Scott Brooks on Howard: 'He's gonna have to change.'

Josh Luckenbaugh
September 24, 2018 - 11:13 am

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

As Dwight Howard prepares to enter his first training camp as a Wizard, the veteran center has to learn to adapt to the evolution of the NBA game, Washington head coach Scott Brooks told the Junkies Monday. 

A Washington Post article from August quoted Howard's trainer Justin Zormelo as saying, "He wants to evolve into Anthony Davis, into Kevin Durant, but his own version of that," which implied to many that Howard is trying to develop a three-point shot. 

Brooks said he doesn't expect Howard to shoot many threes for the Wizards, but does want to see some expansion in his game to reflect how the league itself has changed. 

"I definitely think he's gonna have to change. The game has changed," Brooks told the Junkies. "But I think what he does could really impact winning. He's a big guy that can protect the paint, he's one of the best rebounders — he averaged almost 13 a game last year, I think third in the league."

"But that's one thing we lacked. When we went small, we couldn't rebound. When we were big, we had trouble rebounding. So I think he gives us something that we really need."

Some fans are concerned Howard could cause locker room issues if he doesn't get a significant amount of paint touches every night. Brooks says Howard may have to sometimes accept a complimentary role in the Wizards offense with the likes of John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter in the lineup. 

"Does he want the ball? I mean, every player wants the ball. You tell me a player who didn't want the ball," said Brooks. "When I played, I wanted to shoot the ball. But you just have to be able to manage that, and deal with it also."

"I understand the game has changed, and I don't see him shooting threes, but who knows? I don't know what he's capable of, I've only seen him at a couple of workouts. But I like what he brings. He brings the toughness, he brings the defensive intensity, which at times we lacked last year."

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