Howard's potential statistical fits: Mavericks

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Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is hoping to pair Dwight Howard with Dirk NowitzkiThe third in a series of blog posts looking at Dwight Howard's statistical fit on the teams he’s most likely to sign with.

Offensive Impact

Howard was often criticized for his performance last season. Despite averaging only 17.1 points, his fewest since 2005-06, he still led the league in rebounds and ranked second in field goal percentage.

So how would he impact a Dallas Mavericks offense which ranked 11th in the NBA in offensive efficiency last season?

Howard’s addition would have an immediate effect on their interior scoring. Dallas ranked second-to-last in both offensive rebound percentage and second-chance points over the last two seasons.

During that same timeframe, Mavericks starting centers averaged 7.8 points and 5.7 rebounds. Howard more than doubled that production with 18.5 points and 13.3 boards.

Starting Centers Last 2 Seasons

Howard, whose 187 dunks ranked second behind Blake Griffin last season, had nearly as many as the Mavericks had as a team (196).

Defensive Upgrade

Howard could provide an upgrade to a Mavericks defense that ranked 20th in the NBA in defensive efficiency last season. The Lakers defensive efficiency, meanwhile, was 6.1 points better when Howard was on the court last season and his 2.5 blocks per game ranked fifth in the NBA.

Superman’s Sidekick

Dirk Nowitzki, who turned 35 in June, showed signs of wear and tear last season. He averaged 17.3 points and played in just 53 games, both the fewest since his rookie season in 1998-99.

Howard's presence could provide more open looks for Nowitzki, who ranked second in points per play on unguarded catch-and-shoot shots last season among power forwards and centers (minimum 100 shots).

A Third Team In As Many Seasons?

Howard, who will start the season at age 27, is averaging 18.3 points and 12.9 rebounds for his career. Continued production at that level could put him in the Hall of Fame conversation.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only five Hall of Famers in NBA history played for at least three different teams prior to their 28th birthday – Adrian Dantley (four), Bob Houbregs (four), Bob McAdoo (three), Alex English (three) and Moses Malone (three).

For more on Howard fits with other teams:

Lakers, Warriors, Rockets, Hawks