Is Dwight Howard piling it on against weak teams?

The statisticians at 82games.com recently released a study looking at players’ stats against good, average and poor teams. The point is to see which players are piling it on against the weaker teams (Danny Granger), and which ones step up their game against the best (Kobe Bryant). Here’s how Orlando’s key guys stacked up:

Dwight Howard GOOD: 17.1 points, 14.1 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, 49.1 FG%, 11.4 FGA AVERAGE: 21.4 points, 13.3 rebounds, 3.0 blocks, 59.9 FG%, 12.6 FGA POOR: 23.3 points, 14.8 rebounds, 3.3 blocks, 58.6 FG%, 13.5 FGA

CONCLUSION: It’s no real secret to Magic followers, and this study confirms it: Dwight Howard isn’t a dominant offensive presence against the league’s best teams. Howard struggles to score in the post against the likes of Boston and Detroit, which is evident in his 10-point drop in field-goal percentage from good to average teams. An interesting fact: Howard averages 12 free throws per game against poor teams and 9.3 free throws against good teams. Even though much of these stats have to do with weaker teams not having the big men to contain Howard, he has to find a way to score against the best big men out there.

Rashard Lewis GOOD: 18.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, 44.4 FG%, 14.5 FGA, 37.6 3P%, 6.8 3PA AVERAGE: 18.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 44.5 FG%, 13.6 FGA, 42.7 3P%, 7.1 3PA POOR: 17.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 42.9 FG%, 14.1 FGA, 40.9 3P%, 6.6 3PA

CONCLUSION: There really isn’t too much to read into here, as Lewis’ stats really don’t vary much from opponent to opponent. The only real outlier here is his 37.6 3-point percentage against good teams, compared to 42.7 against average teams… But there really isn’t too much there. It’s not like 37.6 percent from deep is bad. Lewis is Orlando’s most steady player, and it shows.

Hedo Turkoglu GOOD: 19.1 points, 3.9 assists, 42.4 FG%, 14.5 FGA, 43.7 3P%, 5.8 3PA AVERAGE: 15.8 points, 4.8 assists, 38.3 FG%, 13.1 FGA, 34.4 3P%, 4.7 3PA POOR: 17.1 points, 5.3 assists, 42.8 FG%, 13.6 FGA, 34.4 3P%, 4.8 3PA

CONCLUSION: Turkoglu seems to focus on himself against the good teams, shooting almost a shot and 3-pointer more than his season average. That has some to do with Dwight Howard’s struggles to get good looks, though. Turk’s 3-point percentage is an insane 43.7 percent against quality teams, which I think comes down to focus. He’s more assertive and focused on the offensive end when the Magic are playing a good team, and he tends to take a little bit more ownership of the offense against the best squads. Against worse teams or when the Magic are ahead, Turkoglu spends much of his energy getting his teammates involved, shown by his 5.3 assists average against poor teams.

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

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