Why Dwight Howard Will Get Easier Shots Than Ever Before with the L.A. Lakers

Dwight Howard is plenty comfortable playing with All-Stars—or should be, anyway—and not just because he's been selected to the NBA's midseason showcase in each of the last six years. Believe it or not, some of the Orlando Magic squads on which he's been featured in the past have employed nearly as many All-Stars as the five (Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash, Metta World Peace and Antawn Jamison) he can now call his teammates with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Heck, in 2010-11 alone, the Magic were home to four former All-Stars other than Howard.

Those four? Vince Carter, Gilbert Arenas, Jameer Nelson and Rashard Lewis.

Okay, so maybe I'm being a bit facetious here in comparing the two squads. Clearly, the 2012-13 Lakers will be the most talented team on which Dwight has ever played. If Kobe, who has five rings and has shared the floor with some great players in his time, thinks these Lakers are more stacked than any edition of which he's been a part, then surely, that same privilege applies to Howard.

Such a dramatic upgrade in the quality of his supporting case is reason enough for Howard to smile...and expect that life on the court will be that much easier alongside players who command just as much defensive attention as (if not more than) he does.

Nobody in LA will attract more of it than Kobe. Dwight has never played with a perimeter scorer in the Black Mamba's stratosphere. Vince Carter is probably the closest Kobe facsimile from Howard's past, and that was when Vinsanity was already well past his prime.

At 34, Kobe's no spring chicken, either, though he still ranks among the most lethal perimeter players in the NBA. It's no small feat that he nearly led the league in scoring last season, with Kevin Durant edging him out down the stretch. Sure, Kobe shot the ball whenever and wherever he pleased in Mike Brown's stagnant offense, but he did so with a bum wrist in his shoot...

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