Dwight Howard Must Assert Himself Offensively for L.A. Lakers to Find Success

As successful as Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard have been for the Los Angeles Lakers this season, something about this pairing is troubling.

It's certainly not Bryant, that's for sure. He's playing at an MVP pace and executing on both offense and defense.

Which leaves Howard.

The big man has been impressive in the early goings of his tenure with the Lakers. He's averaging 19.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per contest on a career best 61.5 percent shooting.

For those wondering, on the surface, that's spectacular and has allowed the behemoth to post a 22.69 PER on the season.

But it's not enough, mostly because Howard isn't doing enough, and the Lakers are struggling as a result.

To date, Los Angeles' center is attempting 11.3 shots per game, the lowest average number of field goals he's attempted in over five years.

That's not enough. Heck, the 13.4 attempts he jacked up last year with the Orlando Magic wasn't enough.

Howard is a force on the offensive end. He doesn't have much range—all of his offense has come within nine feet of the basket this season—and his free-throw shooting is poor enough to invoke the wrath of Kobe's infamous death stare.

But Howard is a force all the same. If he wasn't, his field-goal percentage wouldn't be so high and he wouldn't be posting 18.4 points per game for his career.

But he's capable of more, and he knows it.

Howard's just choosing to take a backseat on offense, something he himself admitted to Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Howard said:

We're almost there. We're almost on the same page. I just tell Kobe, he's always going to attack but always just attack the basket and I'll try to clean up if you miss. We're just learning each other's game. It's going to take some time but we're doing the best we can.

It's endearing to hear that Howard is willing to let Bryan...

About the Author