Dwight Howard Will Finally Be Himself with Steve Nash at Helm of LA Lakers

With Steve Nash at the helm of the Los Angeles Lakers, Dwight Howard will finally be himself.

When a player is averaging 17.8 points, 11.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.6 blocks and 1.1 steals, it is difficult to say that they're struggling. When they're shooting 57.4 percent from the floor, that stance becomes even more difficult to defend.

The fact of the matter is, numbers don't tell the story here. D-12 hasn't been himself.

Whether physically or schematically, Howard has not been able to perform at the level expected of him. A major reason for this truth has been the lack of team chemistry and an up-tempo offense that does not support his recovery process.

According to Sam Amick of USA Today Sports, Howard has not yet reached 100 percent after receiving back surgery earlier this season.

"I'm still in that process," Howard said in an extensive interview with USA TODAY Sports at the team's practice facility. "People don't understand that. They just come out and see me make a couple dunks and blocks and say, 'Oh, he's back.' But it does take a while for all this stuff to heal. This is not something easy, so I understand that. It will come."

Fortunately, Howard will be in a position to thrive alongside Steve Nash.

Nash is a master at knowing his teammates' tendencies, abilities and limitations. This is why the Lakers have to be encouraged by his return and the impact it will have on Howard.

Specifically how much easier the game will be for D-12.


Defining the Issue

Thus far in 2012-13, the Los Angeles Lakers are allowing an average of 98.5 points per 48 minutes with Dwight Howard on the floor. When he's on the bench, they're allowing 102.5 per 48.

This is a primary example of when the numbers don't tell the full story.

L.A. has been dismal defensively throughout the duration of the season, ranking 22nd in the league in scori...

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