After one of his worst performances of the season on Tuesday night against Phialdelphia, center Dwight Howard insisted that he hasn’t deal with any injury setbacks that could be the cause for his poor play. According to Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News, Howard told reporters following the loss that he’s still on track to a full recovery.
“Has he had any setbacks?
“No,” Howard said.
Are there games he’s played that are tougher than others?
Howard quickly shook his head no.
The big man had just seven points on Tuesday night, but did pull down 14 rebounds. While some said it was a matter of effort, the rebounding numbers indicate otherwise. In fact, watching the game it seemed that Howard was still working hard in the post to get position and work the glass, but his offensive game is clearly still slowed down by the fact that he isn’t fully recovered from off-season back surgery.
Kobe Bryant talked about Howard’s performance, and how the injury is obviously still playing a role in how he’s able to contribute on the floor.
“It’s been frustrating for him because of the nature of the injury and trying to come back and meet the expectations we all have for him,” Bryant said. “It’s tough to deal with that when you’re not physically the same player that you were. It’s been frustrating for him. But to his credit, he’s battling through it and figuring out ways to be effective.”
Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said he thought Howard might have been a little fatigued.
Whatever the reason is, it’s clear that he isn’t 100 percent out on the floor. He is still recovering, but with the Lakers’ struggles continuing, it’s becoming more and more evident that they need him at full health if they’re going to get out of this current slump.