DwightHowardLakers_Suns020613

Dwight Howard is not Dwight Howard anymore?

Dwight Howard's Twitter profile proclaims he is, After the Ring!

The reality is, that should be changed to, Such drama!

When you consider the Los Angeles Lakers season and all that drama that has ensued, you cannot help but look at the NBA calendar and notice that time could be running out on their postseason hopes. Adding to the theatrics is the fact that Howard — the man who many pundits believed would help the Lakers capture yet another NBA title – is on the shelf with a shoulder injury and no timetable in place for his return.

Ah, such is life for the Lakers.

Steve Aschburner of NBA.com recently asked the question to a number of NBA scouts and team executive types, “What is ailing the Los Angeles Lakers?” 

Lakers fans beware: It’s hard to pinpoint one glaring issue into Los Angeles’ woes, but apparently a number of people polled pointed to the fact that Dwight Howard simply is not Dwight Howard anymore.

Dwight is not the same as he was before that back injury," a West team's personnel man said.

"He just doesn't get off the floor as quick as he used to. You see him play against guys he's dominated in the past and they are outworking him on the glass and beating him up and down the floor. There was a time when no big man in the league could match Dwight in those areas. That back injury has really put a cramp in his game. … That's why you have to find a way to get him and Gasol playing off of each other. This idea that you bring Gasol off the bench as his backup is crazy. There's no way you play to your strengths by doing that.

That is one way to look at it — not to mention Howard making the over-analyzed cross country jump from Orlando to Los Angeles and then growing increasingly upset that he’s not getting the ball enough this season.

Then there is the other argument that Howard may not be full vested in his current situation with the Lakers.

A head scout from the East added:

"This is about Dwight … he's not totally committed to being there and playing in that system. Under Mike Brown, he was going to be a focal point. When you make the coaching change and move to the style of play D'Antoni prefers, it doesn't include making sure the ball goes through Dwight and back out in order to get the offense going. His effort has been comical at times. He wants the ball but has no intention of working for it."

Regardless how you look at it, it is clear the Lakers season is not getting better anytime soon (let us not even get started on Metta World Peace’s suspension). Not only is Howard on the mend, but now the Lakers could be without Pau Gasol for some time after he suffered an injured right foot on Tuesday night against the New Jersey Nets.

An MRI is scheduled for Wednesday, when the Lakers will be in Boston to play the Celtics.

Such drama. 

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