Originally posted on With Malice  |  Last updated 4/24/13
Ok.  Down 1 versus the Spurs.  No surprises there... howver this time - right here, right now - is a perfect place for Dwight Howard to step up and be the player that he once was, that we all thought he could be. That's not to say he hasn't been the guy that we Lakerfans thought we were getting pretty good, but it's absolutely fair to think that he isn't quite the same player that he *can* be. Whilst it's true that physically Dwight has struggled this season - he was quite obviously not even 80% when he returned at the beginning of the season - I do think that a very large part of the problem was above the shoulders.  Dwight has copped one hell of a beating in the last 18 months.  This for a guy who loves to be loved has had an impact.  Additionally, I think playing with a hard taskmaster (Kobe, not Mike) has taken a toll as well.  I believe that a large part of the struggles Dwight's had during the season are mental/emotional.  And I think he can recover from it. Now's the time for Dwight to really put his stamp on the Lakers franchise that could well be his playground for a while to come.  No Kobe, playing against the Spurs... and up against Father Time Duncan - Dwight should be one of the most dominant players on the floor whenever he's out there.  Now, as far as a D12-reclamation-project, LA doesn't even need to win the series.  But they have to compete, and Dwight has to be the primary reason. This happens, and the future post-Kobe starts to look better.  Hell, I know that there's a chance that Howard doesn't re-sign with LA - it's absolutely not a sure bet - but it's likely.  More money, a fanbase starting to come around... and I'm not sure what the repercussions would be for his persona should he leave the league's premier glamor franchise because "there's too much pressure to win". It'd be a helluva different place 'round LA with Dwight as the key guy.  I'm not sure you can get two more diametrically opposed characters than KB#24 & D12... but it is what it is.  Just happy to be a fan of a franchise who are enthusiastic about competing for a title each and every season.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

What does Tevin Coleman’s return mean for Devonta Freeman?

Antonio Cromartie: Odell Beckham Jr. a ‘one hit wonder’

Thompson fires shots at Clippers: ‘Didn’t they lose to the Rockets?’

'Sell high' and 'buy low' fantasy candidates

Marshawn Lynch ruled out by Seahawks for Week 5

Howard says he played through torn MCL, meniscus in playoffs


Bills offensive progress stalled by injuries

Bruins’ Zac Rinaldo: Raffi Torres’ suspension 'really opened my eyes’

Cowboys’ Sean Lee cleared to play vs. Patriots after concussion battle

NHL Dept. of Player Safety inconsistent with discipline?

Tennessee desperate for big win over #19 Georgia

UCLA punter Adam Searl arrested on suspicion of rape

WATCH: Prince Fielder wipes out trying to climb over dugout railing

Dwight Howard, image & Houston's title chances

What’s wrong with Ohio State’s offense?

Weeden: ‘I don’t need a 12-yr-old telling me how to play’

Fan at Texas A&M game was so drunk, he reportedly told police he was at Baylor vs. Texas Tech

10 unheralded NFL players who will impact Week 5

Mallett’s dad: Criticism of QB makes his grandmothers cry

LSU has sold a disappointing amount of tickets for South Carolina game

Five potential upsets in NFL Week 5

Why the Carolina Panthers are the NFL's next super power

Six biggest matchups in Week 6 of the college football season

Dalton motivated by getting booed at celebrity softball game

Which undefeated college team has best résumé?

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dwight Howard, image & Houston's title chances

10 unheralded NFL players who will impact Week 5

Five potential upsets in NFL Week 5

Why the Carolina Panthers are the NFL's next super power

NHL Department of Player Safety inconsistent in disciplining players?

Explaining the silence on Thabo Sefolosha’s police brutality trial

Six biggest matchups in Week 6 of CFB

Joe Maddon's defensive calculus

Sepp Blatter appeals FIFA suspension

Looking at four NHL goaltenders who debuted for new teams

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker