Shootaround Report: Dwight Still A Game-Time Decision For Tonight

After the news yesterday that Pau Gasol has a tear in his plantar fascia, and is out for tonight’s much anticipated game against the Boston Celtics, the pressure has deepened for Dwight Howard’s return. It is still uncertain as to whether Howard’s re-aggravated shoulder injury is more of a pain management issue or something that could potentially affect his long-term playing career. On the bright side, according to Lakers spokesman John Black, Dwight Howard did participate in Lakers shootaround this morning; however, he is still listed as a game-time decision for tonight.

And so, the Dwight Howard saga continues. Kobe Bryant has publicly made comments that pain tolerance is something that Dwight Howard will have to figure out. ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reported that Dwight was naturally irritated this morning when a reporter questioned his competitive nature, and Howard’s response to Kobe pressing him to play was equally as defensive.

Kobe, though, isn’t the only veteran to have hinted at Dwight needing to play through the pain. Steve Nash, who is generally extremely careful with his words, also had a comment of his own, as quoted by McMenamin.

Dwight has now missed the last three games with what’s been labeled a ‘sore’ right shoulder after re-aggravating his torn labrum. The worrisome part is that playing the post requires a lot of shoulder movement. If Howard does play tonight, continuous aggravation seems like an unfortunate possibility. If Howard does not play tonight, small ball will be the Lakers only option. Earl Clark would likely have to play the center position with Metta World Peace and Antawn Jamison at the forward spots. Peace may be expected to play some back-up center, along with the rookie Robert Sacre.

—- Check out Lakers big man Dwight Howard’s player bio here! —-

The Celtics, who are without Rajon Rondo, have gone 5-0 without him. And although the Celtics are battling injuries of their own, imagining Sacre go up against All-Star Kevin Garnett doesn’t exactly make me jump for joy. If Dwight Howard doesn’t play tonight, it could be a rough night for the Lakers in The Garden.

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VIDEO: More on Pau Gasol’s and Dwight’s Injuries

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