Latest posts by Ross Pickering (see all)
First there was the Kobe System. Now, how about the Shaq System?
During an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Shaquille O’Neal mostly talked about the reasons behind his constant “calling out” of Dwight Howard. He said that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain did the same to him in order to make him a great player, so he feels he now has to push Dwight in a similar way and guide him to greatness, too.
One of the things Shaq has mentioned numerous times is that Howard needs to be a 28 and 10 player. Does it sound like too much to ask for? Not according to O’Neal – as long as you use his system, that is:
“Right now he’s averaging 16 points. From one big man to another, that’s not enough,” O’Neal said. “He should average 28. He should probably get like three shots a quarter. He should get four points a quarter, there goes 16 points right there. Now you need to get me four offensive rebounds and put them back, there goes another eight points. And when he gets to the free-throw line 10 times, I need you to make five. That’s  points right there. That’s how my system works. My system was seven points a quarter. If I didn’t give people 28 and 10, I felt like a failure. I was getting doubled, fronted and backed and all that. He’s not getting any of that. So he needs to step up and really, really dominate.”
It does actually make sense: 7 points a quarter is achievable for Dwight if he wants it, even if he is playing on the same team as Kobe Bryant. The Black Mamba has cut down his shot attempts in recent times, and is also showing a willingness to give up the rock throughout the game.
I think Shaq has a point: Dwight can be an extremely dominant player if he wants to be and if he plays the game the right way. Of course – as Howard points out in the L.A. Times piece – the game has changed a little since Shaq’s days, but I still think Howard can bring more to the table. We’ll likely see more from Dwight as his health continues to improve and he grows more comfortable with his new teammates.