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He’s only 27 years old, but Dwight Howard already has eight years in the NBA and a major back surgery under his belt.
He is no longer the young powerhouse center that he used to be purely because his body has taken a beating from injury. ESPN Los Angeles even reports that Howard is playing through his labrum pain, which certainly won’t help him in the long run.
The strain put on his body shows in his statistics. Though he still grabs rebounds because of his impressive size, Howard has less success in other areas. For example, during the Lakers’ 122-105 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 5, Howard had 16 rebounds but only six points, no assists and no steals.
His points average for this season is also down from his career average. For the 2012-13 season, he is averaging 15.9 points per game, which is nearly three points lower than his 18.2 career points per game average.
Howard is strong in terms of rebounding, but his injuries are holding him back from playing like he used to. The reality is, he may never play as well as he did in Orlando.