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.”