Dwight Howard's Chemistry with Pau Gasol Spells Trouble for Lakers' Opponents

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIOctober 23, 2012

Oct.1, 2012, 2012;   El Segundo, CA, USA;    Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) and power forward Pau Gasol (16) during media day at the Los Angeles Lakers Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Here's a scary formula for Los Angeles Lakers opponents: Pau Gasol's versatility and willingness to play second or third fiddle, combined with Dwight Howard's interior dominance.

The results may lead to an NBA championship.

Yes, the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Sacramento Kings in Dwight Howard's Laker debut, 99-92, but in the preseason the focus is on individual readiness and unit chemistry. The Lakers' twin towers appear to be on the same page, and that's going to be bad news for the rest of the NBA.

Howard had 19 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots. Gasol had 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

Gasol's passing ability makes the duo capable of running some of the most vicious high-low sets in recent memory; it's a perfect fit for Gasol's skills and disposition. He seems content feeding Howard from the elbow of the free-throw line—or even knocking down the 15-footer when D12 is double teamed.

In the Lakers' loss to the Sacramento Kings, Gasol showed his ability to distribute. One of his five assists came on this pretty alley-oop to D12:

This concept gives the Lakers a third entry point into an effective offensive sequence.

There is always the Kobe Bryant initiated scenarios. The Mamba can either penetrate or post, with the option to shoot or create in either situation.

Steve Nash can penetrate and create lob opportunities, pick-and-roll scores or open looks. He still creates and distributes as well as anyone in the league.

However, with Gasol capable of throwing lob passes to D12, or other nifty dishes after drawing attention, the Lakers have a third facilitator on the floor. Some might argue the Lakers had this dynamic with Andrew Bynum paired with Gasol.

While I take nothing away from Bynum, he isn't as explosive as Howard.

He's more of the classic big bodied center. Howard is a freak of nature with the ability to finish around the rim better than any big in the game.

That's the difference.

Offensively, this team has the tools to be as deadly as any team in the NBA. Believe it or not, the Mamba isn't the aspect of the attack that is most formidable.

For the Lakers, it starts with the bigs.

Howard and Gasol have a chance to be a truly special combination.


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