Report: Howard Set For Sunday Debut




HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The long wait to see Dwight Howard in live action with the Los Angeles Lakers could be over by the weekend.

The Lakers’ Sunday preseason game against Sacramento is Howard’s target game to make his official return to the court, as first reported by Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports and later by Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com.

“I told Steve [Nash], ‘I think I’m going to be a little nervous out there the first time,’” Howard told reporters after the Lakers practiced Thursday. “He said he’d help me through it. But this is a new team, new city, and I think everybody is expecting a lot out of me, so I have to make sure I keep all that out of my mind when I play in front of the home crowd.”

Howard had surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back in April and didn’t start running until just before the start of training camp. The only real action he’s seen on the court has been against teammates in practice, including scrimmages.

Sunday would give him an opportunity to test himself under the bright lights, albeit in a preseason game, before the Lakers’ Oct. 30 season opener against the Dallas Mavericks.

With preseason games against the Los Angeles Clippers (Wednesday) and another one against the Kings (Thursday), Howard will have a chance to see how his body responds to the ramped up intensity of a live game before the opener. And he made it clear that feels it’s important to take that test before the real games start, telling ESPNLosAngeles.com:

“I think it does. You can’t expect for a preseason game to be like Michael Jordan‘s comeback where he goes for 45 points and 40 rebounds. Right now I just want to get my feet wet.”

“I know I’m going to be a little rusty, I haven’t played in so long,” Howard said. “It’s going be a little different, but I’m looking forward to it. Once I get my first dunk or my first block, everything will be OK.”

The Lakers are counting on that being the case. Whatever bonding that Howard, Nash, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace have done so far has been strictly in a training camp environment.

Battling the Lakers’ second unit fine simulation of what’s to come, but it’s not close to the real thing!

62 Comments

  1. Kobeng-Burat says:

    Lakers 0-6 Bobcats 1-5…… nough said……

  2. Kobeng-Burat says:

    Cousins man handled D12 single handed…. lakers can’t beat a team with no Star on their roster….. Can they past OKC… don’t think so…. They might break a sweat in their 1st round…. I think they are intimidating in PAPER… But in reality… not close enough…. I think lakers will have a hard time on BOBCATS… uLOLs….

  3. lol says:

    lol and shaq says dwight howard is not good at the post hes more of a pick roll guy -_-

  4. lakerfan4646 says:

    They look good but again, Howard will struggle at the line and it may cost them down the stretch.

  5. Did You Know says:

    I can’t wait until Howard comes back. Great Article man.

  6. lakeshow24 says:

    People screamin about tha 2nd unit, tha Lakers OVERALL can be a DEEP team with smart adjustments 2 tha lineups. U could easily distribute tha starters 2 equal out tha bench. MWP & Gasol can pick up tha slack on tha 2nd unit (if any). A Gasol (C), Jamison/Hill (PF), MWP/Hill (SF), Meeks/Gouldlock (SG), Blake (PG) lineup could easily be a STARTING lineup on another team, mix n match, u get tha idea…its all about SELFLESSNESS & tha greater good of the team ya dig. DROP KNOWLEDGE!

  7. BANDWAGONS says:

    STOP BEING SOO NEGATIVE ON THE LAKERSS!!!! WHAT R U HEAT FANSS?? ALWAYS FINDIN SOMETHIN NEGATIVE ABOUT THEM FACEE ITT!!! U KNOW THEIR GOING TO BRING THIS YEAR!!! HATERS R GUNNA HATE

  8. sam says:

    So far very disappointed with there performance, and hope they will be up to the expectations.

    • Game Time says:

      Even for preaseason I have to say they don’t look to great…but again it’s preseason so by January no one will even care what their record was.

  9. Timothy says:

    This is going to be a beast team. They have the talent to get to 70+ wins.

    • Game Time says:

      Talent but not the time. If all the star players were in their primes or close to it I’d say yes. Injuries and age thrown into the equation and 70+ is about as likely as Phil coming back. Oh that would be the other problem (the coach). Brown can’t get these guys to 70+.

  10. lakeshow24 says:

    People screamin about tha 2nd unit, tha Lakers OVERALL can be a DEEP team with smart adjustments 2 tha lineups. U could easily distribute tha starters 2 equal out tha bench. MWP & Gasol can pick up tha slack on tha 2nd unit (if any). A Gasol (C), Jamison/Hill (PF), MWP/Hill (SF), Meeks/Gouldlock (SG), Blake (PG) lineup could easily be a STARTING lineup on another team, mix n match, u get tha idea…its all about SELFLESSNESS & tha greater hood of the team ya dig. DROP KNOWLEDGE!

    • Game Time says:

      Sorry but as much as you think you know…you don’t. Blake has proven (rather hasn’t) that he is not a good starter much less a backup (not even sure why he’s still there). Meeks/Gouldlock…zzzzz; I’ll continue to sleep on them. Now Hill has potential, but just injured his back. Jamison is probably their only solid guy coming off the bench, but will continue to put up under 10pts unless he’s given A LOT more minutes. As for moving Gasol coming off the bench, how do you think that will affect the overall chemistry of an already unstable one? I’d suggest you think about all that because this isn’t a bag of Skittles so mixing and matching won’t always taste great.

  11. WE DON'T USE LOYALTY LOOSLEY says:

    Dwight isn’t a loyal character and will be fleeing L.A after they Bomb this season. SO while you LA fans put your hope in this “Business Man” , His choice is still to play in Brooklyn and will be leaving you all so high the fall will be Crushing.

  12. DAN THE MAN says:

    FIRST OF ALL I AM COUNTING ON THE LAKERS TO BEAT THE HEAT BUT NEVER FORGET ABOUT KD AND THE THUNDER
    AND CELTICS.PEOPLE ARE CUTTING THE THUNDER OUT OF THIS BIG IMAGE AND CELTICS STILL GOT IT.BUT I STILL THINK
    MIAMI IS GONNA CURSED THIS SEASON WITH LOSING IN THE FINALS TO MY MAN KOBE DH AND STEVE N. HERES MY PREDICTION FOR THE PLAYOFF WCSEMIS HEAT BEAT THE CELTICS
    BULLS BEAT THE KNICKS
    HEAT BEAT THE BULLS GO THE FINALS

    LAKERS BEAT THE SPURS IN THE WC LAKERS BEAT HEAT IN GAME 7 LAKERS NBA CHAMPS KOBE MVP

    SEMIS
    OKC BEAT THE CLIPPERS

    LAKERS BEAT OKC AND GO TO THE FINALS

  13. Frenchie says:

    You guys seem to forget about the celtics. Funny. They are probably the deepest team in the league now. Their second unit could be a first unit in any team. They will be able to keep a high pace of energy even when players rotate. I’m curious to see how Miami and L.A are gonna handle their second unit once LBj, wade, or D12 and Kobe are on the bench. Be aware people: any team that will play the celtics this year is gonna have to play they starters 49 minutes a game if they want to keep up with the Celt’s energy. For the last 2 seasons, everybody was betting on Beantown being down, old and hopeless. Well, in 2010, they were 7 minutes away from another championship, and last year, they were the only team that gives Miami a ride for its money, taking them to 7 freaking ECF playoff games, with a team decimated by injuries.

    You guys have not learnt your lesson yet????!!!!!!!

  14. 1078Lee says:

    people so quick to crown lebrons miami heat favorite to win it all. When they won the east by forfeit. Boston not at full strenght. Avery was not even playing in that series. He had took Ray Allen spot. People keep saying this and that. Lakers are the favorite to win it all. Quit hating Mitch Kupchek GM of year and Lakers win it all. and then next year Chriss Paul goes to lakers side of Staple Center.

    • Califan says:

      A forfeit? Avery Bradley? Those are your excuses for Miami being able to win. I don’t like to call people names but man you are dumb if you believe that.

      • 1078Lee says:

        Sounds like pot is calling the kettle black. Why u can’t allow peaople to have there own opinion. Later Hater

  15. Sorry, to keep repeating myself but REPEATING is a very hard thing to do. So, odds are that Miami will not repeat! …The dreaded Green-Monster with Pierce, KG, Ray Ray, Rondo and Doc coaching could not get it done and neither will the Heat.

    • Califan says:

      Injuries kept the C’s from returning to the playoffs in 2009 and in 2010 the were very close to winning vs LA. They lost perkins which hurt big time. So if Miami’s stars stay healthy they have a very BIG chance of repeating.

  16. Annie says:

    Go Kings!! <3

  17. FUNNY says:

    Dwight is trying to erase Shaq records from Orlando and now to Lakers.. we can see the patterns here.. so maybe his next stop is to Miami

  18. Jowell says:

    Lakers composed of, a ballhog, big cry baby, old legs, psychotic behavior, whipping boy. Couldnt wait for every other team destroying that over rated lakers bunch

  19. wout says:

    I’m looking forward to see Dwight Howard play. The Lakers got a BIG advantage now, but we shall see who comes out as champ!!!

  20. dr.rasheed syed says:

    Looking forward to see Dwight in L.A uniform, playing for Lakers today. Nash/Dwight combo is a killer!
    What I fear: Chemistry and old age (fatigue/injury).
    What I like: pure talent.
    What is the solution: Better coaching from Mike Brown and few forced shots attempt by Kobe. Phil Jackson use to say distribute the ball (Only Kobe can make that happen instead of taking too many forced shots) and play like a team. When everyone is involved then opponents will have hard time beating. I hope Kobe is reading this!
    Kobe should learn from Olympics game.
    Question is (Does Kobe want his stats to go up by affecting team’s goal or focus on getting the ring). All year he plays individual and in playoffs he expects his team mates to sync with him. How is that possible? He needs to sync with team and for the better good if he wants that ring. Stats Vs Ring. I wonder what Kobe will choose?

  21. Micah says:

    Man I am so excited for Dwight, he is finally getting the backup he needed in Orlando. Or is he the backup?

    It’s going to be a fun season to watch!

  22. bill says:

    kobe looking forward to his 6th ring this year

  23. bill says:

    the lakers going to be the best this year

  24. AdamHughes says:

    If nash plays like his mvp season, and dwight plays better than he did in the 09′ finals, and kobe plays like he always does, then we have a better chance of winning a championship this year

  25. OSCAR says:

    YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

  26. BBall Fan says:

    Shaq….I mean DH will be fine, once he learns he is not the man at Laker town, unless Kobe bows to him like DH wants everyone to do…Somehow, I don’t see that happening.

  27. Sunniv says:

    What’s the old saying “don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched” ? Same principal here. No one really knows how Dwight will actually play. Major back surgery, new team, new coach, new system, very immature for someone almost 27 years old – the list could go on. Just sayin…. Also, Ron Artest (I refuse to call him by his alias, esp. after last season) has played badly so far in the pre-season – I don’t see much good chemistry happening between him & DH. There has always been a problem with team-work between the Laker players, so I can’t believe it will be any different this season.

    • Sunniv says:

      Not afraid to admit a mistake – RA/MWP made 35 points in the first 3 Laker pre-season games. Sorry to you Hangtime readers, as well as to RA/MWP.

    • LEL says:

      pshh, James Harden is a flopper, get over yourself.

      • Average Joe says:

        If you really watched that game and all the replays, it was clear that MWP elbowed Harden out of the way. I don’t believe that he didn’t see Harden either. Harden was very close to MWP and going for the ball to play it in-bound. And if you look closely, MWP took a little glance at Harden before the elbow. Imma have to agree with Sunniv here. His behavior doesn’t give justice to his name.

  28. The truth says:

    Still won’t be enough to get past Okc or spurs. Additionally, the heat will destroy the lakers. However, I am really really interested in seeing the lakers on the floor.

  29. Dyllon says:

    MWP will be fine he came into camp in shape, he also scored 13pts in the first 3 games, he will bw better on D with Dwight behind him as well. in fact the whole team will be lets go! Lakers! Swag
    hahaha

  30. Computer Bule says:

    I figured he’s be playing soon seeing that video the other day. I think he’ll have a big season in rebounds but not so great in points.

    • TTKIN says:

      Dont count on too much in the rebounds department. He aint used to having another guy on the team average 10 boards a game. I expect gasol in the 9-10 range like he always is, then I expect Howard to be in the 11-13 range. not 14-15 like when in orlando.

      • Computer Bule says:

        No, I think he’ll have a big year. Bynum getting 11 per game with Gasol, and Howard is a better rebounder. The size of that team itself is pretty big. He’ll have more…but that’s dependant on his overall health and effort. What I should have said is he can have a big year in rebounds.

  31. E-Dubbz says:

    I believe the Lakers will play well early in the season and start to dominate after the Allstar break. Laker Domination!

    • bunbury says:

      if artest is as good as he says he will be this year, the lakers may have a shot to beat the heat. wade does a very good job on kobe defensively and lebron, let’s face it, he is the best right now.

      • TTKIN says:

        Everyone in Laker camp has been saying he’s looking good. Kobe really likes what he’s seeing from Artest and if Kobe likes it that should be a good thing.

      • Bryan says:

        I agree with you, right now, as much as i hate it, Lebron is the best, and Wade should, if he stays healthy, be able to contain Kobe, but basketball is a team game. Across the board Lakers have a much better team, as least for the starters. I wish i was on here saying Orlando is the best, but I’m a fan not a dreamer. Lebron has always struggled offinsively when Howard was on the floor, and I doubt Bosh can handle Gasol for too long. All that aside, i think Miamis bench will be the key. Lakers are really old and really shallow, and Spoletra is no idiot, he will most likely capitalize on that. But, if Howard is healthy, and hasn’t lost a step I give it to LA 100%, Howard brought Orlando to the finals with very second rate players, it will be very interesting to watch him play with the top players in the NBA. This should be a fun season, at least when the “good teams” are playing. Too many super teams so there will be a lot of boring games and blow outs

  32. Boka says:

    Now every think sat , exept banch and coach

  33. TTKIN says:

    I am so giddy with excitement haha. But what I really cant wait for is to see the entire team, during the regular season when theyre actually giving it their all.

  34. dwynn says:

    People whose always saying LA will be the Champs they dont know basktetball the season not even started yet!!!Just watch and enjoy the game stop all the prediction things!!!Championships are not given…You have to Earned it!!

    • KOBE #1 FAN says:

      dude chill, no one really know whos going to be champ this year, just let everyone praise their team, and stay away from the Lakers YOU FREAKING HATER

    • Chris91 says:

      Championships are not given, they’re earned? Thanks for stating the obvious.. Oh and stealing LeBrons t-shirt logo lol Can’t wait to see Kobe show LeBron up in the finals. Love how everybody is sleeping on the most skilled player to ever pick up a bball. That’s right… Ever! And I can support my argument down to the wire.

  35. Spencer says:

    lebron is gettin his 2nd ring this year……..

  36. DANIEL says:

    lakers 2013 nba champions people kept saying this and that what my boy dwizzy is back and in great health god bless!

  37. DANIEL says:

    hes back!

  38. LA-@RAMofManila says:

    Can’t wait to see you playing Dwight.. Lets go and get our 17th Trophy!!

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