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Jeff Van Gundy: Dwight Howard will help Lakers make deep playoff run

August 10, 2012|By Baxter Holmes
  • New teammates Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard will now give the Lakers the best rebounding tandem in the NBA.
New teammates Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard will now give the Lakers the best… (Harry How / Getty Images )

Dwight Howard is a Laker, a fact that Lakers fans are happily digesting and that other NBA teams and fans are probably finding a bit hard to swallow.

Former New York Knicks and Houston Rockets head coach Jeff Van Gundy weighed in on the move, saying that with Howard the Lakers now have "the best starting lineup in basketball."

"It fits together well, if Howard is healthy, happy and engaged and willing to be the fourth-best offensive player on the team," Van Gundy, an NBA television analyst, said in an interview. "Their starting lineup is tremendous. Now we’ll see how the bench plays and if they have enough there."

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Van Gundy continued with a breakdown of Howard as a player and how he fits in with the Lakers.

"Dwight Howard is the best pick-and-roll big man in the game as far as rolling to the rim and he’s a great screen-setter," Van Gundy said. "His offensive game in the post is elementary. He’s got a high turnover rate and he’s a horrible free-throw shooter. He’s got to cede some of what he wants for what’s best for the team. He makes them an elite defensive and rebounding team right off the bat. He’s that good. And he’s got a superior basketball IQ as well.

"If he willingly plays the role that he should, I see no reason why they won’t go deep into the playoffs."


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