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Dwight Howard blames conditioning for poor start

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09:37 AM ET 02.24 | The Los Angeles Lakers already have lost more games this season (29) than they have in any full season since 2007, and big man Dwight Howard says he knows his inconsistent energy and struggles with conditioning have cost his team some of them. "You've got to have energy and I want to bring that energy every night," Howard said in a revealing interview Saturday afternoon. "That's my job. They count on me to be that guy. I just know how much more effective I will be when I'm in better shape. And, unfortunately, it's cost us a lot of games." Howard said his conditioning has improved throughout the season, but he's still "not even close" to where he wants to be, and where he once was before undergoing back surgery in the offseason. "I knew that would be a process. The better shape I'm in, the more active I can be and the more I'm able to do on the floor," he said. "But it was a struggle at first because I just didn't have it in the tank, especially on defense."

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Dwight Howard, Stephen Dunn/Getty Images Dwight Howard, Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Comment #1 has been removed
February 24, 2013  09:59 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

He's definitely not the same guy we saw in Orlando right now. He seems to be getting stronger now though and is more active. It couldn't happen at a better time with the playoff window being so tight.I don't put much hope in Rose being very effective either. He will need a full season to get back to where he once was also.

Aye Aye Em.........

Comment #3 has been removed
February 24, 2013  10:03 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

He's definitely not the same guy we saw in Orlando right now. He seems to be getting stronger now though and is more active. It couldn't happen at a better time with the playoff window being so tight.I don't put much hope in Rose being very effective either. He will need a full season to get back to where he once was also.

Good Comment!!! Howard needs to get in better shape, both "physically and mentally"!!!

February 24, 2013  10:24 AM ET

Just Play, Bro.

February 24, 2013  10:44 AM ET

Nobody will ever win with this guy. The team who offers him a max contract, will live to regret it for a long time.

Comment #7 has been removed
Comment #8 has been removed
February 24, 2013  11:45 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Nobody will ever win with this guy. The team who offers him a max contract, will live to regret it for a long time.

Huh??? Isn't this the same Dwight Howard, that took the Magic to the finals a few years back???????

Comment #10 has been removed
February 24, 2013  11:55 AM ET

WHAT?!?!.. Dwight isn't blaming Kobe for this??

February 24, 2013  11:57 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Huh??? Isn't this the same Dwight Howard, that took the Magic to the finals a few years back???????

That was a few years ago when he was one of the top defenders and rebounders in the league. He doesn't seem to be able, or want to be that player any more. Throw in the fact, that after all these years in the league, he still hasn't learned any offensive moves. If the Lakers were smart, they would just let this guy walk away. Not the guy you want to build your team around after Kobe retires.

Comment #13 has been removed
Comment #14 has been removed
February 24, 2013  12:14 PM ET
QUOTE(#14):

well its now up to dwight......but letting him walk for nothing is insaneyou cannot just let assets walk out the doorAnd if they do- they still would be over the salary cap and wouldn't be able to get anyone that can help them. LA is always in win now move- they won't just sit still and let other teams pass them

They may have no choice. He's an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season isn't he?

February 24, 2013  12:15 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Huh??? Isn't this the same Dwight Howard, that took the Magic to the finals a few years back???????

He was the leader of that team but I wouldn't say he carried them to the Finals. Back then, Jameer Nelson, Hedo Tub-of Glu, and Rashard Lewis were actually good players as well. Stan Van Gundy also had his ingenious scheme where everyone stretched out the floor with 3pt shooting. That left Dwight one on one in the paint to clean up the mess or create his own little shot/dunk.

Comment #17 has been removed
February 24, 2013  12:23 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

That was a few years ago when he was one of the top defenders and rebounders in the league. He doesn't seem to be able, or want to be that player any more. Throw in the fact, that after all these years in the league, he still hasn't learned any offensive moves. If the Lakers were smart, they would just let this guy walk away. Not the guy you want to build your team around after Kobe retires.

You do realize that Howard had back surgery and is not 100% yet, right??? I'm not trying to make excuses for Howard, but I just don't think he is in top physical condition, also I don't think his head is in the game, this year!!!

February 24, 2013  12:24 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

yes- that's why I said it was now up to dwight.....they certainly will offer him a max-but he can choose to walk if he wants to

I still believe offering this guy a max contract is crazy. This could set them back 10 years if doesn't pan out.

 
February 24, 2013  12:26 PM ET
QUOTE(#18):

You do realize that Howard had back surgery and is not 100% yet, right??? I'm not trying to make excuses for Howard, but I just don't think he is in top physical condition, also I don't think his head is in the game, this year!!!

What makes you think a young guy with back issues will ever be right again? All these injuries could be a sign of things to come.

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