Lakers Notes: Howard, James, Rondo, Davis

Dwight Howard barely played against the small-ball Rockets in the Lakers‘ last series, but he may be in the starting lineup for Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Howard’s impact in Game 1 has coach Frank Vogel considering a change. During seven minutes in the second quarter, the veteran center had two blocks, two steals, and drew five fouls. He also boosted L.A.’s energy and physicality, Slater notes.

Howard started the second half in place of JaVale McGee and got Nuggets center Nikola Jokic to commit an important fourth foul, stifling Denver’s comeback hopes. Howard finished with 13 points in 16 minutes and was plus-14 for the game. Vogel won’t announce his Game 2 starters until the league requirement of 30 minutes before tipoff, tweets Mike Trudell of Spectrum.

“I had a chance to get there once and always promised myself if I had a chance to get back there, I’d give my teammates everything I got and lay it all out on the line,” Howard told Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, referring to his loss with the Magic in 2009 in his only NBA Finals appearance.

There’s more on the Lakers:

  • Vogel said LeBron James should be ready for Game 2 despite hurting his ankle Friday night, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN. James rolled the ankle when he stepped on Jerami Grant‘s foot.
  • Rajon Rondo put up seven points, nine assists and two steals in 22 minutes in Game 1, but the attitude he brings to the court is more important than his numbers, observes Helene Elliott of The Los Angeles Times“His impact’s always measured in swag with our team,” Vogel said. “He elevates the group’s confidence every time he’s on the floor.” Rondo, who has a reputation for raising his game in the postseason, passed Michael Jordan on the career playoff assists list Friday night and is closing in on Kobe Bryant. He has been a difference maker since returning from a fractured right thumb that caused him to miss all the Lakers’ seeding games and the first-round series with Portland.
  • Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report talks to several anonymous team executives about whether Anthony Davis is the best teammate James has ever had. Davis is in his prime at age 27 and has been a perfect complement to James since being acquired from the Pelicans last summer.
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18 thoughts on “Lakers Notes: Howard, James, Rondo, Davis

  1. Sillivan

    ESPN says Lakers win game 1
    3 Nuggets starters have early foul trouble in the 2nd quarter

  2. El Don

    That is obvious that AD is the best player to ever play next to LBJ!
    He is clearly better than D-Wade, Bosh, Kyrie, K-Love…
    AD has actually been better than LBJ in the RS, seeding games & now in the playoffs… & that is somethin’ that never happen before, LBJ always was the best player in his team, now AD is the man!

    • Chucktoad1

      Wade’s arguably the 2nd SG of his era, Davis isn’t even the best player In his draft class

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      AD better than D-Wade? Must be too young to have ever watched Wade and LeBron playing together in Miami. Give me a break.

      • x_burner_X

        You obviously didnt watch that version of dwade – when LeBron came, he was at the tale end of his prime. AD is a defensive monster who can score 30 on every given night.

      • adamsessler

        AD v. Wade? It’s a tough call, no definitive answer 1 way or the other.

        People forget how great Wade was b/c it’s been almost a decade since we saw prime Wade. But conversely, people may not realize how amazing AD is b/c he’s played on such bad teams in relative obscurity.

        Their career best seasons in PERS & WS are about the same. They’ve both been on numerous All-NBA 1st Teams. And they’ve both finished in the top 5 of MVP voting a couple times, tho neither has won it…

        It’s a really tough call. There are definitely compelling arguments for each, but if I was forced to pick 1, I suppose I would go w/ AD, the reason being this: In the entirety of Wade’s career, there was never any consideration that he was the best player in the NBA. There was always LeBron or Kobe, Duncan earlier in Wade’s career. Wade was always in the discussion for top 5, but not really ever discussed as being THE top guy. Whereas for AD, there’s been legitimate discussion among pundits that he is the best player in the NBA, or at least in that discussion w/ LeBron & KD. The only reason there isn’t a stronger case for him is b/c (1) AD played in the NBA’s Sibera surrounded by an inferior supporting cast & forced to play out of position for most of his career, & (2) he’s a big man, & bigs are more reliant on their cast than guards or wings b/c bigs don’t generally initiate the offense; they need guards or wings to bring up the ball. You put prime-Duncan on AD’s bad teams, & those teams are sniffing the playoffs…

        There’s a legitimate argument that AD was at certain points of his career, the best player in the NBA based on his all-around game. You can’t say the same about Wade. For that reason, I would give a slight edge to AD. But again, it’s really an impossible decision, & I wouldn’t be upset w/ anyone who picked Wade.

  3. Simmons>Russ

    I think Reggie Jackson walks from the Clippers straight to the Lakers this offseason.

    He just suits that team more. Could be a starter and help be a playmaker and shooter for LeBron.
    Jackson is a career 13-4.5-3 player but can shoot it from deep 41% this season and from the line 90% this season.

    Reggie Jackson Danny Green LeBron James Anthony Davis JaVale McGee

    Then I expect to see some more signing for the bench. Maybe Melo..
    Have Rondo Bradley KCP Melo Kuzma Howard along with Quinn Cook, Caruso, THT

    • x%sure

      I doubt either, as the team would want James in control, but Reggie J would make a good 2G for a team with a physical PG… or play the role Trey Burke has with Dallas.

    • Lakers1

      You obviously aren’t a laker fan and don’t know this team..Bradley is a starter and best perimeter defensive player.. he’s not a bench player.. plus he’s got a player option and would walk if he was told he was moving to bench.. jackson is always hurt he also sucked with clippers. you also forget cousins will be back.. Howard won’t be back next year.. he will want to get paid.. you are also putting Caruso at end of bench. Tht will get more run next year. If I had my guess, green and howard won’t be back next year.

      melo will be a trailblazer.

      • Simmons>Russ

        Green is contracted although he plays like dog crap 50% of the time. Howard I’m unsure maybe he stays cause he’s happy and has found himself a good role on a good team.
        Cousins is no lock to come back although is pretty likely he does I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up somewhere else.

        Maybe Green is traded and Jackson and Bradley. Bron will obviously control the ball but can move back into SF and Jackson will just help with his shooting and ability to play make and run an offence when Bron isn’t on the court. Reggie does get hurt but so does most that roster. AD Bradley Rondo they are all injury prone dudes. I actually don’t think Reggie sucked with the clippers either he just couldn’t play his game. He played off the bench and was told Lou Will and Harrell are our bench scorers you can just play third to them and pass them the ball. Reggie is similar to Waiters in that he likes to shoot it and likes to play make a little and on that team he was having to play a more Rondo type role it was a bad fit.
        I think Reggie’s shooting and playmaking would be a huge pick up for the Lakers

  4. x%sure

    Wade was better I think but by the time James joined, he had fallen off a little. AD is in his prime, and James even waited for him for a year. He would have waited out two years on an undermanned team, getting him in free agency rather than trade, but Laker Nation got impatient and started venerating the kids and disdaining James. My opinion. Ask poster imindless.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Wade was only 28 when he first played with LBJ, but he was still better 10 years ago than AD is right now. It’s not even debatable.

      • El Don

        Only your opinion! I don’t go by opinions, but by facts AD, is ranked 3rd ever in PER, only slightly behind Jordan & LBJ! & D-Wade is wait, I need to find him… Mmmmhhh… getting there, oh there is #21 in the all-time list! Seems very clear to me who is the better player once you looked at facts not opinions or optics or perceptions or any other silly opinion. Show me facts & I will believe you!
        AD’s PER is 27.4 EFF 28.7
        DW’s PER is 23.5 EFF 20.8
        BTW I am 46, I did watch DW a lot, I am a big fan of his, I did like him better than Kobe, that is how good I think he was… but no were near the level of AD, that is just clear to anyone to see!

        • Reflect

          You can’t compare career numbers when one dude hasn’t finished his career. The last 5 years of Wades career were pretty brutal. Of course AD has better numbers.

          The better comparison is the top 3 seasons of each. I haven’t looked maybe AD is still better I’m just saying.

        • Curtisrowe

          Haha, Those stats are including Wade’s years when he was old. Nice “Facts”

  5. KnickerbockerAl

    AD is a great player of his generation. You are talking about HOFers. Best to let him play 12 yrs. What will you say if Bron n AD lose. AD is a great player. He’s a big who needs his teammates to be great. He’s got one of best teammates ever now. So he’s going to look real good. Winning and being a great player are two different things. Wade took Miami with old Shaq to Title. That was a true team. And Wade was their true leader. AD hasn’t done anything close to that. Wade was 24 then. Those are facts.

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