Dwight Howard or Chris Paul: Who Will Gotham Be Cheering for in 2012?

Chris HaydukCorrespondent IIMay 3, 2011

These two players are dueling for the hearts of the NYC faithful.
These two players are dueling for the hearts of the NYC faithful.Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The debate over who the New York Knicks should acquire to complete their Big Three has been talked about since the toast that Chris Paul gave at Carmelo Anthony's wedding.  The two main candidates mentioned are Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, with compelling arguments being made for both of them.  However, I think Howard is clearly not the right choice for the Knicks despite their problems with rebounding and interior defense.

Really, there is only one problem I see with bringing in Dwight, albeit a major one.  A huge issue would crop up in the offense with him in NY along with Amar'e and Carmelo, especially since Mike D'Antoni might not be with the team once we get him. 

The first issue on offense is that both STAT and Melo love to isolate and hold the ball in their hands.  Bringing in Dwight would make this even worse.  Not only does he isolate, but he takes several seconds off the shot clock in the post before making his move, and if he decides that he doesn't want to shoot, it will likely be too late with little time left on the shot clock and a stagnated offense caused by standing around, watching him go to work. 

Second, his presence would almost surely clog up the paint.  Both Melo and Amar'e love to attack the rim when the opportunity presents itself.  The only problem is, Dwight is always hanging around down there.  He, along with the opposing team's two bigs, would make it so crowded in the middle that it would not be practical to even attempt to drive through all of that traffic.  It would turn them into a very jumpshot-oriented team, which would take away two weapons from the repertoire of Carmelo and Amar'e: Attacking the rim and getting to the foul line.

If you've noticed by now, the problems created by Howard are things that Paul would contribute to and improve upon.  His passing ability and court vision would allow him to find Amar'e and Melo for open shots and quick slashes to the rim, unleashing their full offensive potential.  He would also spread the ball around the offense, keeping it fluid with a lot of ball movement, eliminating the problem of our iso-friendly players. 

While many may ask about our center issues, I am sure we could find one whether it be through the draft or free agency.  They don't have to be superstars, they just have to be prepared to do the dirty work: Setting picks, grabbing rebounds and blocking shots.  The only offensive skill they would need is dunking. 

However, if we switched this around and had Dwight with a decent point guard, it would create just as many problems as it solved.  Although our rebounding and defense would be fixed, we would have a severe lack of ball movement and create a horrible situation when driving into the paint.  With the other scenario, we fix our defense and rebounding, while also adding a star point guard in CP3. 

To me it seems like an obvious choice, but I want to hear your opinion.  Who do you think the Knicks should go for?  Let me know in the comments below.