- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 13, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Dwight Howard watched numerous replays of his vicious dunk over Jrue Holiday, which he considered one of his best of the season.

Orlando’s players were hysterical in the locker room on Monday night in Philadelphia after the poster-worthy dunk, which featured Howard slamming home a lob pass on top of the 76ers guard. Holiday was badly out of position with his back to Howard in a futile attempt to defend it.

Howard then went home and watched it “probably a million times.”

“That wasn’t my fault. He jumped and tried to block it and so the rest is history,” Howard said. “I asked him that when we were coming down the court. I said ‘what were you thinking?’ And he was just like, ‘I don’t know, man.’”

Now Howard is focused on different videos _ ones that show his struggles against the Atlanta Hawks this season.

With Orlando and Atlanta set to meet in the playoffs, Howard said the series is “all going to start with me” after the Hawks held him to his lowest shooting percentage against any team while winning three of four meetings this season.

“The game that we won, I dominated that game and I have to dominate every game in order for us to beat these guys,” Howard said during a phone interview to discuss his involvement in “Dribble to stop Diabetes.”

“They’re going to come at me hard, I understand that, so I’ve just got to be above any and everything that they put in front of me and hopefully we’ll have another great series against them like we had last year.”

Orlando overpowered Atlanta in the second round last year, winning by an average of 25.3 points in the most lopsided sweep in NBA history.

The Hawks reversed things this season in part because of their defense against the All-Star center. Howard shot only 43.1 percent against Atlanta, well below his 59 percent mark that was second in the league.

After shooting 10 of 20 for 27 points in Orlando’s Nov. 8 victory, Howard was held below 50 percent in the last three games, including a 4-for-13 showing in the Atlanta’s 85-82 victory on March 30. He credited the Hawks’ length and realized while watching film of the games that he was sometimes impatient instead of taking his time when they pressured him.

“They did a pretty good job of having everybody in the paint and forcing me to throw the ball out or rush shots. So I look forward to the playoffs,” Howard said.

Howard said he became involved in “Dribble to stop Diabetes,” a program to raise awareness about the disease, because of the effects it had on his family.

“I’ve seen a lot of things that have happened with my family members and what diabetes did to their bodies and just what it did to our family,” Howard said. “We lost three family members because some of the complications that come from having diabetes.”

He said children need to be aware of the epidemic, particularly in the South, rich with fried and fast food. He’s monitored his own love of cheeseburgers and said young people need to understand the importance of moderation.

“It might not affect you now, but will affect you later on,” he said.

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On the web:

http://www.nba.com/nbafit/stopdiabetes/

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