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Dwight Howard’s status still murky for Sunday night vs. the Kings

Oct 21, 2012, 9:00 AM EDT

Dwight Howard AP

First, reports stated that Dwight Howard was going to play against the Kings. Upon hearing those reports, Mike Brown noted that it was far from certain Howard would suit up and added that his big man would need to get through Saturday’s practice without any setbacks.

Well, Saturday has come and gone and with Dwight available to speak to his status, what do we know? It turns out not much more than we did on Friday.

From Lisa Dillman of the L.A. Times:

“We’ll see tomorrow,” Howard said Saturday, playfully. “What will make the final decision? What’s the guy from ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’

“‘Your final answer.’ That’s the guy. He’ll make the final decision tomorrow.”

The Lakers have been cautious with Howard, taking the long view in his recovery. They need him healthy for the stretch run of the season and into the playoffs. In other words, in May and June, not October.

That said, the Lakers would be best served if they started to build some in game chemistry sooner than later. It’s one thing to get to practice together. And, by all accounts, Howard has looked great in that setting. But the real evaluation and the growing pains that come with integrating him into the lineup will only come with game action.

And there will be some growing pains. Howard is sure to be rusty after not playing in an NBA game since April. Plus, he’s joining an entirely new team with an offensive system he has never played in and players whose games, tendencies, and comfort zones he needs to learn. It will take time for Dwight Howard to look like the Dwight Howard we’re used to seeing.

The Lakers are also at the point in the preseason that there’s little to be gleaned from these games without Dwight joining his mates. The starters have looked good in his absence but the bench hasn’t yet found it’s stride. Most of that has been due to Mike Brown carrying 20 players and insisting on playing all of them, but it’s also reflective of the Lakers not being able to set a rotation that even remotely resembles what they’ll use when the games start to matter. Howard is a major domino in setting up those rotations.

You don’t want to put too much meaning into the preseason — especially for a veteran team like the Lakers. But all the newness with this team does present some hurdles to clear if all the team isn’t available to play. Howard finally taking the floor in games will help start the Lakers on the path towards where they want to go this year.

But until it actually happens the Lakers are effectively spinning their wheels and waiting. Maybe that wait ends tonight. Like Howard said, we’ll just have to wait and see.

  1. manchestermiracle - Oct 21, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    Yet another (non) story speculating about a preseason game. Yes, Howard’s new to the team, along with Nash. Yes, it will take some time for them to all get used to one another. Yes, this will not happen right away. Yes, we know the LAKERS’ bench is a big question mark.

    Of course “(y)ou don’t want to put too much meaning into the preseason” because it means absolutely nothing. In fact, you better not put too much into the first few weeks of the regular season, either. The LAKERS will start slowly, while some other teams shoot out of the gate. Come the new year, the LAKERS will begin to mesh nicely and go on a run. The teams that looked great at the start? They’ll come back to the pack. By March the LAKERS will do what they’ve historically done: Be positioning themselves for a high playoff seed.

    A veteran team knows what a long grind an NBA season really is and will insure that they find the rhythm and pace that best suits them. That is hardly “spinning their wheels and waiting.” All the angst being currently expressed on here by writers and commentators is much ado about nothing.

  2. lakerluver - Oct 21, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    Couldn’t have said it any better myself.

  3. paulhargis53 - Oct 21, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    lakerluver, no, you couldnt have. Which is why you should just read the posts and not type anything.

    Jerk off.

  4. BigBeachBall - Oct 21, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Shaq junior playing tonight?

  5. lakerluver - Oct 21, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    Speaking of someone who shouldn’t post!! By now it should be apparent to everybody who reads your crap that you know very little about the NBA. You’re an idiot and no longer worth the time it takes to type a comment. I ONLY interact on this site with “knowledgable” sports fans. Go away, loser.

  6. paulhargis53 - Oct 21, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Same old song and dance lakerslurper.

    Listen dumbass, its apparent to everyone that you were on FIVE seperate articles, goading me into responding to you.
    Now, you’re telling me to go away? That’s pretty funny you psychopath.

    You telling me I don’t know anything about basketball is like someone telling the pope he knows nothing about religion.

    You brought this on yourself, I was all set to leave you be, but you just had to poke the bear.

    Jerk off.

    • limonadamas - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:05 AM

      psy·cho·path (sk-pth)
      n. A person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse.

      Even if you disagree with lakerluver’s over-the-top delivery or even if he is a “know nothing” about hoops, there’s nothing aggressive, perverted, criminal, amoral, nonempathetic, or remorseless about what he posts.

      You, on the other hand… yeah. You need help. You probably don’t want any though.

  7. lakerluver - Oct 21, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Hey, @manchester, I like how you spell LAKERS! Nice touch and very appropriate!!

  8. paulhargis53 - Oct 21, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Wow, I am going to have to change your name to manchestersucker…..

  9. paulhargis53 - Oct 22, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Limon, so what’s your point?

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