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Purple & Bold: Dwight Howard becomes the bearer of bad news for Lakers’ foes

Editor’s notice: This is the Monday, Nov. 4 version of the Purple & Daring Lakers publication. To obtain the publication in your inbox, indicator up below.

Lakers fandom has jokes.

My colleague Kyle Goon, on the floor in San Antonio on Sunday, claimed that Dwight Howard — evidently having a grand ol’ time with this Hollywood-type plot twist in his return to the Lakers — was of the mood to see if a nickname for he and the relaxation of the second unit could possibly stick:

Tweeted Kyle: Dwight Howard experimented with to coin a nickname for the Lakers&#8217 second unit tonight: ‘The Negative Information Bears. Not the Negative Information Bears in a bad way, but ‘we&#8217re gonna bring bad news to the other crew.&#8217 That form of bad news.&#8221

And, oh, reliable Twitter, tickled by the notion, and by Dwight’s explanation, chimed in:

My new nickname is the Titanic, but not the failing kind”

new nickname is the &#8216hindenburg&#8217 we are gonna be on fireplace but like in a great way”

‘OH THE HUMANITY’&#8230 But in an enthusiastic tone…”

No joke, nevertheless. Thus significantly, Howard is proving to be the male he said he’d be in an introductory teleconference shortly right before the period, following re-signing with the Lakers six decades afterwards.

“Not too usually in daily life do you get a second likelihood, so this is an brilliant encounter, I’m hunting forward to just remaining the greatest teammate, the greatest person in the group, the greatest I can be for this franchise,” he said Sept. 4.

He’s absolutely been the greatest variation of himself on the court docket, with a spring in his move you would not anticipate from a fella who’s been through various back surgeries, including 1 in 2018 as a result of a nagging gluteal personal injury.

On Sunday, Howard was a “vintage bodily power, finishing 7 for 7 for 14 details and 13 rebounds, and including volleyball-spike blocks to a forceful 13-6 closing operate,” as Kyle wrote it.

“You have an personal injury like I had it assaults your full entire body, your anxious process, your mind is attacked,” Howard explained to reporters in San Antonio. “So for me my entire body demands to relearn how to bounce, how to move, how to block pictures, all that stuff. So I believe each and every sport, each and every exercise I’ve gotten superior and superior and superior, so I’m just going to proceed to get the job done tough, proceed to do what I’ve been performing, keeping humble, keeping hungry, and retain doing work.”

Offensively, he’s significantly from the focal level. But he’s stayed ready and applied his veteran savvy to infiltrate defenses for some straightforward scores, and real to his phrase, he’s proving a established screener.

Defensively, the 16th-calendar year centre is exhibiting pro, sound method, hustling to shut off passing lanes, disrupt rollers, impede assaults from the wing — and evidently earning the belief of his teammates in the method.

Howard, who turns 34 on Dec. 8, is averaging only 21.3 minutes per sport in his purpose off the bench, but those minutes truly are of the vintage range.

Some of his per-36 figures — the stats he’d set up in 36 minutes of play — are as great or superior than his job averages. His per-36 rebounding rate is 13.8, in advance of his job common of 12.6 (in excess of an common of 34.4 minutes).

His blocks are off the charts, too. Just in his restricted time, he’s averaging 2.3 blocks per sport, superior than his 2. job mark.

In other phrases, for Lakers’ opponents, Howard has, indeed, turn into the bearer of bad news.

Or one thing like that.

&#8211 Mirjam Swanson

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