Van Gundy: Hakeem gets too much credit for Howard's jumper

BY foxsports • January 5, 2011

ORLANDO,
Fla. --
During his 28-point, 13-rebound night in a win over the Bucks on Wednesday, Dwight Howard knocked down a couple more mid-range bank shots, much to the delight of the Orlando crowd.

A lot has been made of Howard's outside shooting this season after spending some time in Houston over the summer training with Rockets great Hakeem Olajuwon.

Don't tell Magic coach Stan Van Gundy that Howard's transformation is a result of those workouts, though.

"I think that's a little overblown," Van Gundy said. "His shot has been good. I will say this, and this isn't a knock on anybody, but Hakeem's gotten more credit for two hours than anybody I've ever seen. They were in a gym for two hours, three hours, and all of a sudden, every shot Dwight makes is because of Hakeem."

Earlier this year, Howard said that Olajuwon taught him more about the mental side of the game than he did about anything physical.

"[We worked on] the mental
aspect, toughness, being able to learn from each situation; just being
humble about everything that you do on the court," Howard said.

Howard also said at the time that fans should temper their expectations of him.

"I guess people heard that I was working out with The Dream, [so] that
means I was going to come back and start shooting fadeaways and doing
all that stuff," Howard said. "That's stuff that I
work on, but that's stuff that will come."

According to HoopData, Howard had actually only hit 12 shots from 10-15
feet and six shots from 16-23 feet this season before tonight's game.
However, the threat of Howard spotting up for a jumper and the respect
for his ability to make them have forced opposing defenders to guard him
differently.

"He's a great guy, but there's not anybody alive
who's turning somebody's game around in three hours," Van Gundy said of
Olajuwon. "That's just not it. Dwight's done a lot of work, and I'm sure
Hakeem gave him some advice, but that's starting to annoy me."

Howard may have said it best during training camp when he joked with one reporter that, "If you train with me, that doesn't mean you're going to play like me."

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