(Not, directed at LKB, but anybody that thinks the years when Orlando was doing well with Howard were space and pace teams, either doesn't understand what the phrase means or doesn't remember that era of basketball. The year they made the NBA championship they were 12th in pace in the league. This year that 12th would put them dead last in the NBA in pace. The next year, which is the year I took the stats from, they were 18th in the NBA in pace. Even for that era, they were essentially an average pace team, but an average pace team then is last in pace now.)
You seem to be suggesting that Howard was an equivalent to DeAndre Jordan.
That isn't the case. DeAndre Jordan in his best years was assisted over 65% of the time at the rim and from 3-10 feet (and really over 70% at the rim). In 2009, for Howard those numbers were 58% and 36%. The year before (the championship year), those numbers are 53 and 49%. Clearly, he was making his own offense much more than Jordan (and a larger percentage than 2000 Shaq).
Now for Shaq, Shaq's best move was easily the put the shoulder into the guy to dislodge him and then spin and dunk while the defender is recovering. The hook wasn't that good of a move for Shaq and people would have given him the hook all day vs. the drop step/spin move.
Now, we only have data with shoots broken down starting in 2000, but Howard's 2009 hook numbers are better than Shaq's 2000 (more hooks, with a higher percentage, and fewer assists).
And Howard is assisted a lower percentage of times than Shaq both at the rim and from 3-10 feet.
I'm not saying Howard is an all time great post player. My point was to take a guy that wasn't a DeAndre Jordan, but shot a very high % (over all higher than Hakeem ever did) and use his at the rim and 3-10 feet number to get what would be reasonable for a post center. I'd happily use Hakeem's data, but the data doesn't go back that far.
But I'll even do the same math with Shaq's 2000 data. In 2000, Shaq shoots 78.5% at the rim. He shoots 41.9% from 3-10 feet. Now, I pulled 1/4 of Hakeem's post ups being shots at the rim (based on 1/2 of a game). That gives 18.85 points on 20 shots. Not very good. Shooting 32% from the 3 point line is going to give you more points.
(Now, let me say, I don't think that calculation is fair to Shaq. Because I don't know anybody that dunked as many post ups as Shaq so I'm going to try and break the numbers down another way to show where I think a Shaq in his prime might actually still be a useful NBA player today.
Shaq has 251 shots unassisted that year at the rim and another 291 from 3-10 feet. Now, let's say all of those start with a Shaq post up. This means that Shaq is getting to the rim on 46% of his post ups (much more than the 1/4 from Hakeem from that 1/2 of that one game). Now, I don't think that 46% is really right because some of those shots are coming from offensive rebounds and the like, and I strongly suspect that's an over estimate of how many post ups ended up as dunks. But we are giving the advantage to the post-up offense.
Now, I'm going to assume that Shaq is finishing shots at the rim and 3-10 feet the same assisted as unassisted (which I doubt, but I think I'm giving the benefit to Shaq's post ups as I suspect he in reality finished at a higher rate assisted).
If we give Shaq 20 post ups, 9.26 times he finishes at the rim where he has a shooting percentage of 78.5%. He also has another 10.74 shots from 3-10 feet where he has a shooting percentage of 41.9%, which gives him 24 points (I rounded up). And Shaq then offensively is really equivalent to about a 40% 3 point shooter.
And if I do the same calculation, with Howard, the number turns into 23 points on 20 post ups, but Howard was a guy whose best move was like Shaq and to over power the guy and then dunk.
Now, again, I think the calculations benefit the post-up game because they assume the post up shoots as high a percentage as the assisted play in the same range, which I doubt and assuming that post ups were scored at the same rate as non-assisted non-post up shots (e.g. shots off offensive rebounds, which I also doubt. But even given that, you can still see the limitation of the post game.)