Times Lakers writer Mike Bresnahan and Orlando Sentinel writer Brian Schmitz took part in a Google+ Hangout on Wednesday to discuss what impact Dwight Howard will have on the Lakers.
One big question is how will Howard and Kobe Bryant will get along.
Bresnahan pointed out that Howard "Has kind of emulated Kobe over the years. This is a guy so happy to be out of Orlando that he is deferring to Kobe and there shouldn't be any problems unless Kobe tries to embarass him in practice, and there is no reason for him to that.
Schmitz, who covered Howard in Orlando says that Howard is disingenuous when he talks about the Lakers. "He says it was destiny that he be on the Lakers. No, he ran out of locations. Where else was he gonna go? He has been an Alpha Dog for the last 8 years, so what will happen those nights when Kobe gets his points, Pau Gasol gets his, Steve Nash gets his. What does he do then? It will be interesting to see how Dwight responds to his new role."
Bresnahan, though says "He's gonna get so many easy points because defense will be scrambling to contain Kobe, to contain Nash. And Gasol is rejuventated without Bynum there clogging the lane. So he should get a lot of easy baskets each game."
As Bresnahan wrote in the days leading up the Howard's exhibition debut on Sunday,
"The Lakers could use Howard, tears and everything. They're the only team without an exhibition victory. Their 0-5 mark is their worst start ever.
"The starters have played sparingly, sure, but only Bryant looks to be in midseason form, averaging 20.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.5 points in 25.3 minutes.
"Can we play better? Yeah," Lakers Coach Mike Brown said. "Is there some concern? Not yet. After the preseason, talk to me if we had a chance to play all our guys."
Howard was relieved to finally come close to playing. He gets asked how he feels a trillion times a day by reporters, trainers, friends, family members and, of course, the general public.
"I get it on Twitter all day every day: 'When are you going to play?'" Howard said. "Then you've got the people that are upset that I'm already back from injury: 'Hey, was he really injured?' I don't think people understand how serious that injury is. Some people never recover. Some people never get back as quick as I have.
"People want to see the new-look Lakers. I understand it. My job isn't to come here and play in the preseason. I came here to help this team win, and we want to win in June."
"Howard's back is no longer an issue. The greater unknown will be his conditioning. He steadily increased his workload at Lakers practices and was cleared a little more than a week ago for five-on-five scrimmages."