Howard initially hurt his shoulder on Friday, when the big man had his arms intertwined with those of Caron Butler of the Clippers, and then tried to play through the pain on Sunday in a loss to the Denver Nuggets.
While DH12 was able to grab 26 rebounds (a career high), he was apparently in extreme pain after the contest and the team brass made the wise decision to deactivate him for a short period.
With Howard on the sideline, he finally has some time to catch his breath, get his legs back under him and fully heal his shoulder—which allegedly isn’t hurt all that bad.
According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles:
Two Lakers sources told ESPN on Monday that they are cautiously optimistic Howard's injury isn't that severe and will heal within a week or two. Holding him out in the short term is "more precautionary," one source said.
Even if Howard could technically play the entirety of Tuesday night’s matchup against the Houston Rockets, it’s the right decision to make sure he’s fully healthy and ready for an extended stretch upon his return.
The Lakers need consistency more than anything, so having an ineffective Howard bouncing in and out of the lineup is the last thing the franchise should be dealing with right now.
Should Howard sit if he could feasibly play?
The decision-makers need to keep DH12 on the pine until his shoulder is fully repaired and it looks healthy enough to not give any more problems this season.
Whether that process takes two days, a week or a month, Los Angeles must continue exercising extreme precaution with Dwight Howard.
The future of the franchise is potentially at stake and it’s imperative that DH12 gets back to 100 percent.