Lakers Rumors: Los Angeles Needs Dwight Howard Starting from Day 1

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistOctober 3, 2012

EL SEGUNDO, CA - OCTOBER 01:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers laughs as he poses for members of the media during Media Day at Toyota Sports Center on October 1, 2012 in El Segundo, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

After acquiring All-Star center Dwight Howard in the blockbuster trade of the decade, the Los Angeles Lakers' next big question mark was concerning when they would get their injured star on the court.

If the latest reports are true, Los Angeles won’t be waiting long at all.

Yahoo! Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting on Howard’s target return date after season-ending back surgery:

Five months after back surgery, All-Star center Dwight Howard has targeted his Los Angeles Lakers debut for opening night of the 2012-13 season, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Howard is determined to play against the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 30 at Staples Center, and his progress in recent weeks has strengthened the possibility, sources said.

While the Lakers will just be glad to see their huge offseason investment on the floor, Los Angeles needs its star center on the court as soon as possible to start the process of building team chemistry.

The talk of the Lakers contending for a NBA title this year is already taking over the sports world, but they won’t win a series in the playoffs if all the megastars on the roster don’t find out how they play together and how to make each other better.

With no chemistry, L.A. will be nothing but pretender.

As we’ve seen with the Miami Heat and their super-team, it takes time for players to grow accustomed to each other and their styles of play. Unlike Miami, Los Angeles doesn’t have the luxury of time.

Newly acquired point guard Steve Nash is 38 years old, Kobe Bryant is 34 years old and Pau Gasol is 32 years old, effectively making the Lakers one of the most talented teams in the league, but also one of the oldest.

Howard must get back on the court as soon as possible to start the process of learning each other’s mannerisms and skills so when they do play games that really count in the playoffs, they will know what it takes to win.

Los Angeles will already be behind the eight ball because of the missed offseason practices and preseason games from the star center, but Howard must keep himself ready for action as soon as he is cleared.

The combined age of the team is scary enough, but their lack of playing time together is the biggest issue. Howard needs to get back fast.


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