Multiple sources are confirming that Dwight Howard will be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in a multi-team deal, with the Lakers parting with center Andrew Bynum.
With Steve Nash running the point and Dwight Howard down low, the Lakers are going to be unstoppable. As a life-long Lakers fan, I could not be happier.
Dwight Howard's Defensive Impact
Dwight Howard won the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award in 2009, 2010, and 2011. There is no better defensive player in the paint than Howard.
Howard has finished among the NBA's Top-5 in blocks per game in each of the last five seasons (2008-2012), including leading the league in blocks in 2009 and 2010.
While Steve Nash is a huge upgrade at the point guard position for the Lakers, his clear liability is on the defensive end. Dwight Howard will be able to turn away quick point guards who penetrate past Steve Nash and get into the lane.
Andrew Bynum was never known for his defensive, seeming to tolerate playing defense in order to play offense on the next possession.
Bynum has finished sixth in the NBA in blocks per game in each of the last two seasons, but he simply does not possess the same intimidation factor as Dwight Howard in constantly causing offensive players to be mindful of his presence.
Dwight Howard's Ideal Fit
Quite simply, I think Dwight Howard will relish not having to the "the man" night in and night out as a member of the Lakers.
In Orlando he was always the focal point. Howard is not a natural scorer and his offensive game is still not very refined, yet the Magic required him 20-plus points every night in order to win.
With the Lakers Dwight Howard can defer to Kobe, or Nash, or Gasol at times, and focus on defense, rebounding, and slamming down alley-oops from Steve Nash.
Andrew Bynum, on the other hand, seemed to want to be the man. A power struggle between Kobe and Bynum seemed to always be lurking on the horizon. The time was going to come when Bynum was going to demand 20 shots a night.
Dwight Howard will continue to be productive on the offensive end in Los Angeles, but he will no longer have to carry the team.
Bringing the Title Back to Tinseltown
With a starting five of Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, and Dwight Howard, no team will be able to match up with the Lakers. New addition Antawn Jamison will be a significant upgrade to the Lakers' bench.
While the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder are younger and more athletic, the Lakers depth should simply overwhelm them.
With Dwight Howard now in Los Angeles, the title will be coming back to Tinseltown.
Andrew Sweat is a die-hard Lakers fan. For more from this author, visit Andrew's archive or check these out articles:
- Sports & Recreation
- Dwight Howard
- Andrew Bynum
- Kobe Bryant
- Steve Nash