Triple Threat
Covering LA Sports' Big Three: Lakers, Dodgers and Kings

Lakers Practice: Howard Questionable vs. Nuggets; Chemistry Issues?

The Lakers held practice on Saturday ahead of a tough game against the Denver Nuggets, and Dwight Howard sat out due to an injured shoulder.

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    Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts as he injures his shoulder during a 107-102 loss to the LA Clippers on Jan. 4 at Staples Center.

    The Lakers reported to practice at 9:30 a.m. Saturday following a difficult loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night. With another game coming on Sunday and a difficult back-to-back in Houston and San Antonio early next week, the Lakers don’t have much practice time to fix their problems. 

    On the injury front, Jordan Hill, who hobbled off the court Friday, was back in practice after suffering an ankle injury against the Clippers. Hill is expected to play Sunday against the Nuggets. Hill scored 13 points and pulled down seven rebounds in only 19 minutes against the Clippers. He has been the most consistent player off the bench as of late, averaging eight points and seven rebounds in less than 17 minutes over the past five games.

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    With Kenneth Faried coming to town on Sunday, Hill’s energy and presence on the boards will be a necessity if the Lakers hope to get back to .500.

    The biggest injury news was Dwight Howard not practicing on Saturday with a sprained right shoulder. The Lakers center injured his right shoulder and said he even had trouble putting on his shirt this morning. 

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    Howard made other news by talking about his team’s chemistry, or rather lack thereof. Howard said the team seems to lack camaraderie.

    "It really starts off the court; you have to have that relationship and that chemistry off the court to blossom on the court," he said. "Those guys, the Clippers, seem to really enjoy each other off the court.

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    "It takes everybody’s concerted effort to make it happen."

    Howard’s comments suggest the Lakers’ lack chemistry and effort off the court in terms of interacting as a single unit as much as they do on the court.

    When asked about chemistry, Coach Mike D’Antoni said, "I don’t think you have to love each other, but you have to respect each other.

    "Your only job, really, is to play hard."