Yes it’s only preseason, but the Los Angeles Lakers new star center, Dwight Howard put on a tremendous performance in his first outing rocking the famed purple and gold.
In 33 minutes of action on Sunday night the six-time all-star scored 19 points (8 of 12 from the field), grabbed 12 rebounds, blocked four shots and even dished out two assists to his new teammates in the Lakers 99-92 loss to the Sacramento Kings. The Lakers are now 0-6 in the 2012 preseason but the most encouraging sign so far during the exhibition stage was seeing the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year returning to the court.
Howard had been sidelined for the first five games of the Lakers preseason while recovering from off-season back surgery to repair a herniated disk which plagued him towards the end of last season. The Lakers are hoping that trading for Howard and veteran point guard Steve Nash can return them to prominence in the Western Conference and another possible chance at reaching the NBA Finals.
In the off-season Howard was acquired from the Orlando Magic by the Lakers in a four-team trade which also included the Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets in which they had to ship their young-big man Andrew Bynum to the 76ers in order to obtain D-12.
During his career Howard has averaged 18.4 points, 13 rebounds and 2.16 blocks per game and he can bring those type of numbers to the Lakers with everything else they have then anything less than a 60-win season and reaching the Western Conference Finals should be considered a disappointment for the Lake Show.