Kryptonite for the NBA’s Man of Steel
Whenever the Orlando Magic come to town … like today versus the Toronto Raptors … a team is forced to deal with the challenge presented by Dwight Howard, one of the best young big men in the NBA.
From a technical basketball standpoint, however, the best way to play D12 is not to double-team him at all.
The best way to defend effectively against Superman, as a team, is to:
* Meet him early in transition, at the TOTK; bump him hard to let him know that you’re there, and to make him work to get to his post-up spot, in the first place
* DO NOT try to Front or Half-front him in any way, shape or form
* Play Behind Him, exclusively [in all post-up situations]
* Occupy Him Physically, from Behind … at all times … by attempting to push him out/off his spot, in the direction of the post entry passer [on the line of the ball]
* If/when he catches the ball … Gap him immediately, allowing him to face-up if he wishes, and take jumpshots to his heart’s content
* If he tries to back you down with his dribble … Bump him hard on each dribble with your inside forearm in the small of his back [in the kidney area] and then release again until he takes the next dribble, then repeat the process, as many times as necessary
* DO NOT leave your feet, no matter what Dwight does
* Make him shoot the ball OVER YOU … no matter what … whether it’s a J, jumphook, drop-step power layup, or a dunk … You MUST stay down
* When the shot goes up … whether Howard or someone else is the shooter doesn’t really matter … Engage D12 physically by facing him, pushing him, grabbing him, banging into him, etc., each and every time, i.e. forgetting about the ball and possibly getting the rebound yourself … YOUR JOB IS TO NOT LET HIM GET IT
Do these things, in this way … putting Howard in the situation of having to make a lot of shots over your primary defender, repeatedly … and, thereby, making the other Magic players into their team’s primary offensive rebounders … and your team has got an excellent chance to beat Orlando.
With this in mind …
Andrea Bargnani [PF] SHOULD BE the one taking on Dwight Howard [C], defensively, this afternoon – along with Kris Humphries [PF] & Jake Voskuhl [PF/C] – while Chris Bosh [C] is assigned to check Rashard Lewis [PF], with Joey Graham [SF] & Jamario Moon [OG & SF] rotating on Hedo Turkoglu.
Bargnani has the makings of a young Bill Laimbeer [C-PF] … offensively, defensively, in terms of rebounding, and goonery … and is well-suited for the task, given his [i] physical size, strength & quickness, [ii] mentality, [iii] emotional make-up, and [iv] specific skill set.
Note: If the Raptors get waxed today … it will stem primarily from:  the absence of their Starting PG [Jose Calderon]; and  the fact that Toronto [A] does not match-up its players properly with the Magic on the defensive end of the floor, and [B] repeatedly tries to Front/Half-front vs D12.