Los Angeles Notes: Howard, Kawhi, Trades, China

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni isn’t surprised by Dwight Howard‘s turnaround season with the Lakers, praising the veteran for his commitment to Los Angeles and the work he’s put in.

“Dwight’s a very talented basketball player,” D’Antoni said, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “If he is happy and willing to do it, which obviously he is, there’s no reason he wouldn’t be successful.”

Howard has happily accepted his role off the bench this season, posting averages of 7.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in just 20 minutes per contest. His production behind the likes of Anthony Davis and JaVale McGee has helped propel the Lakers to a 34-8 record.

“It’s impressive, it also shows, when everything’s right, a person’s talents come through and he is a talented guy,” D’Antoni said of Howard.

“You’re talking about the NBA. Anything is possible. Nothing surprises me. There’s no reason not to. I don’t think he left on bad terms. It was a tough year on everybody. A little bit (surprised) but not (a great deal.) Same with Melo (Carmelo Anthony) shows up in Portland and (is) having a great year. The NBA is all about finding an opportunity and making the most of it.”

Here are some other notes out of Los Angeles tonight:

  • Clippers star Kawhi Leonard has been pouring it on during the team’s latest five-game surge, Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register writes. Leonard has scored 180 points in his last five games, good for an average of 36 per contest. “He’s an All-Star, man,” teammate Montrezl Harrell said of Leonard. “He’s done it in this league for a number of years. He doesn’t get a lot of credit just because of how quiet that he is, but I don’t think he looks for it. He’s a guy who comes to work and just comes looking to do his job, day in and day out.”
  • Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report examines the potential trades for the Clippers ahead of this season’s Feb. 6 deadline, with the team not quite dominating the way most envisioned through the first half of the season. The team holds a 30-13 record despite facing various injuries. “They just haven’t had their guys. George and Pat (Beverley) have been hurt, Kawhi has his load management,” one Eastern Conference executive told Pincus. “We’ve seen what they can do at full strength against the Lakers on Christmas.”
  • The Lakers expressed no interest in commenting on the Rockets-China conflict that emerged roughly three months ago, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register writes. Los Angeles defeated Houston 124-115 on Saturday. “That has nothing to do with me or with the Lakers – I’m going to stay away from that,” Howard said when asked about the situation. “Stay away from China questions. … No offense.”
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16 thoughts on “Los Angeles Notes: Howard, Kawhi, Trades, China

  1. phillyballers

    Kinda like Melo still being able to play in the NBA? His system doesn’t work for everyone, he needs the exact right players or it’s a complete failure and his system has been guard dominant, where he only requires a roll to the basket big. Not one that demands the ball on the post. I never thought Dwight’s post game was anything special though, he just was out physicaling guys.

    • 22Leo

      D’Antoni just puts the ball in his star guards hands and runs them into the ground. He lacks any ability to adjust and has no clue how to utilize big men. When he coached the Lakers he had Gasoline and Howard. He didn’t utilize either correctly at all, even trying to turn Gasoline into a primarily spot-up outside shooter, often from 3-point range. Kobe had to put that team on his shoulders just to get them to the playoffs, getting injured in the process. Even with Kobe out, D’Antoni did not make any attempt to adjust and utilize their strength in the front court. I remember Kobe kept tweeting “Go inside” during those playoffs as he was laid up in bed. When D’Antoni was asked about it, he just laughed and said “Kobe’s gonna say what Kobe’s gonna say” and blew it off. The Lakers were beaten easily in the first round. D’Antoni is the most overrated coach in the NBA. It’s laughable that he is commenting at all on Howard.

    • 22Leo

      Typos are one thing, auto-correct is on the program. You go ahead and continue with your myopic point of view, though, lebuck. Calling attention to your own lack of understanding is not doing you any favors, but it does make the decision to dismiss your posts an easy.one for people who do have even a little intelligence.

      • lebuck

        Lol proof reading still applies when there is auto correct. But blame the proof reading. Blame the website. Blame anyone but yourself! I’m sure it’s everyone else’s fault

    • 22Leo

      Not being able to tell the difference between what constitutes user error or not is on you. Let me help you out a bit. ‘Proofreading” is one word. Breaking it up into two words constitutes user error, and that is on you.

      • x%sure

        Choosing not to turn off the €£@$!# spellcheck takes the least effort. Spellcheck is the time-saving choice not the “intelligence” choice. Anyway it’s a choice, like checking your post before sending.

        Of course no spellcheck usually means small errors instead (guilty).

        It would be best if HR allowed editing, the best “choice” because it is HR doing it. They did recently improve the section a couple of other ways. They could also store & list comments, but so far they haven’t even declared for the acronym “HR”!

      • lebuck

        I’m gonna blame my spelling mistake for proofreading on my dentist, neighbors dog, my left ball and lebron James. It’s ok to make mistakes but when we do, let’s look at our selves. That’s the first step for self improvement

  2. x%sure

    Seems like Kuzma did a pretty good job defending Harden in limited time (in the TV game)– better than Bradley, who Harden can predict and use. Long gangly undecided Kuzma was a different challenge.
    If so, just this thing makes Kuzma a keeper, given the odds of a Laker-Rocket playoff series.
    Kuzma-Kawhi may be a problem…

    • 22Leo

      The Lakers will likely have a tough time with Leonard and George, but the Clippers will likely have the same issue with LeBron and Davis. Overall, that series would be very interesting. Both teams have potential health concerns, but if they are healthy, it will be tough to predict an outcome.

    • I give no fox

      I would pump the breaks on Kuzma defense hopes. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. If Kuzma has proven anything in this league, it’s that he is not a defensive stalwart. Over a seven game series, harden will eat him alive

      • 22Leo

        I think one of the main reasons Harden struggled in the second half of that game is due to the way the Lakers approached him with double teams. That was addressed after the game and they referred to the Rockets game versus Portland in which they gave heart problems by double teaming him as well

      • bowserhound

        Kuzma is never going to be an All-Defensive Team member, but he definitely slowed down Harden and Westbrook in the second half. That’s the best you can hope for really.

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