Dwight Howard and Stan Van Gundy have rebuilt their friendship since their very public struggles back in Orlando. Of course the best way to maintain a friendship is with straight honesty, so we're guessing Van Gundy's heart was in the right place when he spoke to reporters about Howard's play this season. His comments pretty much reflected what a lot of us were thinking about Superman's OK performance thus far with the Lakers:
"I don't think he looks quite as explosive or as quick as he has in the past. Now, he's still above almost everyone in the league at that size athletically, but he has not totally looked like himself to me."
Van Gundy believes Howard's April back surgery and his role as the No. 2 player are reasons behind his average performance: "It's a big adjustment for him going from being the guy to not only being the No. 2 guy but really a No. 2 guy that really doesn't get the ball very much at all. It's a different deal and an adjustment he has to make. Those kind of things take time." Van Gundy also noted Howard said he was focused on improving the team's defense, which would probably be ideal for the three-time Defensive Player of the Year.
[via LA Times]