Howard, fresh out of a Lakers team meeting, talked with reporters at Los Angeles’ shootaround on Wednesday, and he sounded like a man who was ready to make strides in the right direction. The Lakers’ controversial big man said that it was immature of him to question his recent, low shot-attempt total, and he pointed out exactly what he needs to do in order for L.A. to turn its season around.
“I have to be more,” Howard said. “I have to do more for this team. There are a lot of responsibilities on my shoulders. I have to step up and take it. It has to be me. It has to start with me. I’m a guy that has to dominate for us to win. We’re not going to win unless I dominate.”
Now that’s a man with a plan. Not only does Howard want to be better, but he also wants to take games over, and thus show why the Lakers coveted him in the offseason.
So how did Howard’s newfound, rah-rah attitude translate on the hardwood on Wednesday night? Well, it didn’t.
Howard played just 14 minutes — shooting 0-for-4 from the field, scoring two points and grabbing two rebounds — before leaving the game with a shoulder injury. He would not return, and the Lakers are now once again waiting to see what the big fella’s status will be going forward. Howard, of course, missed three games earlier this month due to a torn labrum shoulder injury, so watching as he motioned to the Lakers’ bench to be taken out of Wednesday’s game had to have given coach Mike D’Antoni a “here we go again” sort of feeling.
Now, it would be rude of us to laugh at someone suffering an injury, so we’ll refrain. But if there was a perfect snapshot of the Lakers’ 17-25 start, it was Wednesday.
You had the team meeting in which players reportedly “went at each other a little bit,” and you had the mercurial Howard labeling himself “immature” and vowing to make changes for the greater good of the team. Life in Lakerland didn’t seem so bad for a moment in time, and there were probably some who felt as if Wednesday’s pregame developments could have been used as a springboard for the rest of the season.
Then, hours later, Wednesday’s game happened. Another injury. Another loss. Another reason to think things are never going to get better for the Lakers.
Everybody, throw your feet in the air!
“You know, the girls, they are more unstable emotionally than us. I’m sure everybody will say it’s true, even the girls. No? No, you don’t think?”
–Tennis player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, opening mouth, inserting foot.
Good news, Red Sox fans.
Every aspect of John Farrell’s visit with Daniel Bard was encouraging, particularly rediscovering his natural arm slot
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) January 24, 2013
I’ll still take an Antoine Walker wiggle every day of the week and twice on Sunday.