Dwight Howard Brings Much-Needed Physical, Athletic Defender Behind Embiid
The Philadelphia Sixers had a big hole behind Joel Embiid at the center position during their 2018-2019 playoff run. They were using veterans Amir Johnson, Greg Monroe and Boban Marjanovic.
None of those three big-men had the athleticism to defend outside of the paint, the way today's game demands. Get those guys out of their comfort zone, outside of the paint, and teams routinely took the ball to the basket when Embiid left the floor.
They thought they knew what they were missing, so they went out and added veteran big-man Al Horford last offseason, to play the backup center minutes behind Embiid.
Horford and Embiid didn't mesh on the floor together, forcing the end of that experiment after just one season. The team shipped Horford to Oklahoma City for Danny Green and Terence Ferguson.
This offseason, they have added another veteran big-man to play behind Embiid, former No. 1 overall pick, Dwight Howard.
After the departure of Horford and release of Norvel Pelle, the Sixers’ backup center group was made up of guys with very little NBA experience.
Enter Howard, who brings in a ton of experience, is an eight-time All-Star, five-time All-NBA defender and a three-time NBA defensive Defensive Player of the Year. Howard also just added NBA Champion to his resume this past season with the Lakers.
He is one of the best rebounds of all-time, leading the NBA in rebounds per game five time and grabbing over 12 boards per game during his career.
You can expect the Sixers to utilize Howard in a very similar way to how the Lakers used him last season where he averaged 18.9 minutes per game, grabbing 7.3 boards and 7.5 points.
He seemed to be reborn with the Lakers, even though he played limited minutes, he was a defensive star and excellent in the pick-and-roll game for Frank Vogel.
Here is a great video showing what you can expect him to bring to the Sixers on the defensive end.
Howard gives Philadelphia the physical and athletic defender behind Embiid they’ve been sorely missing. What Monroe, Johnson, Marjanovic, Horford and other Embiid backups all lacked, he provides.