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Why Dwight Howard Makes LA the NBA’s best on paper…

September 15, 2012

The LA Lakers have easily won the NBA offseason with the acquisitions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard.  Nash is 38 years old and past his prime, however he is still capable of averaging double digit assists per game and is an effective perimeter scoring threat.  The only Laker to ever average 10+ assist ppg is Magic Johnson (he did it 9 times).  Kobe has never had a PG of Nash’s caliber, and has played among the likes of Smush Parker, Coby Karl, and Tryonn Lue.  Signing Nash alone significantly upgrades the Lakers roster.

With the addition of a healthy Dwight Howard, (provided he fully recovers from back surgery) the Los Angeles Lakers are an elite team.  The 3 time DPOY’s impact on the game is tremendous.  He virtually eliminates easy points in the paint, while providing easy opportunities on offense.  Howard is most effective in pick and roll and averaged 20 ppg last year with the Magic.  He probably won’t scoring that much with the Lakers, but without even playing a game together, Howard and Nash are one of the top pick and roll threats in the NBA.  Not to mention Kobe, Pau Gasol, and Antawn Jamison coming off the bench.  See where I’m going with this…

The Lakers have made their weaknesses their strengths over the offseason, which makes them legit title contenders.  In last year’s 2 round loss to the Thunder.  The average margin of victory for OKC was 2-3 possessions.  Dwight Howard’s paint presence teamed with Nash as the floor general makes LA a lock for the NBA Finals… on paper.

Howard is kryptonite for teams like OKC and Miami.  These two teams are elite at the 2 (I consider Russell Westbrook a combo guard) and 3 positions while average at the 5 and 1, surrounded by solid perimeter shooting.  DH12 can dominant the Thunder and Heat big men, while making life tough to score in the paint for slashers like Harden, Westbrook, D. Wade, and LeBron.  Reportedly Howard won’t make it to training camp and will likely miss the preseason.  The Lakers are capable of keeping afloat during Dwight’s absence, but the team chemistry will be in jeopardy at the beginning of the season.  Only time will tell if LA can reach its full potential by June.  They will likely experience the same growing pains that plagued the Heat the 1st year LeBron, D.Wade, and Chris Bosh joined forces.  All eyes will be on the new look Lakers and they surely will be a sight to see.  The expectations in Laker Land remain the same and this team is now “championship or bust.”

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