The Los Angles Lakers added a few pieces to their team in the offseason. They brought in guys like Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, DeAndre Jordan and brought in two guys from their 2020 championship team in Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo, but they have gotten off to a slow start.
On Friday, the Lakers(0-2) dropped their second straight game as they were defeated by the Suns(1-1) 115-105 at Staples Center.
The loss is not too concerning when you consider it’s only the second game of the season. However, what might be more concerning is what transpired on the team’s bench between Howard and Anthony Davis.
The two got into a shoving match in the second quarter after a Suns timeout.
Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard have an altercation on the bench. 😳
After the game, both Howard and Davis said it was squashed.
“We squashed it right then and there,” Howard said. “We just had a disagreement about something that was on the floor… We’re grown men, things happen. But we are going to squash this little issue between me and him, and that’s my brother, that’s my teammate.”
Davis, who had 22 points and 14 rebounds on Friday night, added: “After the situation happened, me and DH, we talked about it, and we left it at that.”
According to Davis, the argument started over an issue with their pick-and-roll defense.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel says stuff like this happens when you’re losing:
“When you’re getting your a** kicked, sometimes those conversations get heated,” he said. “They talked it out, and that’s going to happen from time to time.”
Howard did not play in the second half, but Vogel said it had nothing to do with the incident with Davis.
In an 82-game season, stuff like this does happen. This could bring the Lakers closer, and we’ll see the impact this altercation may have on Los Angeles going forward.
With Dwight Howard returning to the Lakers, the 76ers had a void at the backup center spot. On Wednesday, they officially filled that spot. Philadelphia announced that they had signed two-time All-Star Andre Drummond.
Last season, Drummond played for the Cavaliers and the Lakers. He appeared in 46 games (all starts) last season, posting averages of 14.9 points and 12.0 rebounds along with 1.4 steals and 1.1 blocks. He was one of three NBA players, including new teammate Joel Embiid, to average a point-rebound double-double as well as one steal and one block last season.
“Andre is a great addition to the 76ers family,” President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey said via a press release from the team. “He is a two-time NBA All-Star who has consistently been one of the NBA’s very best rebounders and rim protectors,” Morey said. “We’re excited to add a veteran player of his caliber to our roster and look forward to the impact he’ll make this season.”
In nine seasons, Drummond holds career averages of 14.5 points, 13.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game. His career 13.7 rebounding average ranks seventh all-time in NBA history among players who have appeared in at least 250 contests.
In essence, the 76ers swapped Drummond for Howard. The 27-year-old Drummond is probably an upgrade over the 35-year-old Howard. He’s younger, a better rebounder, scorer, and a guy looking to get another big contract, which could bode well for Philadelphia.
After 33 games, the Philadelphia 76ers are 22-11 and are the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. Last season, after 33 games, Philadelphia was 23-10, so they were actually a game better in terms of wins and losses a year ago.
However, this season feels a little different for Philadelphia. Their All-Star center Joel Embiid appears to have a different mindset and is in better shape. Embiid is having an MVP-caliber season and is averaging 29.6 points(career-high), 11.2 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. After a slow start, All-Star Ben Simmons is playing elite on defense, and in the last five games, he’s averaging 23.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 7.0 assists per game. Because of his ability to guard all five positions, Simmons believes he is the best defender in basketball.
After the team’s 111-97 victory over the Mavericks on Thursday night, reserve center Dwight Howard, who won a championship with the Lakers last season, shared his thoughts on Philly’s chances of winning a title.
“We have everything we need, and we have what it takes to win a championship,” Howard said. “it’s going to be on us. It’s going to be on how hard we go out and play every night, what we do when we are not in the games, how we are taking care of our bodies, but also just how we approach every day. We stay in the moment, stay locked in on winning this championship day by day. We can’t wait until the end of the season to focus on a championship. We gotta do it every single day. Coach has been telling us, ‘The preparation process and parade.’ That’s the only thing on our mind.”
Simmons believes that Philadelphia has great chemistry right now, and the best he’s seen since he has been in Philly. Having Doc Rivers around helps, and the team is saying that he is holding everybody accountable. However, it appears they need some more bench help, and it should interesting to see what they do before the March 25th trade deadline.
At this point, Philly will be judged on what happens in the playoffs. We have seen Simmons come up small in playoff situations, and if this team wants to make a deep playoff run, he has to be better. Plus, getting by Brooklyn, who has three walking buckets in Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving, won’t be easy.
Philly is playing good basketball right now, but we still have to wait and see how this team looks come playoff time.
Hornets C Dwight Howard was fined 35k by the NBA, for an obscene gesture.
Here is a statement from the NBA:
Charlotte Hornets center Dwight Howard has been fined $35,000 for making an obscene gesture on the playing court, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
The incident occurred with 4:25 remaining in the 2nd quarter of the Hornets’ 100-99 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, Nov. 24 at Quicken Loans Arena.
Dwight Howard went home to Atlanta last year after signing a three-year, $70.5 million deal, but after one season with the Hawks, the team wanted to go in a different direction. Howard, who was traded by the Hawks to the Hornets last week, will have an opportunity to be reunited with Hornets head coach Steve Clifford. As an assistant coach with the Magic and Lakers, Clifford worked with Howard for six seasons.
The Hornets introduced Howard today. The 31-year-old center will get another chance to prove the doubters wrong. Howard feels Charlotte is a great opportunity, and feels he has a lot left in the tank.
“I think I’m a lot healthier than I’ve been in the past five years. I think this is gonna be my best time,” Howard said.
“A lot of people always talk about the past, but I think I’m a lot wiser now, stronger, mentally and physically. I’m in the right place. Great coach, great GM, and the GOAT (Michael Jordan), so I think this is the perfect opportunity.”
Howard is not the same guy that Clifford coached in Orlando, but he still can be an effective player in the right situation. Howard is familiar with Steve Clifford, and averaged a double-double last season in Atlanta. Clifford told reporters last week that he believes Howard can still play at a high level. Plus, the Hornets really did not give up much up to get Howard. Charlotte reportedly wanted Howard last year before he signed with Atlanta.
This move is worth the risk for Jordan and the Hornets.
According to ESPN’s Marc J. Spears, the Hawks trade Dwight Howard and 31st pick in 2017 draft to Hornets for Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli, and the 41st pick in 2017 draft.
Howard, 31, is on the move again. Maybe the Hornets will be a great fit for him. Ironically enough, shortly before the trade was reported, Howard was doing a Q & A on Twitter about NBA trades. Talk about perfect timing!
Last summer, Hawks C Dwight Howard said he was reluctant to shoot jump shots during games because he was afraid to miss. However, this summer, it’s a whole different story. Howard told ESPN’s “The Jump” that he is looking to add a three-point shot to his repertoire.
Here is what Howard had to say:
Hawks center Dwight Howard says he's "working hard" on his 3-point game to extend career. He's 5-of-56 from 3-point range in his career. pic.twitter.com/FzJx9BOcsJ
Dwight Howard told ESPN that he believes he is a Hall of Famer.
Is he right? Good question. Let’s compare Dwight Howard’s resume to recent Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo.
Both are 8x All-Stars; Howard was first-team All-NBA five times, Dikembe none. Deke won the Defensive Player of the Year Award four times; Howard three times. Also, Howard averages more points, rebounds, assists, and steals than Dikembe. Deke does average more blocks per game than Howard(2.8 to 2.0). Finally, if you do the eye test, Howard was a big reason why the Magic made it to the NBA finals in the 2008-09 NBA season. Deke made it to the NBA Finals in 2001 with 76ers, but that was Allen Iverson’s team.
End of the day, forget how you feel about Dwight Howard. I know a lot of you hate him, but if Dikembe Mutombo is in the Hall of Fame, Dwight Howard belongs too!