Houston Rockets: ESPN 2013 #NBARank – #7 Dwight Howard

By Phillip Pyle

Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Ranked #3 last season, the Houston Rockets All-Star center Dwight Howard falls to #7 in the ESPN 2013 NBA Player Rankings. Howard of course left the Los Angeles Lakers via free agency and signed with the Houston Rockets amid tons of ridicule and opposition from Lakers fans, the media, and ex Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The drop in rank has to be tied to the games missed by Howard due to his shoulder injury and recovery from back surgery. So far this pre-season Howard has looked primed to return to his 22.9 points, 14.1 boards, and 2.4 blocks from three seasons ago.

Dwight played in 76 games for the Lakers last season, leading the league in boards per game (12.4) second in field goal % (.578) and fifth in blocks per game (2.4).

via @ESPNStatsInfo Since blocks became an official stat in 1973-74, Howard, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Hakeem Olajuwon are the only players in NBA history to average at least 17 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks per game in six different seasons.

The rankings are based on ESPN Forecast an engine for creating more accurate sports predictions and opinion. For the past five years, ESPN’s NBA Summer Forecast series has produced the most accurate predictions in the game, and for two years running,  #NBArank feature has been based on the ESPN Forecast approach to generating state-of-the-art information and opinion.