After all, who knows more about the All-Star center than Van Gundy, the man who coached him for five seasons on the Magic. And who better to shed light on his shortcomings, particularly after Howard practically cost him his job in Orlando.
Of course, the opinions he gave in a recent interview aren't exactly what I would consider insightful:
I don’t think he looks quite as explosive or as quick as he has in the past. Now, he’s still above almost everyone in the league at that size athletically, but he has not totally looked like himself to me.
To put it bluntly: No duh, Stan.
Howard is one of the biggest, strongest players in the NBA, but even he is going to take a few months to fully recover from back surgery.
It's not like he's going to go through rehab, put in a few practices and preseason games under his belt and suddenly be able to break out his Superman dunk. Back injuries, in particular, take a lot of time to completely heal.
Howard will be back to full strength sometime in the future, but it's hard to say exactly when.
That, in addition to his attempt to define his role in Los Angeles, has slowed him down a bit.
Will his explosiveness ever completely return? That's hard to say, but there should be a noticeable improvement in his movement—and subsequently, his performance—in 2013.