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Dwight Howard says he’s not 100 percent
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On December 13, 2012 @ 3:00 pm In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
NEW YORK – Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard wants everyone to know he’s not 100%. He won’t put a percentage on how healthy or not healthy he is after undergoing back surgery to repair a herniated disk in April. But he made it clear he’s not where he wants to be and that he’s “not in terrific shape.”
“Did you think I’d be coming out and be high-flying? A lot of people do,” Howard said Thursday afternoon at the New York Athletic Club, hours before the struggling Lakers (9-13) played the soaring New York Knicks (16-5).
His words seemed to be aimed at those criticizing his play and the Lakers’ play.
“I was out six months. It takes time to get back,” Howard said. “It wasn’t like I worked out during those six months. I’m not in terrific shape, and it takes a while. You try not playing for six months and having back surgery and coming back playing. It’s not something easy.
“I wasn’t supposed to be playing until January. What do you expect?”
Howard is averaging 18.4 points (that’s his career average but below the 20-plus points he averaged in recent seasons) and 12.1 rebounds (below his career average of 13 and below his recent averages of 14 and 13 rebounds). He is shooting a respectable 57.7% from the floor but a career-low 48.8% on free throws.
Howard, who is second in Western Conference frontcourt All-Star voting behind Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, said his timing and explosiveness is returning.
“I thinking I’m getting better, a lot better. I’m not the same as I was at the beginning of the season, but I still have got a ways to go,” he said.
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