Mike D’Antoni supports Dwight Howard to play in All-Star game

Despite nursing an aggravated labrum in his right shoulder that prompted him to sit out of two games last week, Lakers center Dwight Howard plans to play Saturday in the 2013 NBA All-Star game in Houston.

Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni remains fine with it.

“I don’t think it matters,” he said. “That’s his call. Whatever he feels. I think he feels good. I think it’s a good experience for guys. I wouldn’t recommend him sitting out. It’s not that taxing. I don’t think it will hurt him in any way so whatever he feels he needs to do.”

Howard told reporters on Monday that he will play in what will be his eighth All-Star game assuming he’s doesn’t aggravate his shoulder any more. The Lakers host the Phoenix Suns tonight at Staples Center and then play the Clippers Thursday in a designated home game.

Nonetheless, Howard has suggested in recent days that opponents are increasingly targeting his shoulder. D’Antoni believes it hasn’t increased in recent games, though Howard’s position inevitably draws contact.

“He can manage it,” D’Antoni said. “But when he gets hit, he’s going to get hurt again. You never know what’s going to happen. He’s fine until that happens.”

Howard has averaged only 16.2 points and 11.7 rebounds per game, his lowest marks since the 2005-06 campaign when he played with the Orlando Magic in his second NBA season. His scoring output ranks fifth overall among NBA centers while his rebounding leads the league among centers.

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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  • Mike d

    Didn’t know he was voted in who votes Howard in and not Lopez ?

    • Coup3r

      Not sure if fail troll or moron, have a think about it, perhaps the words east and west might help you…

  • Jon K

    Well, since Mike D’Antoni doesn’t really care about this team winning, of course he is A-OK! with Dwight playing instead of resting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vic.lebardo Vic Lebardo

    If DH really wants to rest his ailing shoulder, he should not play in the All-Star game.

  • eriksuperman

    I’ve been watching this Lakers drama unfold over the last
    few months, and it’s actually made me want to watch MORE games, rather than
    fewer. It’s a bit easier since I’m in Denver, since I work late at DISH
    most nights and the LA games end up starting a bit later. I still think
    they’ll make a run for it, and there’s no better time than the All Star break
    to turn a season around, especially on unwitting opponents you have lulled to
    sleep with your mediocrity. I’ve been using the Game Finder app on my
    DISH Hopper, and this baby is genius. DISH Game Finder helps me to locate
    games available to watch on TV, even outside the home market, and I can find
    favorite teams by name or sport. I get up-to-the minute box scores of
    individual games, can schedule recordings, and have no problems setting
    reminders for upcoming games. Even
    though I dislike the Lakers, I’m having fun watching them evolve as a team, and
    am glad Game Finder finds it all for me!