Dwight Howard’s schedule still uncertain, Los Angeles Lakers promise to dominate West

10/1/12 in NBA   |   IvanRogers   |   1352 respect

The Los Angeles Lakers created shockwaves across the NBA this offseason after acquiring Dwight Howard in a blockbuster four-team trade from the Orlando Magic, but they have yet to take the center for a test drive in a game-like situation on court. And that day still appears to be in the distant future after Dwight Howard revealed at the team’s media open day on Monday that he still has no schedule for his Los Angeles Lakers’ debt.
 
"I don’t…I just want to be 100% for the season,” Dwight Howard stated regarding a schedule on his much speculated and anticipated return this season. “I don't want to have any setbacks where I play a couple of games and then I have to sit down."
 
Dwight Howard underwent a season-ending back surgery to repair a herniated disc in April, while still with the Orlando Magic. However, both the Orlando Magic and the Los Angeles Lakers have failed to provide a schedule for Dwight Howard’s return to fitness.
 
The Los Angeles Lakers have already ruled-out Dwight Howard for the preseason opener against Golden State Warriors on 7th October. The 26-year-old himself rebuffed a Yahoo! Sports story that cited Dwight Howard claiming that he had made a recovery to “85 percent” of his former strength, and set a schedule for him to start in the regular-season opener against the Dallas Mavericks on 30th October.
 
The Los Angeles Lakers have been busy bees this offseason, assembling the likes of two-time MVP Steve Nash alongside Kobe Bryant (5 NBA championships), Pau Gasol (2 NBA Championships) and Metta World Peace (1 NBA championship), who will feature as Los Angeles Lakers’ starting five with Dwight Howard at center. So even if Dwight Howard is scheduled for a late return, the Los Angeles Lakers have plenty of offensive depth to trouble rivals.
 
The Los Angeles Lakers are strong title contenders emerging out of the West and the confidence level has never been higher amid the team.
 
"All the pieces fit.We all do different things. We all fit together naturally,” said Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant. “We just have to keep doing the things we have been doing our entire careers." 
 
But with Dwight Howards’ shot-blocking and rebound skills, as well as ability to shutdown opposing big men, the Los Angeles Lakers will be even harder to overcome.
 
The three-time Defensive Player of the Year, Dwight Howard, produced optimistic result last week from his individual on post moves workouts under Los Angeles Lakers assistant coaches Darvin Ham and Chuck Person after there were no setbacks reported.
 
"I'm getting better every day. I'm getting stronger every day," claimed Dwight Howard. "I'm looking forward to the day where I'm 100%. Until then, I'm going to keep training.”
 
However, the workout was on strictly limited contact and Dwight Howard still has to be tested in a 5-on-5 situation to ensure his return to full form.
 
“From the last time you guys saw me to now, I look a lot different,” Dwight Howard offered optimistically. “I've been working extremely hard to get back on the court and I think we're going to have an awesome year."
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