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Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 at 10:15 am  |  14 responses

Dwight Howard Thinks He’s in Much Better Shape Now


Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard is beginning to look like his old, superstar self again. After dominating dominating the Milwaukee Bucks last night to the tune of 31 points and 16 rebounds in a Lakers win, Howard said that his surgically-repaired back and fitness are starting to come around. Per the OC Register: “I did feel a lot better tonight,’ said Howard. ‘I just have to continue to play hard. My fitness is coming back a little bit. I’m in much better shape and they are finding me in the right spots. We just have to continue to play with energy and effort and believe we can turn this thing around.’ Mike D’Antoni said he’s noticed a change in Howard’s play. ‘I think he keeps getting stronger,’ the coach said. ‘Obviously, he’s what we were missing when he was out. You know, he’s a heck of a presence inside. He alters a lot of shots. I don’t know how many blocks he had, but besides that, he just alters so many when he’s in there.’ For the record, Howard had four blocked shots. ‘He’s getting back to his old ways and he’s moving a little bit better,’ Bucks forward Larry Sanders said. ‘I’m happy for him. He’s a load down there and once he plants his feet, he’s pretty hard to move. There are a couple of guys in the league like that and he’s definitely in the top two.’”

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  • Ben Ireland

    The 1 seed is a distant memory but we can still make the playoffs, I hope… And once you’re in, no matter the seed, it’s usually the best team goes through. If the team clicks as time goes on, they have a shot, especially if Dwight’s back to being healthy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509819249 Gaurav P.

    Losing Jordan Hill was a big blow. The Lakers have enough talent to beat the younger teams that are just up and coming, but there is no way this team ever gets through teams with infinitely more chemistry than them + more talent (OKC, Spurs, Memphis, etc.).

    They need to bolster that bench in the off season.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jay.brodes Jay Brodes

    d12 is looking like he is turning a corner. he and kb are beasting. a little worried about kb’s minutes with him guarding kyrie and jennings back to back but so far so good. i like earl in starting line up. he is a good glue guy that does not demand ball or need the ball!

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    The chances of them even making the playoffs are extremely small

  • thetruth

    Memphis has chemistry? must not be too good since they are shopping Rudy Gay.

  • thetruth

    and losing Jordan Hill isn’t a big blow if Earl Clark continues to produce.

  • Ben Ireland

    It looks that way, but I think that’s just the way the Lakers have been playing, we can’t see them as being able to rip off a nice run. At the moment, the 8th seed is Portland at 20-18… The Lakers are at 17-21, with a lotta season left. They’d be a low seed, but they could sneak in, if they can put together a few 4 or 5 game win streaks here or there. I’d say it’s more likely than not they manage, though I’m biased haha. But talent wins out, right?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    On average in takes 47.5 wins to be the 8-seed in the West. Which is where I’m coming from in tes of it being unlikely

  • Ben Ireland

    Yeah the bench is weak, though with Chris Duhon as the backup point, we knew that going in… Earl Clark’s been on a tear lately ! Hope he continues to produce, he’s only a 2009 draft pick, he could become a legitimately good player. Jordan Hill was fine, but Earl’s giving the same things he would have. It’ll be nice to have him back though. But Meeks has shown flashes, I honestly thought he’d be much better than he has been. Blake’s a solid backup whenever he returns, Jamison’s starting to look a little better… I don’t think we’re a contender, but if you told me we beat San Antonio or Memphis, I wouldn’t be shocked. The playoffs are a different animal and a healthy Dwight, with Pau playing from about 15-18 out at the top of the key… It’s conceivable they could challenge eventually. And much like Miami got veterans after their first year, I’d say the Lakers will too. Just give it time really.

  • Ben Ireland

    Ah, then I really won’t disagree, but I’d counter that the East is alot stronger now, Dallas has looked just awful, who’re a regular playoff team, and Golden State have been amazing to watch, so much so that I really genuinely hope they keep it up, but I’d say it’s likely they fall a little back to earth. Playoffs almost definitely though. The Lakers will play Houston one or two more times, those are winnable games, and Houston aren’t great, though Harden’s a star. The Lakers could take Portland too, I think, if they started playing better. I’d say 6 or 7 seed is conceivable. But 48 wins… Might be a little optimistic after this start. But I don’t think that 48 wins is the barrier this year either.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    No doubt, That’s totally fair

  • LakeShow

    Earl gives them more than Hill if he keeps developing that 3 point shot.
    He’s not as good on defense, but he also is pretty decent defensively. Very quick feet and hands. I like his game allot.

  • Ben Ireland

    No doubt, he reminds me alot of Jamison, though maybe more traditional haha. I was shocked at his output when he was given minutes, but I think his true value lies somewhere in the middle of where he’s at now, and when he was producing nothing at all. Ride him while he’s hot though, it’s working ! And we don’t need a superior defender anyway if Dwight is healthy, Stick out Earl and Dwight, that’s good enough to handle most front courts in the league. Add in Pau, and it’s overkill (I hope!)

  • LakeShow

    Things are on the up and up!

    (dammit, The Heat on Thurday…)

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