Dwight Howard, welcome to LA and Drewhood.

Posted by: SPQR on 11/03/2012 - 04:40 PM
lakers-blog 

 
There are two things Lakers fans are going to learn this year: One is the all seeing sports microscope, the other is about who is the man on a team and what it can do for his game when he is, and against his game when he’s not. Both these things will play into our team this year involving our New Treasure, Dwight Howard. The guy so many assured us would solve all our problems, including our Drew problem, which as we all know, to hear so many tell, was the cause of our playoff disappointments of late.

And the sports microscope works like this: When a player is on YOUR team, you see him every night. You see the good games he has, the nice plays he makes. And you also see the other side, game after game. The rebounds he misses, when a player drives past him for a layup, when he doesn’t make the right pass or declines to run the floor hard to stop a fast break. And when Andrew Bynum manned the pivot, we put him under that large electron microscope that magnified EVERY play. While on the east coast, Dwight Howard played outside our microscope. So all we knew were the stories. He was relentless, hustled on every play, was the exact opposite of what Drew’s detractors said Drew was. In other words, he was the anti-Drew, the answer to all our problems, especially on defense. They were the stories Drew haters and Howard fans bought lock, stock and barrel in their endless cacophony to swap Drew for a New Treasure that would bring us to the Promised Land.

And now he’s here, the New Treasure. And now he’s also under the big microscope, the same one Drew played under. Because instead of just tales and legends, we get to see him, game after game, play after play.

And after three games, the one thing that sticks out is our center position, with Dwight, looks so amazingly Drew like. Last night’s game was just another example of the other two. Howard, like Drew, certainly has talent. It is obvious. He makes good plays, like Drew. But now, under the microscope, the rest of him is there to see too. And what we have seen is well….Drew like. Howard has not shut down the middle, making it a black hole, as was advertised. Players still drive to the basket. Howard has not run the floor like a tireless deer, stopping opponent’s transition game. He is not scoring 25 or more a game. And last night, against a team that is not manned by Wilt Chamberlain in the post, he had a meager 13 points and 8 rebounds and was the main culprit as to why the Clippers had a 20-5 second chance point’s edge.

Now we all know what would have happened with Drew had that been his game. The big microscope would have been fired up and the criticisms leveled en masse. And deservedly so. But with Howard, I heard this: Well he was in foul trouble, and, Well, nobody passed him the rock.

And I would say, as Drew’s critics did, whose fault was it that he was in foul trouble?

And nobody passed him the rock??? Hmmm…..that sounds vaguely familiar. Nobody passed him the rock? Where have I heard that before? Ohhh, yeah, now I remember, I heard that about a 100 times in the last three years about Drew!! That’s where it was!

And to those who said it, who used those excuses, I would say, Welcome to Drewhood. It took three games under the big microscope for Howard’s defenders to sound, well….exactly like Drew’s defenders!!

Imagine it! See how things change when the a player is no longer just a story, some tale to be told from across the country. Some Chimera, some legend that you don’t get to see and evaluate every single play? Now Howard is here, and looking very Drew like, he begins to reap Drew like excuses for failings from the very fans who attacked Drew for the same things.

And that is the function of being under the big microscope. Now Howard is not some magical thing who never has a bad game or makes bad plays, who always runs the floor and is the defensive stopper you can’t broach or puncture. Now, like Drew, he’s a real player, warts and all.

And on a night when 25 points and 17 rebounds would have done us well, he didn’t come close to giving what we needed, or what the magical Howard’s fans said he would have given, in lieu of Drew. Instead we got the real Howard, just a man, just a good center, like Drew.

The second thing to remember is that unlike in Orlando, Howard is no longer the main man here. Like Drew, he won’t get the rock like he did in Orlando. Now he is just a part of the Kobe machine, and like Drew, he will have to find his way in that complex device. And it’s not gonna be the same. Now Howard will have all the offensive limitations placed on him that Drew did. Because for good or bad, that’s the name of the game here In LA.

So here it is, now Drew will be under Philly’s big microscope; those fans will no doubt give Drew just as hard a look as we did, and the New Treasure, Howard will now be under ours. And if Howard continues to be so very Drew like, you can bet his adherents will join Drewhood in bringing up all the same excuses and frustrations Drew’s adherents did for years.

So far, Howard looks so very much like Drew. Just smaller and not as good on the free throw line. But then, it’s only been three games, a very small scientific sample to be sure, so we will have plenty more time to slice Howard up, game after game, play after play, put him on the glass slide, turn on the power and magnify his game under our scope that never misses a thing. Maybe we will see more eventually, than we did looking at Drew, or maybe not. That will be seen as the year goes on.

But for now, I would like to welcome the New Treasure Dwight, to the Lakers, not the Magic anymore, not to tales and stories, but now to performance we get to see, to his new situation, and to his burgeoning Drewhood. And I would be remiss not to welcome his fans, those who are already saying things like, Oh, he was in foul trouble, or, Oh they didn’t pass him the rock, or, Oh, his back hurts, Welcome friends, to Drewhood, just on the other side of the same coin. See it’s not so hard to make excuses after all, is it? When it’s your guy.

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