Lakers Notes: Howard, Davis, LeBron, Rondo

After several years of bouncing around the league, Dwight Howard is one win away from getting back to the NBA Finals for the first time in 11 years. He told Dave McMenamin of ESPN that the Lakers realize it won’t be easy to get rid of the Nuggets, who overcame a pair of 3-1 deficits on their way to the Western Conference Finals.

“They’re going to give us their best shot. They’re not going to let up,” Howard said. “They’re a really good team, very well coached. We understand that. We’re one step closer to our dream, so we’re not going to take our foot off the gas. I think we’re going to bring more intensity than we brought before. We have a well-experienced group of guys on our team, even coaches. We understand how important this series is and this game is and that we should treat it like a Game 7 with our intensity and our effort and just play as hard as we can.”

It has been an incredible journey for Howard, who is on his fifth team in the past five years and had to go through a training camp tryout just to earn a roster spot. He is averaging 7.1 points and 5.2 rebounds in 11 playoff games and moved into the starting lineup for Thursday’s Game 4.

There’s more on the Lakers:

  • Anthony Davis has “minor soreness” after suffering an ankle sprain, but has been cleared to play tonight, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
  • Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, a former teammate of LeBron James, believes the Lakers’ star is motivating himself through a perceived slight in the MVP balloting, according to Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times. “LeBron always lifts his play in the playoffs, and I think those 16 first-place votes that he got (for MVP), he just used that,” Love said. ““He’s like, ‘I probably wouldn’t have won it. But I deserve more first place votes,’ which I believe is true.”
  • Rajon Rondo‘s playoff experience has been indispensable as the Lakers navigate the postseason, James tells Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated“He’s played at the highest level, and he’s someone that we can trust,” James said. “… When you can have guys that have been in the moments and can understand and also be able to make adjustments on the fly, and know that you can count on them down the stretch, it just makes the team and you individually feel so much more confident in the outcome. Ever since he got back from injury and we saw this playoff run, he’s been exceptional.”
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25 thoughts on “Lakers Notes: Howard, Davis, LeBron, Rondo

  1. harden-westbrook-mvps

    The last time Dwight Howard reached the Finals his team lost in 5.

    • GoLandCrabs

      And? The 2009 Magic are not the 2020 Lakers. Your “rip any former Rocket because its never Hardens fault” stick is old.

    • DeathbyDeathwest

      The last time Harden and Westbrook reached the Finals was 2012. They also lost in 5. Playing for not-the-Rockets.

      • xxtremecubsguy89

        But difference is that’ll be the only finals those two ever make it to.

    • MikeWiz

      Lost to Kobe. Orlando Magic would have never came close to the finals if not for him, and Shaq and Penny (and a rusty MJ). Howard was a beast until his back gave our from having to carry the most forgettable supporting cast since the 2001 76ers.

        • MikeWiz

          Replace Howard with any other center in the league that year and are the Magic making it to the finals? Jameer Nelson and Rashard Lewis that good? Hedo and Courtney Lee stopping anyone on the perimeter? Not really, but Dwight consistently erased their mistakes. Howard for sure carried that team. They’d probably be in a different city by now if he hadn’t made them relevant again.

    • KnickerbockerAl

      It’s a team game. Don’t expect a Harden lover to understand that. And I never liked Howard. Don’t worry Heat will take care of Lakers. Kawhi and Jimmy probably only two players who don’t back down from Bron.

  2. Sillivan

    On thing I would never understand is that Davis was injured in Rockets series. It looked very serious and would send it to CCU at hospital right away, but
    Davis stood up and played every minutes left in the game.

  3. Curtisrowe

    Rondo haters have always amused me. I mean, Rondo lovers are almost as amusing, but there is no doubt the guy has some ridiculous skills.

    • Reflect

      He’s a very good bench player. That’s what he’s always been. I’d love to have him in my team but he’s been way overhyped in his career.

      • MikeWiz

        He wasn’t a bench player when he won a ring. He prob woulda never been a bench player if his coaches could have admitted he was a better leader than they were. Now he’s just kinda old and gets injured often. Younger Rondo would have played through it though. Pretty sure he played a series with one arm once.

      • x%sure

        Rondo was outstanding on the run to the title, pushing pace to an advantage when the ‘big 3’ or opponent tired, actually it was a big 4 in ’08.
        Not a pest type like Beverly, but a bit unformed actually in personality, is what I recall. Made buckets happen in transition.

        I note that he is in when LJ is out, which removes the issue of style conflicts.

    • bowserhound

      Agreed. I hated him on the Celtics because I’m a laker fan and he was like Pat Bev back then.
      Ever since then I’ve grown to appreciate his game and leadership, it’s even more apparent now. He will be a great assistant coach.

      • MikeWiz

        Pat Beverly? I really like Beverly but comparing him to Rondo is disrespectful. Beverly is out of control, Rondo controls the game without being controlling, unlike Chris Paul. But atleast Chris Paul cares about winning and respects the game. Can’t say the same for Harden and most the other “elite” players. Or Mike D’Antoni. The only people ruining the NBA more than those two are James Dolan, Eric Bledsoe, and Dennis Smith Jr.

    • MikeWiz

      Rondo is a true basketball genius, and one of the only reasons I’ll watch an NBA game anymore. It pains me to see him on the Lakers, and on the same team as LeBron.

  4. El Don

    Were are all the LBJ haters now! 10 Finals baby! 10 Finals baby! Bird, Magic & LBJ the GOAT’s!

    • DeathbyDeathwest

      LBJ bailed on Cleveland in the most selfishly obnoxious way possible to chase rings with a superteam, and only won two. Then the superteam collapses early, LBJ opts out but at least goes back home and wins a ring with Kyrie.

      Then HE BAILS AGAIN to chase a superteam to chase rings in LA. Sure, he and AD beat Harden and the Rockets, but they got to the finals while GSW is out with injury.

      LBJ is free to make his Decisions, and I’m free to find them ugly and make KD seem more normal.

      Between Jordan, Kobe, Bird, Magic, Wilt, and Russel; despite his talents and glories LBJ isn’t even top 5.

      • GoLandCrabs

        Ridiculous comment. Lakers had missed the playoffs 5 years in a row when Lebron came. They were no where near a guarntee a superteam. 3 teams in 17 years is not that much. Kawhi is on his 3rd team in 3 years. I have news for you Golden State is just another team in the west at this point. Imagine thinking they are still an elite team without KD.

        • DeathbyDeathwest

          If nothing else, it was clear to LBJ and everyone else that LAL would be capable of trading for a major star, if not AD – who is who LBJ wanted. AD made a ridiculous scene to force the trade on his end.

          To Kawhi’s credit, Toronto knew he was probably leaving when they made the trade for him, and he grabbed them a ring. But he made a mistake in not resigning because he might be playing for a repeat now, instead of being capped by PG13.

          GSW won before KD. Splash Bros are older/slower, but they’re going to be good next year.

          If LBJ stayed in Cleveland, he would’ve had fewer roster transitions, spent more time actively contending, and had even more title shots. He could have been Cleveland’s Jordan/Kobe/Bird… Not saying LBJ isnt great, but he’s overrated to be getting this much active GOAT talk… unless he gets 2-3 more rings as a full time starter.

          • GoLandCrabs

            I firmly believe it is Lebron haters goal to post as much nonsene as possible. Kawhi held the Clippers hostage to trade their entire future for Pg. Lebron came to the Lakers with zero guarantee for a star. The Warriors won a title without KD 6 years ago LOL. Curry is going to be 33 off many injures and Klay is coming off a massive injury. Thats not even close to the same talent level as the 2015 Warriors and thinking otherwise is delusional.

          • MikeWiz

            Have you even been to Ohio? Maybe if they drafted or signed a bunch of players from Yugoslavia they woulda had fewer roster transactions. They were already retooling every year worse than the Yankees. Nobody who can afford to get out chooses to stay in Cleveland—besides Tristan Thompson.

            • x%sure

              So players play bad on purpose?— no, try again. They’re in a rebuild, and Altman should be an assistant.

              • MikeWiz

                Rondo did once. Not what I was saying tho. I meant millionaire athletes don’t want to live in Cleveland. LeBron convinces some and they’ll do it for a season or two, but who actually wants to live in Cleveland? Only cities worse for young black millionaires are probably Salt Lake and OKC. Therefore, the Cavs would have still had high turnover, thanks to LeBron being annoying and the town being a dump. Atleast Salt Lake has some investment opportunities and OKC is warm. Cavs are just one of those teams that belongs at the bottom of the standings developing lottery picks for 3 and a half seasons. Unless they’re from like Russia or where ever Big Z was from, because those players will feel right at home in the frozen wasteland that is Cleveland, Ohio.

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