Whenever ESPN NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy speaks, I listen. Not because I believe Van Gundy is a basketball guru, but because he is very entertaining and will always bring up a point I would not have considered.
Early Wednesday morning, Eric Pincus of the LA Times reported that Jeff discussed the Los Angeles Lakers on The Herd with Colin Cowherd. Jeff had a lot to say about Lakers center Dwight Howard‘s antics,
“When you lose games and you’re going around after the game with a stat sheet in your hand and you’re saying, ‘Look at the stat sheet’ to reporters and to your teammates — you know what it is? It’s passive-aggressive, immature stuff,” said Van Gundy. “It’s sad. This guy has so much to offer that is good for the game, to the game and to the Lakers. They’re paying him huge money and they gave up a lot to get him.”
The Lakers this season are 17 – 25, the worst they have ever been with star Kobe Bryant in a Laker uniform. This season has been abysmal to say the least, add that with everyone attempting to hit the restart button lately and you have a bad situation taking a turn for the worst.
“Unfortunately right now his attitude towards the game is impacting his production on the court and the Lakers are not getting his very best,” said Van Gundy. “At his very best he’d still be a dominant defender, rebounder and 18 point-per-game scorer. He doesn’t like his role. You can see from his comments, from his play, he has very high role-frustration right now.”
Van Gundy then spoke about Dwight’s increasing displeasure and it causing major concern,
“I think it’s more dissatisfaction with his situation,” said Van Gundy. “He wants to be the best player or No. 1 option offensively. I think it’s impacted his entire game.”
Van Gundy didn’t hold back describing what he sees to be Howard’s limitations.
“He has rudimentary offensive skills,” said Van Gundy. “He’s not a good ball handler. He doesn’t have a really well-defensive low-post game – a poor free-throw shooter. But he can have a huge impact on the game defensively – rebounding, screening, rolling, the occasional post move because he’s so athletic – but he doesn’t want to do it that way.”
The Lakers do not have much time to figure out their woes on the court. They do have three upcoming home games against the Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, and the New Orleans Hornets but simply cannot afford to only come away with one win. The rest of this month’s stretch will definitely tell Laker supporters what to expect from February on.