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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Dwight Howard takes responsibility for Lakers’ struggles, vows to turn it around

The Los Angeles Lakers need a spark from someone. They are currently in 12th place in the Western Conference with a 17-24 record, meaning they would miss the playoffs with room to spare if the postseason started today. Fortunately, the playoffs are months away. What’s less fortunate is that L.A. has lost three games in a row and things are not looking up.

The Lakers are set to take on the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night, and Dwight Howard has vowed to make the game the start of something new.

“I think this will be the start of a new season for us tonight,” Howard said after the team’s shootaround Wednesday, via ESPNLosAngeles.com. “Hopefully our effort and energy is where it needs to be tonight. But, it starts with me. I have to bring it.”

Jeff Van Gundy agrees wholeheartedly. Howard has averaged just over 17 points per game this season, which is a few points less than where his numbers had been with the Orlando Magic over the past few seasons. He is also pulling down 12.3 rebounds per game, whereas he averaged over 14 the last two seasons. More importantly, he has not lived up to his reputation as a presence in the post on defense.

“I have to be more,” Howard said. “I have to do more for this team. There are a lot of responsibilities on my shoulders. I have to step up and take it. It has to be me. It has to start with me. I’m a guy that has to dominate for us to win. We’re not going to win unless I dominate.”

Howard also admitted that he was “immature” on Monday when he complained about the amount of shot opportunities he was given in a loss to the Chicago Bulls. It certainly wouldn’t hurt for “Superman” to start living up to his reputation. Kobe Bryant can’t do it all by himself, and he is clearly growing incredibly frustrated with the direction of the team. All that’s left for Howard to do now is, well, actually do it.

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