Since being drafted first overall by the Orlando Magic in 2004, Philadelphia 76ers center Dwight Howard has put together a Hall-of-Fame-caliber career. Howard has been named to eight All-Star teams, eight All-NBA teams, and five All-Defensive teams. He was named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year three times, he led the league in blocks twice, he won the Slam Dunk Contest in 2008 and he was a key contributor to the Los Angeles Lakers title team last season.
Out of all the things that Howard does well on a basketball court, rebounding is his strong suit. Howard has led the league in rebounding a whopping five times, and he currently sits 12th on the league's list of all-time rebounding leaders, only a few hundred boards away from moving into the top ten.
Now, at 35 years old in the midst of his 17th professional season and what could be considered the twilight of his career, one would assume that Howard's rebounding rate has slowed since his peak playing days. But, that isn't the case. In fact, the opposite has occurred as Howard is quietly having the most productive rebounding season of his career.
With the Sixers, Howard is playing fewer minutes per game than he ever has before (17.4), but he's grabbing more rebounds than he ever has on a per-minute basis. On the season, Howard is averaging 17 rebounds per 36 minutes of playing time -- the highest mark of his career. His 11.6 defensive rebounds and 5.4 offensive rebounds per 36 minutes are career highs, as is his total rebound percentage of 25.9. In other words, Howard isn't playing nearly as much, but he's rebounding the ball more efficiently than he did when he led the league in rebounding on five separate occasions.