SH Blog: Howard “not even close” to being in shape; Collins misses Harkless

Yesterday was the Andrew Bynum news day. There’s a bit more about him in here, but today’s top story goes to the guy who replaced him in Los Angeles. A guy who has also, coincidentally, dealt with injuries all year. Today, we’ve got some Howard injury talk, and as always, the latest from everywhere in the NBA.

First, though, we’ve got our Sunday staple on Sheridan Hoops: MVP rankings from Chris Sheridan. Give them a look. Kevin Durant is dropping.

Now here’s the news:

  • Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times talked to Dwight Howard about the big man’s disappointing season thus far: “Dwight Howard isn’t Dwight Howard. He’s not the dunk-tastic, shot-blocking force of energy under the basket that he used to be. But why? The Lakers center continues to point to back surgery last April to repair a herniated disk. ‘It’s one of the biggest factors,’ Howard said after practice Saturday. ‘Coming off the injury, I only had four weeks to get ready for the season, which was training camp and then preseason. I didn’t really have a chance to really get in good shape. It’s hard trying to get in shape during the season playing a lot of minutes and traveling. I’m not even close. I used to play 45, 48 minutes without really getting tired. Now I have five possessions, I’m winded. I know I’m not there, but all that stuff will come. . . . I just know how much more effective I will be in better shape and that just comes with time. Unfortunately, it cost us a lot of games but we’ve got an opportunity to make history. I’m going to try and do whatever I can to help this team win.’ “
  • Yesterday, I looked at some contrasting takes on Andrew Bynum’s first practice with the Sixers. As an addendum, here’s Ric Bucher of CSN Bay Area: “As additional subtext for Doug Collins’ depressingly pessimistic take on how Andrew Bynum looked in his first team practice this season — Collins basically said Bynum’s absence killed the 76ers’ season and he sees little chance of Bynum returning to change that based on how he looked — sources say that Collins has been consumed (does he do anything any other way?) with tracking the boxscores and performances of Moe Harkless, the rookie forward the Sixers sent to Orlando as part of the deal that netted them Bynum. I can’t say I’ve watched a load of Magic games this season or have a feel for the kind of season Harkless has had, but he’s 19 and more or less has been in the rotation making a contribution all season long. That’s more, obviously, than Bynum has done and it’s not hard for me to imagine Collins torturing himself (and, quite possibly, others) with that fact.”
  • Andrew Bogut’s back is acting up again. Uh oh.

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