Dwight Howard Interview
Orlando Magic forward/center Dwight Howard in his second season has emerged as one of the league's most dominant rebounders. The 6-11, 265-pound manchild, who just turned 20 years old, is averaging 14.7 points, 13.3 rebounds and 1.47 blocks per game. The Magic as of today are 8-11 for the season, third in the Southwest division. InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner met with Dwight in Madison Square Garden on Wednesday for an exclusive interview.
InsideHoops.com: Talk about the season so far, how it's going, what you like and what you don't.
Dwight Howard: We can improve our defense and our turnover ratio. Other than that, we'll be fine. We're learning the offense... once we get accustumed to everything we're going to be a pretty good team.
InsideHoops.com: How's your second season feel compared to your first?
Dwight Howard: I think I'm doing pretty good right now. Trying to get a feel for the game. Just doing what I can to help the team get a win. And just have fun.
InsideHoops.com: What kind of things did you work on over the summer?
Dwight Howard: Just getting a lot of rest. And working on my offensive game. Working on the new style of defense that we're playing. that's the biggest thing I've been working on.
InsideHoops.com: What's the main offensive stuff you've been working on? What exact offensive skills?
Dwight Howard: I just want to build more confidence in myself as far as shooting the ball. That's what I've been working on now.
InsideHoops.com: What are you focusing on more, developing your post moves or facing the basket and shooting?
Dwight Howard: Everything. And if I miss a shot, just stay confident, knowing that I can shoot the ball, and not get down on myself.
InsideHoops.com: You put up big stats, rebound like crazy, do big things, but on the other hand, you just turned 20. Do you feel like it's cool to develop at your own pace, or do you feel pressured to perform in a big way pretty constantly right now?
Dwight Howard: My team asks a lot out of me, and I ask a lot out of myself. I just keep playing and don't worry about expectations. I'm trying to help our team get to the playoffs, and I expect us to do that this year.
InsideHoops.com: And Steve Francis, there were a lot of people wondering at the start of the season if he was going to keep playing point guard or maybe get moved to the two. He's talented enough to do either. What have you seen from him this season?
Dwight Howard: I've seen a more disciplined Steve Francis this year. He's really been a good teammate to me. He talks to me a lot and tries to help me out. He's been real helpful to me on the court as a player.
InsideHoops.com: And on a totally random note, who would you say is the MVP of the league so far this season?
Dwight Howard: [Thinks about it for a good 10 seconds] I know he's a rookie but I think Chris Paul is playing real good right now.
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