On paper, Dwight Howard put up the same numbers we're accustomed to seeing from the best big man in the NBA.
His 17.1 points per game during the regular season and the 17.0 points per game he averaged in the playoffs were all the result of 57.8 and 61.9 percent shooting from the field, respectively.
However, Howard is still not a dependable back-to-the-basket player and can't really generate his own offense in the half court consistently.
In essence, he hasn't really improved his offensive game since his weaknesses were exposed in the 2009 NBA Finals.
On top of that, his field-goal percentage dropped to below 50 percent this season.
While some may attribute his lack of improvement offensively to returning early from his back injury, there really is no excuse for shooting so poorly from the free-throw line when his career average is close to 60 percent.
Say what you will about his regression this season, Howard is still a premier defender and perhaps the best interior force in the NBA on the defensive end.
Averaging 12.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game this season, Howard was able to pick his spots and accumulate these numbers despite recovering from back surgery.
While he hasn't been able to contest almost every single shot like he used to back in Orlando, there is no doubt that he still has the same intimidation factor in the lane as he used to.
His defensive regression has been overblown this season due to the overall struggles of the Lakers and his exclusion from the All-Defensive team this season.
Although a healthy Howard would have definitely improved the Lakers' defense, the onus of the blame in terms of the Lakers' defensive weakness is on the system itself rather than on Howard.
Howard's tenure with the Lakers showed the fans one thing:
He is not meant for the intense pressure and spotlight of a major market like Los Angeles.
Although he should receive credit for returning early from his back surgery, it only served to magnify the flaws in his attitude and his game.
At odds with Kobe Bryant for the duration of the series while playing unhappily for Mike D'Antoni, Howard was never able to find a comfort zone with the Lakers.
Furthermore, the fact that Howard has not improved his post game since his weakness was exposed in 2009 is a serious knock on his credibility as the greatest big man in the game.
Though he is definitely a game-changer on the defensive end when healthy, his lack of improvement on offense and his regression at the free-throw line make it hard to really create a post-oriented system around him.
FINAL GRADE: C+