After huge Game 1, Dwight Howard was non-factor on offense in Game 2

Dwight Howard – after being criticized for his undeveloped offensive game throughout the Boston series – went off in the first game against Cleveland, scoring 30 points and converting on 14 field goals, his second-highest total all year. In Game 2, the big guy was nowhere to be found. And it wasn’t ineffectiveness from Howard – he just wasn’t getting the ball, and when he did the Cavs were generally bringing the double-team. Dwight Howard touches Game 1: 33 touches, 21 in paint, 14-20 FG, 30 points Game 2: 26 touches, 13 in paint, 3-8 FG, 10 points By the fourth quarter, the Magic were ignoring Howard on the offensive end. Part of it had to do with Orlando pushing the tempo in its attempt to come back, and most of it had to do with the Cavs giving extra help to Howard on pick-and-rolls. Dwight Howard touches, Game 2 1st quarter: 11 touches, 7 in paint, 2-5 FG, 6 points 2nd quarter: 5 touches, 1 in paint, 0-0 FG, 2 points 3rd quarter: 9 touches, 5 in paint, 1-3 FG, 2 points 4th quarter: 1 touch, 0 in paint, 0-0 FG, 0 points Orlando thrived on offense – particularly in the second half – and much of it had to with how badly Howard could hurt Cleveland, rather than how much he was hurting Cleveland. If the Magic can continue to get Howard involved early in games, his mere presence on the floor will continue to open things up for the weapons on the outside. You can see it in these statistics, as the team’s offensive efficiency has gone up while Howard’s touches have gone down throughout the game. People ask why Orlando is a tough matchup for Cleveland – well, this is a big reason why. The Cavaliers have nobody that can stop Howard, and how they adjust to defending Howard will play a major role in the rest of this series. Credit ESPN Stats and Information for the breakdown.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily