Sunday, January 27, 2008

Josh Howard is a focus, too

Opponents take pride in slowing down Dirk Nowitzki. It’s a feather in their cap if they can bottle up the reigning MVP. It’s the same for the Mavericks when then face the likes of Allen Iverson, who visited American Airlines Center with the rest of the Nuggets on Sunday. (Carmelo Anthony was out with an ankle sprain.)

Denver coach George Karl, no doubt, had his sights set on slowing down Nowitzki, but he wasn’t the only one on the radar. Josh Howard, an All-Star last season, is seeing more attention come his way every night.

“I don’t really pay attention to it,” Howard shrugged before the game. “I just go out there and play my game regardless of what’s going on or the defense that the other team is playing. I’m just trying to stay consistent.”

Remaining consistent is the one reason Howard is a strong contender to join the Western Conference squad in New Orleans next month. The starting small forward is having a career year – 20.6 points and 7.6 rebounds – after last year’s career year.

“Josh is a tough player to slow down because he’s mixing up his game more now,” Dallas coach Avery Johnson said. “He’s getting us layups on the break, he’s running the offense for us, he’s getting in-between shots, he’s making the long shot and now he’s making some terrific passes when he’s covered.”

Read the rest of this note and more in Mavs-Nuggets notebook at

No comments: