Dennis Schroder implies Dwight Howard plays harder against former teams

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DJ Dunson
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Dwight Howard is now on his fifth team in 13 seasons. On Thursday, Howard registered a season-high 33 points and 12 rebounds in a 129-117 win over his former team, the Atlanta Hawks. Howard saving his best for the Hawks, annoyed Atlanta’s starting point guard Dennis Schroder.

Schroder and Howard couldn’t stand one another during Howard’s lone season in Atlanta. They argued on the court. Schroder ended the season underwhelmed with the eight-time All-Star, so he may be negatively biased, but his criticism about Howard’s effort is a common refrain from former teammates.

Dwight Howard’s effort through an 82-game season is being questioned by at least one former teammate. (AP)
Dwight Howard’s effort through an 82-game season is being questioned by at least one former teammate. (AP)

Does his observation hold weight? Is Howard more locked in than usual against teams that have dumped him? This season Howard is averaging 16.5 points, 12.1 rebounds and a shade under two blocks per game.

  • Howard’s four games against Atlanta resulted in 22.8 points, 13.5 rebounds 2.5 blocks and an uncharacteristically high 71 percent free-throw shooting.

  • In two games against the Lakers, Howard’s averaged 20.5 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks on 60 percent shooting.

  • He gave Houston a healthy dose of 22.5 points, 17 rebounds, two blocks, but shot below 50 percent from the floor. In their second contest, he made eight of his 11 attempts from the charity stripe.

  • Orlando was the lone exception to the rule. Howard dropped only 18.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and blocked only one shot in three games.

If true, it would be a further indictment of Howard’s underachieving. His numbers are a little more than average against his former teams, but they don’t jump off the page. Howard is an average player who has the same uneven focus against every opponent. He’s vindicated, sort of. Schroder is liable to troll win or lose and this sounds like more of the same.

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DJ Dunson is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at dunsnchecksin@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or Facebook.