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NBA Los Angeles Lakers

Dwight Howard Weighing Down Los Angeles Lakers

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

We have seen in the first quarter of the National Basketball Association season that the new plan with the Los Angeles Lakers hasn’t been working out too wel,l with a 9-11 record coming into Saturday’s games. The signing of Steve Nash is a wash right now because Nash has been out with a leg injury, and only time will tell on how the team does when he comes back. The major issue with this team, however, is going to continue to be Dwight Howard.

Howard is a liability at the free-throw line all game long and especially in the closing minutes of a game where teams have come to foul Howard as much as they can to get him to the free-throw line. This is going to cost the Lakers in the long run. We all saw the old Hack-a-Shaq for Shaquille O’Neal in the past, but O’Neal was a much more dominating player in my opinion. Howard is just not that kind of player who can completely control a game inside, and that is going to lead the Lakers to have to bench Howard in the last minutes of games that are close just to have a chance to win.

Howard needs to be spending hour upon hour in the gym after practice working on this, because being a 50-50 bet each time he steps to the line is going to cause Lakers fans and players to have ulcers all season long. There is still a lot of season to fix this; hopefully Howard can work on it, because otherwise it is going to cause another early playoff exit for the Lakers.

Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports or like his Facebook page.