Dwight Howard is ready to go.
Multiple reports out of Staples Center confirm rumors from this week that Dwight Howard will make his debut for the Lakers on Sunday night as they take on the Sacramento Kings. His recovery from back surgery has gotten to the point he can play in a game.
What this really means for the Lakers? That Howard will be ready to go opening night. When the games start to matter, they will have their full team.
It means the Lakers starting five — Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol and Howard — can start to get some needed game work in together. These are five veteran, high-IQ players who should be able to mesh well but chemistry still takes time playing together and they are just now starting to get some. Plus, Howard will have some rust to shake off.
On top of that, Lakers coach Mike Brown can start to put together rotations for the bench closer to what he will use in the regular season, and he can start to see what works. Well, he could, who knows what Brown will do with his bench, it’s been like a U8 soccer game where everybody gets to play an equal amount so far this preseason. We’ll see if that changes.
But it will be interesting to start to see what the Lakers offense looks like with Howard in the mix.
The NBA has unveiled its top 100 plays of the 2015-16 season, and there’s no mystery as to what were the top two.
No. 2: Stephen Curry‘s halfcourt buzzer-beater in overtime against the Thunder in Oklahoma City during the season.
No. 1: “The Block” by LeBron James on Andre Iguodala in the final stretch of Game 7 of the Finals.
There’s plenty more, too, and if you have 25 minutes to kill, you can and should watch all of them above.
Tyler Zeller is one of the few restricted free agents left on the market who could make an actual impact next season, and on Saturday morning, he’s come off the board. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports that the fourth-year big man has agreed to a deal to stay with the Celtics. It’s for two years and $16 million, with the second season being a team option.
Zeller isn’t a starter, but he’s a nice rotation big man, especially at that price. He can play minutes off the bench for Boston, and his contract is also very movable with the second season being unguaranteed. He played just 11.8 minutes per game last season, but averaged 18.5 points and 9 rebounds per 36 minutes.
The Toronto Raptors were good last season, second best team in the East. That means the guys on Inside the NBA on TNT had to talk about them.
Which means Charles Barkley had to say “Jonas Valanciunas” a lot. Which is high comedy. While a lot of people struggle to say his name the guy is a solid NBA center who, with a little practice, you can say (and spell) his name pretty easily.
This comes from a YouTube user, via Reddit, with a hat tip to Eye on Basketball.
Argentina isn’t considered a medal contender heading into the Rio Olympics. Their golden generation — led by Manu Ginobili — has picked up a lot of speed on the downhill side of their careers at this point.
They didn’t provide much of a challenge for Team USA in an exhibition game Friday night in Las Vegas, one won by the USA 111-74. Kevin Durant impressed playing with his new teammates in dropping 23 points, Paul George had 18, and the Americans had their way in the game.
Which is what we’re going to see a lot of in Rio — the USA’s talent level is just steps above any other team in the tournament.