Writers’ Roundtable: Lakers Starting 5 Training Camp To-Do’s
What does Lakers C Dwight Howard need to work on during training camp?
Josh Sexton: Getting used to the pressure cooker that awaits him. Outside of rabid Lakers fans, there are not too many people who care for Dwight Howard at the moment. And to be honest, I really can’t blame them. His wishy-washy antics the last couple of seasons were way more selfish than LeBron’s “Decision” ever was.How will Howard handle the backlash of everything that has transpired over the last year? Will he take it in stride, or will it get into his head the same way it did LeBron’s during his first year with the Heat? Forget his injured back. Do Lakers fans have to worry about Howard not being healthy mentally next season? Let’s not forget the comparisons he will receive to former, great Lakers centers and whether or not he will sign an extension to stay with the Lakers.Let’s hope Superman brings his “A” Game both physically and mentally next season.
Suki Thind: Get healthy. It’s as simple as that. Howard needs to get his back to 100 percent before returning to the floor. In the meantime, of course, he should be learning the new system and getting to know his teammates–especially Kobe Bryant.
Elizabeth Benson: Dwight Howard must not rush his recovery to get back on the court, which he has already ensured he won’t. It has been reported that Howard is working on his footwork with Laker legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. This will be essential since Howard will be the first or second option on offense. He needs to adjust to the fact that the Laker offense will have multiple options on any given play, unlike in Orlando where he carried the team on offense and defense. He needs to study and learn the Princeton Offense and Mike Brown’s defense system especially.
Jabari Davis: Howard is the one player with something to “work on”, as he simply needs to continue strengthening his back and working towards returning to full health. I may be an outsider in thinking this way, but I wouldn’t mind the Lakers taking as much time as needed with Howard’s recovery. No need to rush him back, as (mentioned earlier) Gasol can provide plenty from that position in his absence. Howard should use training camp to further become acclimated with his new surroundings, teammates, and circumstances. With, by far, the most talented collection of teammates Howard has ever played with, it will be intriguing to see how Howard adjusts to no longer having to be the only true focal point while on the court.