For the second consecutive day, Lakers center Dwight Howard showed flashes of his old self. He ran up and down the court. Howard worked on post moves in the offense. During the portion of Wednesday's morning practice open to the media, Howard even dunked.
But that doesn't mean he's ready to make the next step as he rehabs from back surgery. The Lakers have a two-hour practice scheduled Wednesday evening, including a live five-on-five scrimmage. Howard isn't expected to participate in that drill, which Lakers Coach Mike Brown said will mostly emphasize defensive concepts.
Still, Brown held out hope that could change very soon. When asked if Howard would play in the five-on-five scrimmage, Brown said, "I'll plan on him being there, but I'll also have a plan for it if he's not."
It's more likely that Howard will not. He hasn't been cleared yet to participate in five-on-five contact drills.
Howard's participation on Wednesday featured no contacts. Even though the Lakers played with contact Monday in one-on-one, two-on-two and three-on-three drills, the team's five-on-five sets didn't feature any defenses. During Wednesday's practice, assistant coach Darvin Ham gave Howard light contact after he caught entry passes in the post.