OKLAHOMA CITY — Did Dwight Howard rush his way back into the Lakers' lineup?
He had back surgery last April, was traded to the Lakers in August and started his comeback by playing two exhibition games last November. He tried not to second-guess his decision Tuesday a few hours before his 55th regular-season game.
"Looking back on it, I could have sat out the whole season until now and starting playing now, but I just felt like we had such a great opportunity," he said. "Some of these guys, their windows for winning is very small and I just wanted to get back and try to do whatever I can to help this team, knowing that I wasn’t in great shape. My body wasn’t all the way there yet."
Howard has looked a step slow on offense and defense, opening the door for critics of his game. He appears to be incrementally improving but hasn't been the force envisioned when he was acquired.