Dwight Howard Won’t Achieve Immediate Success in Lakers’ Offense

Dwight Howard may be the best center in the NBA, and there's no doubt that he—as well as other key additions, of course—make the Los Angeles Lakers a lot better in 2012-13 than they were last season.

But if he and the Lakers get off to a slow start in 2012-13, a la the Heat in 2010-11, nobody should be surprised, nor should there be any cause for concern.

For one thing, there's Howard's health to consider, and he certainly isn't going to be 100 percent when the season begins. Howard underwent back surgery in April, and although he appeared to be going full strength in Tuesday's practice, he has not yet been cleared to participate in a full-contact scrimmage, according to the Los Angeles Daily News' Elliott Teaford.

Still, he looked good in practice—maybe even deceptively good. Post-practice, ESPNLosAngeles.com's Brian Kamenetzky wrote:

Dwight Howard doesn't look like a guy too far off from game play. Certainly in the portion of practice we were allowed to view, Howard was running comfortably, working through 5-on-none offensive possessions as the Lakers install their new Princeton system. Even better, Howard participated fully in the portions of practice we weren't allowed to watch, and felt good after.

But even so, Howard's outlook seemed positive.

"Today was really good, so I'm happy," he told Teaford. But he also acknowledged that he and his new teammates have a long way to go before they have successfully built the monster many are expecting the new-look Lakers to be.

He used one all-important word to illustrate the importance of getting in plenty of practice time with this team before the games start counting.

On Tuesday, Howard told Teaford that he's hoping to play few preseason games before the regular season begins because "I think we're going to need it for chemistry and all that stuff."

Chemistry and all that stuff mark the diffe...

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