Dwight Howard needs to have a big pre-season to start off his Laker career on the right foot
Ahhhh preseason. The NBA preseason is upon us!
While the NBA preseason is a little different from what we see in MLB spring training and the NFL's preseason as far as TV coverage goes, its main focus is the same: for players and teams to get warmed up and ready to play.
While many teams and players don't take preseason as serious as the regular season, there are a few players who need to perform well in NBA's preseason, not only to help the team but to help their own confidence and the confidence of the fanbase.
Here are the five NBA players who need to have a great preseason.
Bynum was great with the Lakers...when he was healthy
Andrew Bynum is my first player who needs to have a big preseason this fall. While he will be missing a few weeks of the NBA preseason, this is still a very important time for Bynum and the Philadelphia 76ers.
Bynum has battled injuries throughout his young career. He hasn't played in more than 65 games in a season since his second season in the league in 2006. Even when Bynum was playing, fans saw him playing hurt in some situations.
Bynum's big preseason doesn't need to come on the court but off the court. He needs to spend his preseason in the doctor's office, training room and at the practice facility.
Bynum needs to get healthy and get in the gym as soon as possible to help his new team as much as he can.
This preseason is very important for Bynum to prove that he can play a whole season and produce at a high level for the duration.
Howard has dropped his Superman title and is looking to get serious and start anew with the Lakers
From the former Lakers Center to the new one, Dwight Howard is in a very similar situation to Bynum. Howard's back is still bothering him, but he's getting closer and closer to game ready.
Howard has been participating in full-speed, low-post drills in practice, trying to rehab the back that left him with "dead legs" last season.
Howard, like Bynum, needs to get his back healthy this preseason, possibly in time to get a few exhibition games in, to not only prepare himself for the season but get some in-game experience with his new team, the new and improved Los Angeles Lakers, complete with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace and fellow newbie Steve Nash.
Howard also needs to have a big preseason to show the NBA faithful that there's more to him than the Howard of last season who came off to many as whiny and childish.
This preseason is huge for Dwight Howard. The player formerly known as Superman needs to have a huge preseason of recovery and preparation to transition smoothly into a heroic effort during the regular season.
Wade has become an afterthought on the Heat after LeBron's playoff performance; he'll have to start his return to glory early.
Another big name who needs to have a big preseason this fall? Dwyane Wade. Wade missed over 15 games last season and is starting to drift from the spotlight. He played well in the postseason last year as the Heat captured the NBA title, but Wade and the rest of the Heat were overshadowed by King James capturing his first title after The Decision.
Wade missed the Olympics due to a knee injury and is still listed as day-to-day for the preseason. Wade played 23 minutes in the first preseason game in China against the Clippers and scored just five points in a rough offensive performance.
As Wade continues to get healthier and gets more playing time with his new teammates, he'll need to keep getting better offensively (in limited playing time) as the Heat approach the regular season to remind fans that King James isn't the only dominant force in Miami.
Lin came out of nowhere with the Knicks last year but will need to be front and center this postseason to help the Rockets.
Linsanity took the world by storm last season, seeing a nobody come in and take some of the NBA's teams down, hitting big shots, getting tons of assists and giving a much-needed spark to a rough team.
Linsanity ended when Lin suffered a knee injury late last season. Since then, Lin has joined the Houston Rockets and has assumed a starting role with the team.
Lin needs to have a big preseason to prove to his critics that he can take care of the ball and that he's more than just a flash in the pan.
Lin needs to take control for the Houston Rockets and help the young team make some noise in the Western Conference, and to do that, he'll have to start this preseason.
Paul hasn't been able to take the Clippers to the promised land so far, but with a good preseason, he just may!
Chris Paul is the last player on my radar that needs to have a big preseason. Paul needs to keep getting healthy this fall as he prepares to lead the Clippers to the promised land.
Paul played in 22 minutes of the Clippers' preseason game against the Miami Heat in China. In that time, he put up four points along with five rebounds and six assists.
Paul played pretty well, considering he is just two months removed from from surgery on his right thumb.
Paul needs to continue rehabbing his thumb and slowly getting more comfortable on the court during this preseason if he and the Clippers finally want to right the ship and become the team to watch in the Staples Center.
How will the preseason treat Howard and these players? We'll have to wait and see.
These five need to have a big preseason to get over injuries, begin a new legacy or even play up to their expectations.
While these players need to have a good preseason this fall, there are many other players who need to show up early this year.
What players do you think need to put it a lot of work before the regular season even starts?