Around The World (Wide Web): Dwight, Nash, OT Breakdown, X-Mas

Ryan Cole —  December 24, 2012

From Sam Amick, USA Today Sports: Dwight Howard was sitting down on Friday, which is good considering the topics at hand. His surgically-repaired back that still isn’t right yet. The Lakers’ defense that’s in need of a heart transplant. The reputation that he’s still trying to repair after the tumultuous path he took to get here. It made all sorts of sense that Howard stayed seated for this weighty discussion.While Steve Nash would make his return the following night, the two-time MVP point guard bringing his offensive wizardry back to the Lakers in a 118-115 overtime win at Golden State that was the fourth in a row for the 13-14 squad, Howard’s focus both then and now is on the other end.Howard is well aware that the Lakers’ demise comes with a ripple effect, his name as the best defender in the game dishonored a little more with every hapless defensive effort. For all the silliness that never stops with Howard, he has no shortage of pride. What he doesn’t have and so badly needs, however, is the physical capability to play like the dominant force he’s been for most of eight seasons. Howard is progressing quickly these days, but he said he’s still feeling the effects of the April surgery to repair a herniated disk. In other words, Dwight Howard still isn’t Dwight Howard just yet.

From Dave McMenamin, ESPN Los Angeles:  Steve Nash sat on the bench and he wondered. He’d been rehabbing his left leg for seven weeks after fracturing his fibula in just the second game of the Los Angeles Lakers’ season. He had to watch from the sidelines as his team cycled through three head coaches and fell lower and lower in the standings. Now here he was, back in his No. 10 jersey, sweat dripping from his freshly coifed hair as he looked at the scoreboard only to see his Lakers trailing the Golden State Warriors by 13 heading into the fourth quarter on Saturday. He came back for this? Was it going to be just another road loss in a season that had already seen L.A. drop eight of its first 12 games away from Staples Center? Or did he and his teammates have something in them yet to be discovered?  The way they ended up going was the way many envisioned the Lakers setting out this season when Nash and Dwight Howard and Co. came together in purple and gold this summer.

From Ben Bolch, LA Times: Kobe Bryant didn’t hide his disdain when a television reporter asked him to read a few lines from a Christmas poem for an on-air spot to be used later. “Are you serious?” the Lakers guard said last week as he reviewed the script inside his team’s practice facility. He eventually complied with a perfunctory performance. Teammate Dwight Howard was far more amenable to the same request, the center dramatically repeating the words and putting his own colorful spin on a classic tale.”Happy Christmas to all,” Howard said, breaking out a wide smile, “and to all a good Dwight!” It’s Christmastime again in the NBA, meaning that scores of players are splitting into ho-ho-ho and bah-humbug factions over more than just potentially irksome promotional demands.

From Drew Garrison, Silver Screen & Roll: Saturday night marked the return of Steve Nash for the Los Angeles Lakers, just one game after Pau Gasol made his return. In a thriller of a game, the Lakers prevailed 118-115, in overtime. Things weren’t always smooth or easy for L.A., but they once again came back from behind in a game they spent being outplayed. In overtime, the Lakers looked to using the key for their offense, Steve Nash, and it worked like a charm. While not every play converted into points the sets they ran created great opportunities for the Lakers, and with a little more time and familiarity, show the promise of how deadly the offense can be in the half court as a team. We’ll be breaking down a handful of plays from overtime, and then a bonus addition of an inbounds play the Lakers ran twice with two very different outcomes (the first time they ran it it turned into an easy dunk for Kobe Bryant. The second time? An even more potent result).

From Kevin Ding, OC Register: The way you view your mortality will be the same way you live your life. Romantic or matter-of-fact, defiant or defeatist, how you deal with the gifts and challenges you encounter every day will color your glasses when you start pondering the grimmest of realities. Athletes have to cope with these ideas, in a far less morbid sense, when their playing careers begin to run out. The Lakers, with guards Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash playing their 17th NBA seasons and coming together to try and win now, are the most curious case in this regard. While Bryant has become a legend by stiff-arming any and all adversity, few have analyzed and executed their way to excellence better than Nash, 38. He has come to a wonderful peace and perspective about the past seven-plus weeks healing a tricky leg fracture and all the massive expectations on him to save the Lakers now and re-establish the possibility of his own first NBA title. Basketball immortality has come to these two guys who aren’t that much bigger than the average guy. How? Just look at the masterful way they have motivated themselves – and now faced with basketball mortality, Bryant and Nash are again keeping their eyes steady and their jaws strong. Which brings us to the other Lakers superstar, one who has been grappling with more mortal thoughts than most understand: Dwight Howard.

 

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Ryan Cole

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22 responses to Around The World (Wide Web): Dwight, Nash, OT Breakdown, X-Mas

  1. Here’s one more – wishing y’all a very Sager Christmas.

    http://tinyurl.com/cl6m56r

  2. Just read the Yahoo story on Howard. He says he is still injured and not what he used to be. Based on the Lakers under .500 12, place position would not they have been better off resting him until January?

    Couldn’t do worse with Hill and Pau at center and would perhaps have a better Dwight the 2nd half. I question who made that call and hope the rush won’t effect his recovery.

  3. Is Kobe shooting too much or are certain Lakers shooting too little? A subtle point which speaks to aggression and the desperation of which Nash speaks. The more aggressive players tend to get the most shots,

  4. Merry christmas fellow fb&g posters. enjoy your holidays as all laker fans will because we’re winning this game. Thanks for leaving room aboard the optomism train robert i’m officially back on it.

  5. Happy Holidays FB&G, and a Laker win on Christmas day!

  6. Welcome aboard Kevin. Huge game today.
    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to all !

  7. Merry Xmas to the moderators and commenters here at FB & G! Looking forward to a great effort from The Show today. Big back to back…..Knicks at Staples then the Nuggets on the road…time to get serious! Go Lakers!

  8. @Ko – in retrospect, yes, it certainly would seem to have been the right move to hold Howard out until he was 100% ready to go. Like you say, the Lakers could have muddled through with Hill spelling Gasol in the post and probably been no worse off than they are now (though Gasol’s tendinitis would have complicated things).

    At any rate, I’m sick to death of this being used as some kind of excuse for how things are. The Lakers went into the Dwight acquisition thing with their eyes wide open fully aware of the risks. Time to either put up or shut up.

  9. Kobe Alert: KB became the 5th player in history to record 400 thirty point games. I believe KB’s scoring barrage will put an interesting perspective on his future contract. Many have always thought that #3 was going to be KB’s peak on the total points list, however if he keeps up 29-30 ppg until the end of his current deal, then the top of that list, is not out of reach. I am counting on it : ) Against the Warriors, Kobe also moved by C Billups for 38th place on the dimes list and is now 70 behind Iverson. He is cruising by some big names here, for a guy who only shoots : ) Kobes will be playing in his all time record, 15th Christmas Day game today. He needs 29 points to catch the Big O for the all time scorer on this day. Now, some critics might say that some of these marks only show the duration of his career, and the fact that he has played for the Lakers. To that I would say – yes- KB has been a superstar, playing for the greatest franchise in sports, for 17 years. A sentence that in and of itself, puts him in a league – all his own. I hope everyone enjoys the holiday, and when you sit down for your meal, no matter what time you dine, don’t forget, that Kobe eats first !

  10. Merry xmas to everyone else on FBnG – hope its warmer than the -35 and 30 inches of snow here.

    Looking forward to another 7 hrs of bball that is hopefully better than this BKN/BOS game. Was looking for to a nice relaxing day – then watched as Jalen Rose says that Nash was responsible for Jack/Curry both scoring 20+ pts last game and Magic making snide remarks about Lakers not getting PJ. Please Santa – one days break from stupid commentators:P Grrrrr…. Wish the turkey was ready so I could get some tryptophan and go into a food coma already.

    On the positive – BKN’s unis would be sweet mens league unis.

  11. @Jerke…

    Jack was hot like fire in that game. It would have been difficult for anyone to slow him down. And Curry shot a very poor percentage. Not sure what Rose was watching. And I’ve given up on Magic. I thought that Nash played good position defense, especially later in the game.

    Go Lakers!

  12. Magic’s analysis/commentary, particularly when it involves the Lakers, has always been questionable. Another example that being a superstar as a player in a sport often does not translate into success in other aspects of that sport.

  13. Nash play mostly decent D(sometimes bad), its just people look at him on paper and say hes old,weak and etc when he actually is not that bad. The dude know his role and where he always is on the floor,very high basketball IQ believe it or not. It is only the transition D that he is weak,geez those stupid analysts,I dont even listen to them anymore.

  14. Get Hill in there, NY is playing big. I hope D’Antoni is right with his small-ball approach.

  15. It should be Howard, Hill, Meeks, Morris and Duhon to start the second: defensive intensity, rebounding and 3pt shots. Maybe MWP instead of Morris or Duhon.

  16. Hey ref, how about two hands on Gasol’s back?

  17. MWP! He can still be a go to guy if he’s in shape, and he is. And Nash-Gasol passing is also great to see.

  18. Need to have some 3pt shooting from our bench in the 2nd half: Meeks, Morris, Duhon. And rebound the ball!

  19. That’s how it feels when the opposing player is in a Kobe-like offensive zone. Should withstand it somehow.

  20. Nice to see aggression from Pau. Seems like 50/50 plays may decide this one, and also 50/50 calls. Let’s close this one…

  21. NY will go 2 for 1 here.

  22. Nash does solve most of our problems it seems:
    - he has respect from Kobe, and therefore we have balanced offense and, what’s especially nice to see, end of game execution – no more exclusive Kobe iso’s;
    - he keeps everybody involved on offense, and therefore you see a black swan Gasol that you probably haven’t seen since 2010 finals.

    Merry Christmas everyone!