After making his debut with the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night at Staples Center, Dwight Howard proved that despite suffering the first majority injury of his career and enduring a long rehab process that he hasn’t missed a beat.
With 19 points, 12 rebounds, and four blocks in the loss to the Sacramento Kings, Howard clearly showed his ability to continue being a monster in the paint on both ends of the floor while playing for the Lakers this season.
In a recent survey conducted with all 30 NBA general managers participating, Howard was dubbed the league’s best center without much debate according to John Schuhmann of NBA.com:
Who is the best center in the NBA?
1. Dwight Howard, L.A. Lakers — 93.3%
2. Andrew Bynum, Philadelphia — 6.7%
Last year: Dwight Howard — 96.3
As usual, Howard dominated the competition in this category with Andrew Bynum a distant second. In comparison to last season, Bynum was a little more involved in the conversation, but nowhere near dethroning Howard as the league’s best center.
Now that Bynum is the centerpiece with the Philadelphia 76ers, that may very well change. It’s hard to imagine the often injured All-Star making such an impact with the 76ers that he jumps ahead of Howard in this survey next year, but anything can happen with both players now suiting up for different teams.
It’s not a good sign for Philadelphia that Bynum is already dealing with knee problems and has yet to make his debut. A little ironic considering that Howard underwent back surgery, made a full recovery, and has already worn purple and gold for one game.
Along with being dubbed the league’s best player in the paint, Howard was voted the off-season-acquisition that will make the most impact ahead of Steve Nash. It didn’t stop there as Howard was also given the distinction of the league’s best defensive player and interior defender by NBA GMs.