May 30, 2013, 3:13 PM EST
Dwight Howard just had the worst postseason of his career. Roy Hibbert, on the other hand, is putting together a great playoff run. Those facts, coupled Howard’s annoying tendencies, have turned some people a little loopy when faced with the following question:
Would you rather have Howard or Hibbert?
But even Stan Van Gundy, the coach Howard got fired in Orlando, can bring levity to the discussion. As transcribed by Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel
“Come on, that one’s not close,” Van Gundy said during his weekly Thursday segment on our Open Mike morning radio show on 740 AM. “You could put that question to 30 general managers in the league — and give them the choice — and Indiana, out of loyalty, might take Hibbert although I would doubt it. The other 29 would not even hesitate. Everybody’s taking Dwight.
“I understand … Roy Hibbert is playing the best basketball of his career right now (against the Heat). You have to understand that Roy Hibbert during the regular season had seven games where he had (at least) 20 points and 10 rebounds and now he has three in this series. So now people are looking at him and saying he’s great. He averages 11 points per game in his career and he’s not a terrific rebounder although he is an elite-level defender. But on the offensive end of the floor he’s never done (what he’s doing now) and he’s really taking advantage of a very, very small Miami Heat team and a defender in Chris Bosh who right now in the series has just not stepped up into the battle at all.”
Even with Hibbert up and Howard down, Howard averaged more points and rebounds per game and shot a higher percentage in these playoffs. Regardless, we shouldn’t get carried away with such a small sample.
Just a couple months ago, Hibbert’s max contract seemed like a huge burden to the Pacers. After the worst season of his career, Howard will have teams lining up to offer him a max contract.
Howard will have to sink a lot lower for a lot longer before Hibbert passes him.
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