Skip to content

Dwight Howard says he’s playing through a lot of pain, but it’s more than that

Feb 11, 2013, 3:55 PM EST

Dwight Howard AP

Nobody is questioning that Dwight Howard is playing through shoulder pain.

What Steve Nash on the court Sunday and countless others off the court have questioned is why that means he can’t move his feet quickly?

Once again on Sunday against the Heat Howard was solid — 15 points and 9 rebounds in 41 minutes — but he is not the game changing, dominant force the Lakers expected or need if they plan to make the playoffs.

The shoulder injury is part of that and it bothers him every game because it gets hit and his arm gets pulled, Howard told Eric Adelson of Yahoo Sports.

On his first trip down the court, Dwight Howard felt Miami Heat players grabbing at his injured right arm.

“They got me early,” he told Yahoo! Sports in the quiet of the Lakers locker room after Sunday’s 107-97 loss. “They would yank it back.”

Howard said the Bobcats did the same thing in Charlotte Friday night – even worse, in fact.

“It’s like a jolt,” he said. “Then it hurts the rest of the night.”

But again, that doesn’t address things like the play where the near pacifist Steve Nash snapped at Howard on the court against the Heat. Nash drove baseline and got trapped by his man Mario Chalmers and Howard’s man Udonis Haslem. Everyone else was covered and Nash wanted Howard to cut to an open spot where he could get him the ball. Howard stood flat-footed waiving his arms expecting some kind of miracle pass to reach him.

Movement has been a key issue for Howard, something well stated by Kevin Ding at the Orange County Register — Howard’s defensive rotations are not crisp and on offense he just wants the ball in the post.

In Howard’s eyes, he was open, so give him the ball. That has been Howard’s point of view much of the season: He simply wants the ball, wants his touches, wants his shots – and yet refuses to buy into the D’Antoni doctrine that “the ball finds energy.”

If Howard really lusts for individual offense so badly, why not try harder to get the ball? Even if he can’t explode like he did when he fully trusted his body, at least try to do something. Just look at how well things went even with makeshift non-Nash point guards for Jordan Hill – with a herniated disk in his back and other injuries before requiring hip surgery – when he simply rolled hard off picks.

The Lakers are not out of the playoff hunt in the West, they remain just 3.5 games back of the Rockets for the eighth seed in the West. But the Rockets are on pace to get 44 wins and are not coming back to the pack, the Lakers need to go 20-10 the rest of the way to get to 44 wins and be in that mix.

And if they can do that really comes down to Howard, his shoulder, and his feet. Kobe and Nash are doing what they can, as are the role players, but this is Dwight Howard’s time. We’ll see if he can live up to the pressure he said he wanted when he tried to get out of Orlando and came to Los Angeles.

Latest Posts
  1. Rumor: Rockets may bring in Al Harrington to bolster front court depth

    Nov 25, 2014, 6:15 PM EST

    Indiana Pacers v Washington Wizards: Game Four Indiana Pacers v Washington Wizards: Game Four

    This is a sign of how thin the front line pickings are for teams wanting depth.

  2. Timberwolves’ Kevin Martin out 6-8 weeks following surgery on fractured wrist

    Nov 25, 2014, 3:20 PM EST

    Chicago Bulls v Minnesota Timberwolves Chicago Bulls v Minnesota Timberwolves

    He will be back before the trade deadline, not that he’s that easy to move.

  3. Carmelo Anthony listed as doubtful for Wednesday’s game at Dallas

    Nov 25, 2014, 2:45 PM EST

    Carmelo Anthony Carmelo Anthony

    Anthony was forced out of Monday’s game against the Rockets with back spasms.

  4. Paul Pierce signs an autograph for a fan during game against Bucks (VIDEO)

    Nov 25, 2014, 2:00 PM EST

    Paul Pierce AP

    Pierce loves his fans — especially those from his days with the Celtics.

  5. Veteran NBA coach: ‘I think (Cavaliers head coach David Blatt) is struggling a bit’

    Nov 25, 2014, 11:45 AM EST

    Orlando Magic v Cleveland Cavaliers Getty Images

    As a first-year NBA head coach, Blatt will face plenty of scrutiny as Cleveland underachieves.

  6. Nets coach Lionel Hollins continues his criticism of Brook Lopez

    Nov 25, 2014, 11:00 AM EST

    Brooklyn Nets Open Practice Brooklyn Nets Open Practice

    Lopez was benched for the entire fourth quarter in the team’s latest loss.

  7. Mavericks ‘embarrassed’ after home loss to injury-riddled Pacers

    Nov 25, 2014, 9:05 AM EST

    Dirk Nowitzki, Luis Scola Dirk Nowitzki, Luis Scola

    Dallas gives up 111 points to a team playing without Roy Hibbert.

  8. Goran Dragic says he didn’t lobby Suns to bring in brother Zoran Dragic

    Nov 25, 2014, 8:35 AM EST

    Phoenix Suns Media Day Getty Images

    Not knowing about it and it not being about the Suns retaining Goran are two different things.

  9. James Harden with another defensive effort for the “highlight” reel (VIDEO)

    Nov 25, 2014, 8:00 AM EST

    New York Knicks v Houston Rockets Getty Images

    Harden has played better defense this season, but check out this play.

  10. Carmelo Anthony exits Knicks-Rockets game with apparent back injury

    Nov 24, 2014, 11:45 PM EST

    Carmelo Anthony Carmelo Anthony

    Anthony didn’t speak to the media after the game.

Featured video

Could Sixers be worst team in NBA history?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (9429)
  2. D. Wade (8119)
  3. P. Gasol (7460)
  4. K. Durant (6983)
  5. D. Howard (6274)
  1. K. Martin (5760)
  2. R. Westbrook (5689)
  3. T. Jones (5463)
  4. O. Asik (5283)
  5. D. Lee (5088)