am

Theory and Proof: Perk handles Dwight Howard

Had you seen the game, then you would've seen how good his defense really was. Maybe you shouldn't talk anymore.

Since: Dec 10, 2010
Posted on: December 26, 2011 3:31 am

Theory and Proof: Perk handles Dwight Howard

... didn't see the game, but it sounds to me like a complete over reaction.  In fact, I would throw away any conclusions from the first month of the NBA season.  Let's see if Perkins can still do that in the playoffs, or stay healthy for that matter.

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