When they travel to Orlando this week, the Lakers will already be down a starter and an assistant coach who will not be joining them for the NBA’s scheduled restart later this month. The prospect, then, of also not having Dwight Howard join them was looking like an issue that could really sway their pursuit for a championship in the wrong direction.
Dwight has now made his intentions known and they’re positive for the Lakers:
On our recent podcast episode, Pete and I talked about what losing Howard could mean for this team and we both agreed it would not be good. Dwight is a key cog in the team’s rotation, offering dynamic defense and strong finishing offensively as a lob and dump off threat around the rim. When the Lakers do close with a traditional center on the floor it was normally Dwight, and not starting big man JaVale McGee, who flanked Anthony Davis, proving Dwight’s value and standing on this team.
To have him in Orlando, then, really is excellent news for the Lakers. His size, athleticism, and physicality will be a major bonus, particularly when placed in the context of a restart where those specific traits could be more advantageous than skill and timing based attacks that usually require the type of reps and continuity that will be hard to come by after nearly 4 months off.
Beyond his on-court presence, we also should not discount Dwight’s position in the lockerroom and on the bench as a good soldier who brings a positive attitude and good vibes to the team. A major part of the team’s success this season has been the team’s togetherness and chemistry, with few stories exemplifying this more than Dwight buying into his role fully and bringing a level of productivity many wondered he was still capable of.
The Lakers may not be at full strength when they go to Disney World, but having Dwight in the fold will certainly up their chances of coming home with the Larry O’Brien trophy.