Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it. Dwight Howard wanted to get away from the Orlando Magic badly over the course of the last two seasons, and now, he has what he wanted. He’s playing under the bright lights of the Los Angeles Lakers, he’s playing with some other superstars that are surefire Hall of Famers when push comes to shove. However, with the good comes a ton of scrutiny, both from the LA media and from his teammates.
Yes, matters in Tinseltown are anything but cheery at the moment, as Howard and the Lakers are just 25-28 coming into Thursday’s first-half finale against the Los Angeles Clippers. If the playoffs were to start today, LA would be left out, and it really wouldn’t even be all that close. In the second half of the season, there are still three games to be made up to catch the Houston Rockets.
From a statistical standpoint, Howard hasn’t been a tremendous disappointment this season. His 16.3 points per game are low, but he is still a monster on the glass with 11.9 rebounds per game and is one of the best defensive players in the league, averaging 2.4 blocks and 1.0 steals per night. His foul shooting has been abysmal once again at just 49.5 percent, but what else is new?
The problems with Howard have revolved around what are perceived to be little nagging injuries. First it was his back. Then it was his shoulder. Only Howard knows just how injured he really is and what needs to be done to fix it, but Kobe Bryant and the media have been on Howard’s back about getting back on the court and playing through pain to help out the team.
If we had to make our NBA predictions though, Howard and the Lakers are going to just barely get into the playoffs, only to ultimately get swept away by one of the top teams in the Western Conference. From that point, it’s up to Howard and the Lakers to decide if they want to continue their relationship and ink a long-term contract, or part ways and let the Dwightmare head to another city next season.