Dennis Schroder: Dwight Howard Only Plays Well Against Former Teams

Atlanta Hawks' Dennis Schroder, right of Germany, and teammate Dwight Howard stand on the court in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets in Atlanta, Wednesday, March 8, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

David Goldman/Associated Press

After Thursday’s 129-117 loss to the Charlotte Hornets, Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder sounded off about Hornets center and former teammate Dwight Howard

According to KL Chouinard of Hawks.com, Schroder said Howard only plays well when he faces his former teams:

On Thursday, Howard led all scorers with 33 points to go along with 12 rebounds, two blocks and two steals. He also converted seven of his eight free-throw attempts.

In four games against Atlanta this season, Howard is averaging 22.8 points and 13.5 rebounds.

The 32-year-old Howard is enjoying a strong season with the Hornets, as he is averaging 16.5 points, 12.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.

In his one and only season with his hometown Hawks in 2016-17, Howard put up 13.5 points, 12.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per contest.

Since an eight-year stint with the Orlando Magic, who drafted him No. 1 overall in 2004, that yielded six All-Star nods and one trip to the NBA Finals, Howard has also played for the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets.

There may be some credence to Schroder’s claims since Howard has good career numbers in 14 games against Orlando with 19.1 points and 12.9 rebounds per contest. The only team he averages more points against is the Toronto Raptors.

His numbers have slipped significantly compared to what he did during his prime, but Howard remains a productive center, especially on the glass.

Howard is the top career rebounder among active players, and he is 17th on the all-time NBA list. He is also the top active shot-blocker, and he ranks 18th all-time.

A championship has eluded him and he hasn’t been able to successfully stand alone as a go-to player since leaving the Magic, but Howard has put together what may be a Hall of Fame resume.

Schroder, meanwhile, is in his fifth NBA season, and the 24-year-old is enjoying a career year for the struggling Hawks with 19.2 points, 6.2 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game.