For the past four years there has been no question that Dwight Howard has dominated the center position due to lack of great centers in the league. After Shaquille O’Neal slow deterioration after winning his fourth NBA championship in 2006 with the Miami Heat and Andrew Bynum‘s slow start due to injury there has been no competition for Dwight Howard. Going into this year, after winning three consecutive NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards , there was no doubt in my mind that this will just be another year of domination of the center position by Dwight Howard but Andrew Bynum has out shined him through this entire season due to the soap opera he is having in Orlando. With his post-up moves, his ability to hit the 13-foot jump/hook shot, and the fact that he is shooting 70% of his free throws this year Andrew Bynum has proven to be a much better offensive talent than Dwight Howard. Andrew Bynum has also proven he can cause the same level of intimidation on defense has Dwight Howard.
Dwight Howard is more athletic, better on a fast break, and is a better one-on-one defender than Andrew Bynum. Dwight Howard is built like Hakeem Olajuwon, he is an undersized at 6’11”, quick, and athletic center but unlike Olajuwon, Dwight does not seem capable to develop footwork, some post-up moves, or the ability to knock down that 13-foot jump/hook shot or free throws. While Andrew Bynum at 7’1″ can be like Shaquille O’Neal with his wide frame, his presence in the paint, his long arms, his passing ability and his post-up moves. Andrew Bynum’s ability to knock down free throws and that 13-foot jump/hook shot is something he has that Shaq could never have done.
I give Bynum the edge on Dwight because of his versatility on offense and his defense is nothing to sneeze at. I do not believe either of them can carry a team to a title like Hakeem. Hakeem Olajuwon and Bill Russell are the only centers to carry a team to championships. Shaquille O’Neal had Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won with Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson, and so on.