The hits keep coming for the Lakers, who announced Monday that Dwight Howard suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder and will be sidelined indefinitely. The team also said Pau Gasol has a concussion and also will be out indefinitely. Jordan Hill has a right hip injury and won’t travel with the team to Houston for Tuesday’s game.
Lakers center Dwight Howard either gave a thoughtful answer or a silly one when a reporter asked Monday if the worst was over for the team. Said Howard:
“Some of our players, we watch ‘Batman’ a lot. ‘The Dark Knight.’ There’s a point in the movie where he says, ‘The night is the darkest right before the dawn.’ Which basically means right now this is probably the darkest moment for our team. It’s not going to last forever. The sun’s going to come up. I think we’re going to be where we need to be. … We’re not playing our best brand of basketball right now. We’d love to be 20-0 or whatever it may be right now. Sometimes being 20-0 could put you in a position where you feel like you’re already there. We know we have to work out of this and we will. We can continue to get better at it and we won’t lose faith.”
So, wait, the guy known as Superman watches “Batman” movies?
Dwight Howard isn’t Shaquille O’Neal’s favorite center in the NBA, this much we know, but from one Superman to another Superman, O’Neal offered a few helpful hints to the Lakers’ big fella during TNT’s doubleheader telecast Thursday night.
Said O’Neal: “We all think he’s a dominant center. To me, a dominant center should be averaging 28 and 15. You look at his stats in Orlando and he was averaging 18.4 and 13 rebounds. In L.A., this year, he’s averaging 18.5 and 11.2 rebounds. I actually broke down how he can get 28 and 10. The first thing is to get three shots a quarter. What I mean by three shots a quarter … that means run your big ass down (the court). We’re coming to you right now. We need you to score. Three times four is 12. You’re not going to make all of ’em, shoot 50 percent. That’s six makes that’s 12 points right there.
“You’re the highest jumper in the league … Anyway, Dwight, four offensive rebounds, you need to score on all of those. You’re the highest jumper in the league, that’s eight points. Twelve plus eight is, what, Chuck? Too late. Twenty. You get three drop-offs from (Steve) Nash coming off the pick-and-roll, from Kobe (Bryant) coming off the pick-and-roll, and from (Pau) Gasol on the drop-down pass, that’s six points. Twenty plus six is, what, Chuck? Too late. Twenty-six points. Now, you need to get to the free-throw line 10 times a game. I know you’re not going to make all of them, but at least make 50 percent. That’s five. Twenty-six and five is 31.
“We know you’re not going to make 31, but to be a dominant center, you should be 28 and 10. If you’re a dominating center and you play like that, the Hack-A-Howard won’t work. Trust me. I know this for a fact.”
Chuck, of course, is Charles Barkley, one of O’Neal’s TNT sidekicks.