Dwight Howard has struggled in his quest to improve the Los Angeles Lakers. However, the entire team has been taking lumps and the brass recently decided to can coach Mike Brown in order to help turn this around.
While that may be a significant change, the Lakers will not improve significantly until DH12 turns things on and starts living up to expectations. He was certainly not acquired in a blockbuster trade to man the pivot for a squad that is just 2-4 and currently looking lifeless.
Let’s take a look at what Howard must do to better his game and lift the Lakers up.
Dwight has long been one of the most athletic men in the NBA, especially insane considering his position and height (center, 6’11”).
However, after undergoing back surgery this past spring, it’s clear that DH12 isn’t in shape. He’s slow to get up and down the floor and his inhuman leaping ability seems to be gone.
Howard must get in the weight room and work with trainers to get back to full health in time for the postseason. Otherwise, the Lakers are going to have trouble getting past some of their younger foes.
While some of Howard’s defensive problems can be blamed upon trying to learn a new system and recover from injury, he’s got to do a better job adapting to defending the post with Pau Gasol around.
This squad needs him to protect the basket, considering the age of Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace. There are going to be plenty of times when athletic players are able to penetrate, which is exactly what Howard is supposed to address.
If he doesn’t step up on that end of the floor soon, it’s going to be tough for the Lakers to climb above .500.
Howard is averaging 3.5 turnovers, which surprisingly isn’t a career high (he ditched the ball 3.9 times per game back in 2006-2007).
That atrocious number needs to trend downwards and soon. DH12 isn’t touching the ball enough to give it away over three times per game.
If Steve Nash returns to the lineup and Howard still keeps coughing up the orange, there’s going to need to be some major adjustments to the offense.
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