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First Round Matchups: The Centers

Let's not kid ourselves, you can't even call this one a matchup. After the jump we'll take a look at the stats and try to figure out how Sammy can at least limit the damage Dwight Howard inflicts on the Sixers.

The Stats

My Take

Let's just start by saying Dwight Howard has an immeasurable advantage on both sides of the floor. That fact is not up for debate. I do have several keys for Sammy to help minimize the damage.

  • Defensive rebounding - If Sammy can somehow manage to keep Howard off the offensive glass, he will have done his part.
  • Catch the ball - If the Andres, Lou and Thad are attacking the paint, like they should be, Dwight Howard is going to be looking to set block records. Whenever Howard leaves Sammy, he needs to head right for the front of the rim and get ready because there will be opportunities if he can catch the passes
  • Watch your fouls - In the three games against Orlando, Sammy managed to stay out of foul trouble only once. In that game he notched a double-double. In the other two, his minutes were cut severely due to foul problems
  • Use them wisely - That being said, Dwight Howard is an atrocious free throw shooter, so make your fouls count. Don't give him a touch foul as he dunks the ball, hit him hard and make sure that every time Howard is fouled, he feels it and cannot convert on a traditional three-point play.

Advantage Magic: Sammy has come up huge in some very big games over the past two seasons, but even his very best won't be as good as Howard. This is the biggest advantage on the floor and I believe the stats will reflect it at the end of each game. Now that I've said all of that, I think it's vitally important that the Sixers allow Sammy and Theo to play Howard straight up. I'll explain why later in a post later today.

Vote below, thoughts in the comments, check out the rest of the matchup previews here.