Video breakdown: Dwight Howard's defense keeps getting better

USA TODAY Sports

Dwight Howard's defense has been dominant since the All-Star break. A video breakdown looking at how he's beginning to looking like that center the Lakers traded for from the Orlando Magic.

(Direct YouTube link here)

Dwight Howard's defense has vastly improved since the All-Star break. The once plodding along big man is spry again, looking much like the defensive player of the year he once was.

While the Los Angeles Lakers battle for a spot in the playoffs, there's still a season beyond 2012-2013 to worry about, and Howard has made it clear that there's every reason to believe he can continue his path to being a healthy All-World defender once again.

He's running the floor in transition, he's destroying pick and rolls, he's covering a ton of ground. When the Lakers played the Sacramento Kings it was most noticeable as he moved like a lunatic covering as much ground as we've seen any Lakers defender in the last few years.

The defensive tone he sets for Los Angeles can't be crunched down to a single statistic, but just looking at the stats when he's both on and off the floor are telling. Since the All-Star break the Lakers give up an average of 100.4 points per 100 possessions when Howard is their anchor, but an atrocious 115.8 when he's off the court.

Yes, a 15.4 differential on the defensive end. For comparison's sake, Roy Hibbert is having an amazing year defensively with a defensive rating of 94.3 for the Indiana Pacers being locked in while he's playing, and a 97.6 rating when he's off.

That's a testament to how Indiana plays defense, though, and also a giant arrow pointing at the defense as a whole for Los Angeles.

- Drew

- Follow this author on Twitter @DrewGarrisonSBN

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