01-06-2004, 10:20 PM
Can someone post it in its entirety? I didn't see it here but I might have missed it. Looks promising. Might want to move this over to the Mavs section. i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif Thanks in advance.
01-07-2004, 08:21 AM
Was it this one by Eddie Sefko written for ESPN the Magazine ames?
Most years, being named ACC Player of the Year carries some clout. Last year was not one of them. Josh Howard, despite being just the second player to win the award unanimously (David Thompson was the other, in 1975), endured a protracted and stressful draft night before the Mavericks grabbed him with the final pick of the first round. "I did everything I could," says Howard, who played four years at Wake Forest. "I was just hoping for the best."
Best is in the eye of the beholder, but starting for a cinch playoff team -- a claim that can't be made by any of the other guys -- has to qualify. Howard's numbers are modest (8.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg), but the 6'7" swing man has demonstrated a passion for D and board-crashing on a team that historically has disdained both. "How could 24 teams pass on this guy?" says teammate Antawn Jamison. "What were they scouting?" Even more than Howard's solid college numbers (19.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg), the Mavericks were drawn to his tenacity and his 7'2" wingspan. They were impressed enough to try to trade up, despite not being among the nine teams that worked him out.
Don Nelson calls Howard "the steal of the draft." Funny, considering that the coach lives by the credo that rookies help lose games, not win them. It was an injury to Michael Finley that forced Nelson to give more minutes to Howard, who went from 14.3 mpg in November to 31.4 in December. With Finley back, Howard will be a spot starter and sixth man. Now, says Nelson: "He's made it real easy to play him." Like, on Dec.12, when Howard had 17 points and 13 rebounds starting against Kobe in a 110-93 win, Dallas' first in LA since 1990.
As a kid, Howard didn't figure to have much hope of playing anything. He was born with legs so severely curved they had to be broken and reset when he was an infant. Today, there's no hint of his childhood troubles.
Nearing the midway mark, Howard is in the top 10 among rookies in six stat categories. The soft-spoken 23-year-old is still a money jumpshot away from being a complete player (he shoots 41.3% from the field). But he is getting a lot of work on his J -- he averaged 10 shots a game in December -- as opponents focus their attention on the All-Star cast that surrounds him.
All of which means that, when the postseason rolls around, the lowest of the first round picks will likely be the one making the biggest impact.
01-07-2004, 01:41 PM
Yeah, that's it. Thanks Doc. Nice to see Howard get a little attention. i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif
01-07-2004, 03:37 PM
Glad to help. i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif
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