It seems like it was decades ago, but there was a time when Dwight Howard was terrifying. During his stint with the Orlando Magic, Howard posterized dudes regularly on offense and protected the rim better than anyone else on defense. It was so much fun to watch, as he seemingly did whatever he wanted in the paint and helped carry the Magic to an NBA Finals appearance.
But that was years ago. Injuries have been the biggest culprit in the decline of Howard, who is no longer the two-way low post force that he was just a few years ago. This was on display on Sunday when Kristaps Porzingis saw that Howard was defending the rim and decided it would be fun to embarrass the Hawks’ big man.
Three 6 Latvia went up for a dunk during New York’s game in Atlanta, and the only thing between himself and the hoop was Howard. If this was 2008, Howard probably blocks this. Instead, Porzingis brought the thunder and yammed on the former Defensive Player of the Year. It was so bad that Howard hit Porzingis in the face with his forearm and earned a Flagrant 1 instead of blocking the shot.
But Porzingis was able to power through this attempt at defense for the bucket. He hit the ground hard, but it was worth it. Why? Well, let’s recall this dunk from 2015…
…then, let’s recall what Porzingis had to say about getting dunked on by Howard.
“He dunked on me; he got me. I was asking [my teammates], ‘When is the next game against Houston? I want to get him back,’” Porzingis said with a grin. “You know, it happens. He’s a great player. I’m looking forward to playing next time against him.”
So yeah, none of us should have been surprised, because Porzingis has been planning to do this on Howard for more than a year because unicorns never for get.