Most NBA stars are not to fond of playing in the pre-season and they participate just so that they can get into basketball shape. There is really no motive or incentive for winning games, essentially the competitive spirit is absent in these coming games.
Still, players like Kobe Bryant will get a some playing time in the pre-season so that they are 100 percent prepared for when the games begin to mean something. The Lakers will begin their 2012-13 pre-season today against the Warriors, but one Lakers star will not be participating in the game.
Dwight Howard is coming off an extensive back rehab process and at this point he does not want to risk further injury by playing. Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports tweeted that Howard is more focused on being healthy and helping the Lakers win a championship than playing in the pre-season.
Dwight Howard said pre-game he’s now focused on being healthy for reg season and helping the @lakers win a title, not trying in preseason.
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) October 8, 2012
The Lakers have decided to start Robert Sacre in replace of Howard in today’s game in Fresno. Calif. Still, the Lakers will have Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash on the court together. This pre-season game will get the three stars accustomed to each others style of play and help build their on-court chemistry.
Howard will likely not be playing during the exhibition games, but the Lakers would rather have him on the court later this month when the games hold more significance.