Dwight Howard is getting back in shape, and he’s starting to show it on the defensive end. Following a slow recovery from back surgery, the Los Angeles Lakers’ center has recorded a block in each of his last eight games, and he had swatted away four shots in his most recent performance.
“I think I’m good shape for a basketball player but not in ‘Superman’ shape,” Howard said. “I want to get into ‘Superman’ shape.”
Howard’s improved mobility and stamina have not only resulted in more blocks. The Lakers’ big man has also recorded at least one steal in seven of his last eight games. His improved fitness has led to improved activity on the defensive end.
“In Denver, we wanted to run screens, we wanted to do plays, but that altitude, she told us,” Howard said. “She was on our back the whole game.”
Howard admitted he was not up to speed facing the Nuggets in a back-to-back situation with altitude added into the equation. However, Howard still managed 14 rebounds against the Nuggets—his fourth straight game with 12 or more rebounds.
At 11.9 rebounds per game, Howard leads the league in rebounds, and the difference between him and the rest of the league should only increase with every passing game.
As he is gaining his fitness, Howard is beginning to re-assert his dominance in the two areas that made him famous: defense and rebounding.
“I try to eat the right things,” Howard said when asked about what he has been doing off the court to get into “Superman” shape. “I changed my diet a little bit, stopped eating as much candy as I have been in the past. Really, just doing whatever I can to get my body in great shape. Whatever it takes to win— I’ve been doing acupuncture. I’ve been doing just about everything to get my body right.”