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Busy schedule testing Dwight Howard's stamina

November 24, 2012|By Eric Pincus
  • Dwight Howard powers through the Grizzlies' Mike Conley and Marc Gasol
Dwight Howard powers through the Grizzlies' Mike Conley and Marc… (Lance Murphey / Associated…)

Before the Lakers' road trip, Dwight Howard noted that he's recovering well from off-season back surgery but stamina remains a concern.

"I've been playing a lot of minutes," said Howard.

It's not a matter of pain for Howard.  It's muscle fatigue that Howard has to battle.

Playing on back-to-back nights or heavy minutes in general might have something to do with his diminished performance the last two games.

In 39 minutes against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, Howard scored only seven points and collected just four rebounds. In Sacramento on Wednesday (after hosting the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday), Howard had seven and nine in almost 41 minutes of play.

On Saturday he'll have to take on the Dallas Mavericks in what the Lakers' fourth game in five nights.

Over two games (before the loss to the Kings), Howard averaged 25.5 points and 15.5 rebounds.

There are other factors to blame but it's easy to forget that the Lakers didn't expect Howard back until December or January.

The hope is that Howard's stamina will improve throughout the season.  Until then his teammates will need to offer enough support for the Lakers to win.  So far, during recent games, that hasn't happened.

Of course, no one could anticipate Steve Nash going down with a leg injury, taking the two-time league MVP out of the lineup since the second game of the season.

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You can email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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