Monday, April 15th, 2013 at 9:10 am  |  29 responses

Dwight Howard Says Lakers Can Win Without Kobe Bryant

by Marcel Mutoni @ marcel_mutoni

With their leader immobilized in bed and unable to contribute little more than a halftime phone call, the Los Angeles Lakers went out and played inspired ball.

Last night, the Lakers beat the San Antonio Spurs, and now need just one more win—or a Utah Jazz loss in one of their final two games—to reach the Playoffs.

Dwight Howard, now the de facto leader of this group, believes they can not only reach the postseason, but do something special once they’re in the tournament.

Per the LA Times and LA Daily News:

Kobe Bryant wasn’t at Staples Center for obvious reasons Sunday. But his prerecorded message to teammates hung in the air of the Lakers’ locker room after their 91-86 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. It can’t be printed here, the curse words definitely of the stronger variety, but Bryant’s appeal was delivered Saturday by a 30-second video recorded on General Manager Mitch Kupchak’s cellphone.

He dominated with 26 points on 9 of 15 shooting, 17 rebounds and three blocks. He dominated by still encouraging his teammates to pass the ball to others besides him. He dominated by immediately embracing this challenge. “It’s a great opportunity for me to lead this team,” Dwight Howard said. “I feel confident in myself and the guys are confident in me. I’m willing to do the best I can every single night.” [...] “Despite whatever happened this season, we have a chance to win the next game, make the playoffs and make history,” Howard said. “Me being tthe leader in the team, I believe we can win. Now we’ll go out and play like it.”

Of course, no one outside of the Lakers’ locker room truly believes this team can do any serious damage in the Playoffs should they get there.

But they seem to have faith, and that’s really all that matters at this point.

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  • Alab

    dwight wants to be the man.

  • spit hot fiyah

    win what?

  • underdog

    Basketball games.

  • LLC#12

    This team (even without Kobe) once Nash is back is still arguably better than the team Howard led to the finals. In a much tougher conference though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bcbrookins Brittany Brookins

    If he could shoot free throws he would be the man, lol idc if he never has kareem,mchale or ,hakeem like post savvy or a three like Dirk but please Dwight dedicate a whole summer to free throw shooting

  • Blarmac

    Yeah, you can still do a lot worse than a Pau-D12 front court with Nash (if he can stay healthy) running PG slot.

  • shockexchange

    “Winning without Horry Jr” should be the expectation. With Pau Gasol / Rent-A-Center at the same ____ time, L.A. has the best frontline in the L. They have been underachieving for too long. Pound that ball inside and put teams away.

  • north

    let’s be honest, the ball moved better last night than it has in a while… they have more of a chance to win a playoff series when the ball touches everyone’s hands. Sure missing the alpha dog in a close game may hurt but they probably would be in less close games when the O is balanced.

  • mike

    he proved it last night… lakers could be scary

  • uqk

    aaahhhhh another potential Ewing theory :)

  • bike

    Run the offense through Pau, pound it inside to Dwight, and they will win games. It seems so simple and yet it takes them the entire season to figure this out. Don’t get it.

  • MambaPhenom

    Dawg, they scored 91 points, and struggle to get open shots. I don’t call that ball movement exactly.

  • aj

    lol “dawg” just cuz they scored 91 points doesnt mean the ball didn’t move better…#logicalreasoning101

  • http://twitter.com/bjollz Björn Atli Davíðsson

    The Lakers sans Kobe should be Pau’s team. He’s a true professional and arguably the most talented big man in the NBA (aside from Duncan and maybe KG).

    Pau beat the Celtics in the 2010 finals, he had his way with Team USA in London. If Dwight would shut his mouth and feed off of what Pau gives him (which Pau will do, because he’s unselfish, a good passer and a winner) the Lakers can maybe still make some noise.

  • RayJr

    If Pau would’ve shot decent and Dwight made a couple more FTs they could’ve gotten 110.

  • spit hot fiyah

    oh ok, yeah, all nba teams can do that without their best player

  • Rondo=Ewing Theory

    LOL after one game, you dumb as hellllll

  • KingBenjamin

    Let’s say that somehow the Lakers magically win the championship this year, how would that reflect on Kobe’s legacy? And would that count as matching Michael Jordan’s 6 rings although he didn’t contribute in the postseason?

  • LP

    alot of ambitious reckless talking going on nowadays from these 8th seed playoff teams…..shutup, YOU BARELY MADE THE PLAYOFFS!!!

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

    like d12″s tude but this should have been and could have been avoided! too bad pjax was not in charge. a 17 yr vet should not be logging 45 min in april no matter who it is! period end of story!!

  • Ugo

    Y’all know the Spurs are a better matchup for the Lakers. Wait til they play an athletic team like Thunder, Nuggets, Clippers, etc….we won’t be having this conversation.

  • Conor

    They would not have been in position to make the Playoffs without him, so his legacy is that of a catalyst. Even as one of his biggest supporters, a hypothetical sixth in this manner would not be a “true” sixth championship.

  • mikejones

    This is the perfect opportunity for Allen Iverson to make his long awaited return to the league. Iverson would fit straight into the Lakers. The lakers were showing interest at the start of the season, and now that kobe is down they could use Iverson’s offensive punch. Iverson has the ability to create his shot for him self and others very easily. There is no reason to believe that Iverson cannot contribute at a higher level than the current Lakers guards (Meeks, Blake, Morris and even Nash).

    This could be the first ballot hall of famers last opportunity to get back in the league with a team that could really use his service and he could even help them make some noise in the playoffs.
    I am aware this is very optimistic to think this, but as a die hard Allen Iverson this could be he is very last chance at making it back.
    This just makes too much sense to me that hopefully others are thinking the same and especially the lakers organisation. Kobe mentioned Iverson earlier in the year, and i believe he mentioned into the Lakers they would take kobe’s word as gossip.


  • Nashtyfan

    Nash please comeback!

  • LakerFan

    Back up to NASH, in reality Nash is better than A.Iverson in terms of running the offense. Let’s face the truth bro!

  • http://twitter.com/vannshy vannshy

    you know it’s year 2013 right ?

  • LP

    lolllll living in the past! i’m really chuckling right now….nice try man, never give up hope..

  • http://www.facebook.com/josh.wilmo Josh Wilmo

    and how would you know that

  • whapak

    coz kobe hogging the ball too much LOL