Friday, February 8, 2013

Opinion: Blame Howard

The Lakers looked good, for the first time this season. With Gasol back on the court, they looked like a championship contender. But one key player was missing. Dwight Howard, the Lakers' big man was out with shoulder problems. Since he was out, the Lakers did nothing but win. Then he came back. And then things went downhill.

Howard was supposed to be the Lakers' new face. With an aging Kobe Bryant, high hopes were placed on D12 to carry on the LA legacy. So far, he's done nothing to prove that he is not the player he was in Orlando. Dwight Howard is a good player. But he's not great, he doesn't fit in Kobe-World, where when Bryant talks, you listen. Steve Nash took some time, but he figured it out. Metta World Peace and Pau Gasol thrive in a system where Kobe runs the play and Gasol goes hard in the paint.

Howard whines. He doesn't listen, he talks. And in LA, the guys with the most experience and the best players do the talking. Howard doesn't deserve to talk without acting. He calls for togetherness on the team yet does nothing to try and talk to Kobe and move on. Granted, he's not the only one to blame. But he's a huge part of the problem. Look at the numbers.

When Howard's out, Gasol's in and the Lakers do fantastic. They went 3-1 on the road, and won six of eight when D12 was out with a shoulder injury. He came back earlier this week. Then the Celtics ran over the Lakers and the last place Bobcats did some serious damage. Doesn't help that Gasol is out, but that's something the Lakers can overcome. And they need to overcome the biggest obstacle, trading Dwight Howard. He's not worth the trouble now if it means a legacy later.

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