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Does Dwight Howard Make Sense for Boston Celtics in 2012?
While the dust has settled after the Boston Celtics' stinging playoff defeat this year, fellow fans of the green and white are left wondering just how the team can change it up next season. Let's be clear, this Celtics team is going to have to do things differently when the 2011-12 season approaches later this year if they want to have any real chance of a championship. As much as I hate to admit, the Miami Heat learned to do what Boston did in '08, and right now they're doing it better. One possible long-term move to give the Cs the edge over the competition could be to sign Dwight Howard(notes) next summer.
Howard is going to be up for grabs as a free agent in the 2012 offseason, and while it's safe to say there isn't a "Decision" level of hype, this is big. Nobody in the NBA world right now can seriously doubt that the addition of the Orlando Magic center would be a monster deal with a potentially big payoff. Teams which have struggled defensively are undoubtedly especially interested in trying to pick up Howard, and that makes the Cs very much in the mix.
The 6-foot-11 Howard is easily considered a future hall of famer, and with good reason. He's quite simply one of the best defensive players in basketball right now, being named Defensive Player of the Year three times in a row. Nobody else has ever received the honor three consecutive times. The best part is that Howard shows no sign of slowing down. Last season, he averaged 14.1 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, and was .593 in shooting from the field.
As a team, the Celtics were ranked 27th in blocking and 29th in total rebounds. That should serve as a wake-up call. Yes, the Cs had some great defensive performances over the season. Holding the Bucks to 56 points back in March was nice. Nevertheless, the Cs aren't going to make great strides on blocking and rebounding unless they do something drastically different. That might just be signing Dwight Howard.
The obvious sticking point is that Howard's asking price will make it next to impossible to keep the big three. By the summer of 2012, we'll have a better idea of just how the story of the current big three will ultimately play out. If their best days together are behind them, it might just be worth making Howard a centerpiece of the Cs' future.
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