OAKLAND — Superman just entered the Bizarro world.
Dwight Howard has shown visible frustration with a subdued demeanor, lowered voice and shortened answers. But he’s refused to gripe in recent weeks about the inconsistency the Lakers feature him on offense.
“I don’t even want to talk about it,” Howard said. “We have to figure out what we need to do to play. If you want to win games, you have to play the right way.”
Howard doesn’t have to speak up. Nor does he feel inclined to tote around a box score to teammates and reporters, like he did two months ago when the Lakers went away from his post presence. A certain prominent teammate will speak up for Howard.
“He’s playing phenomomal,” Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said. “We have to figure out a way to get him some more looks down low.”
That would be nice.
This month, Howard had just one fourth-quarter shot in games to Washington, Phoenix, Atlanta and Oklahoma City. In related news, the Lakers lost all those games. In the Lakers’ 109-103 loss Monday to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena, Howard had a quiet 11 points on 4 of 8 shooting, including two fourth-quarter attempts. No wonder the Lakers (36-35) have lost three consecutive games.
“Over the last couple of games, we have yet to get Dwight in the pick and roll action and get him some touches and easy opportunities,” Lakers forward Antawn Jamison said. “Instead, we’re posting him and trying to get him to go one on one all the time.”
Bryant offered a few reasons why that didn’t happen against Golden State.
“I tried to step back as much as I possibly could to allow that to develop,” he said. ” But with foul trouble and all of a sudden it’s a 19 point game. You can’t sit around much longer. But we have to figure that balance out. You put him in a tough position because you just dump the ball off to him and now you have four guys breathing down his neck. We have to run some things and get him on the move a little bit and make his life a little easier.”
The Lakers are trying to do that in various ways.
They’re encouraging Howard to work more on his mid-range game in hopes that improves his versatility, floor spacing and free-throw shooting. A few days ago, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni suggested the Lakers need to move the ball more because Howard’s always open. Howard has deflected comments about his offensive role by stressing he’ll set better screens and maintain his defensive focus.
Even when informed about Bryant’s vow that he will receive more touches, Howard hardly sounded interest in the talk. He suggested it’s better if the Lakers let their actions speak for themselves.
If we lose, everything is magnified. We just have to play the game the right way and do what we did from the start to get some wins and go from there.”
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org