The Los Angeles Lakers have won two consecutive games while putting up 114 points or more in the wins over the Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets. Dwight Howard and company appear to be coming together on the offensive end of the floor with Mike D’Antoni implementing his fast-paced style.
As a result, the new-look Lakers are starting to live up to expectations with a potentially bright future ahead with D’Antoni at the helm. Although D’Antoni has yet to make his Lakers debut after since being hired on Nov. 10, the new head coach is hoping to be on the bench for Tuesday’s game at the Staples Center against the Brooklyn Nets.
This game will be intriguing for a few reasons. One, D’Antoni potentially coaching his first game. Two, the Lakers facing a legitimate title contender. And finally, Howard taking on the team he admittedly wanted to be traded to.
As if there weren’t enough storylines headed into this matchup of title-contending heavyweights, Howard had the following to say about Deron Williams according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin via Twitter:
Dwight on Deron Williams: “If he doesn’t want to be friends cuz I’m on another team, then so be it. There’s no need to smooth things over”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) November 19, 2012
This statement is interesting to say the least as it was unknown how Williams truly felt about the “Dwightmare” and Howard ultimately being traded to the Lakers. Nets GM Billy King came out recently to say that Williams wanted him not to wait on Dwight and that led to the deal for Joe Johnson and re-signing of Brook Lopez.
According to Howard’s comments, the relationship between the two superstars appears to have soured since the trade went down. This will make for an interesting dynamic on Tuesday night in Los Angeles as everyone will be interested to see how the two greet each other before tip-off and if tension will be in the air throughout the game.
Along with Howard and Williams no longer being close friends, the showdown between these two teams on the rise should rival the recent head-to-head matchup with the San Antonio Spurs. Both the Nets and Lakers come into this game having gained momentum with winning streaks and their squads starting to come together.
Tuesday’s game will be the first of potentially many drama-filled matchups for the Lakers this season.