Last night’s victory over the Boston Celtics at the Staples Center was a big moment for the 2013 Los Angeles Lakers. Not only did it signify a win over their hated rivals, but it was an opportunity for the team to honor the late Dr. Buss in the team’s first game since losing their owner to cancer.
The team came out inspired and motivated, and used the emotion in the building to run over the Celtics to the tune of a 113-99 victory. One player who was noticeably improved versus what we’ve seen from him to this point in the season was Dwight Howard.
At practice today, Howard, who scored 24 points with 12 boards on Wednesday, mentioned an improved connection between himself and Steve Nash on the pick and roll game as a major reason for their success.
“Me and Steve (Nash) were talking today – the last three or four games the pick and roll – he has been doing a good job of letting me come set the screen, and I have been doing a good job of hitting his man. I’m able to get a good roll and he is able to come off and get a shot.”
There’s no question the lack of a successful pick and roll game between Nash and Howard was one of the more perplexing things about this team in the first half of the season. But, as Howard indicated today at practice, an improved relationship between himself and Nash would be ideal for this team.
Howard is averaging 16.4 points and 11.8 rebounds per game so far this season for Los Angeles.