Center of Importance

Los Angeles Lakers v Orlando MagicLook no further than Dwight Howard’s split stats in Lakers wins and losses to see how critical his play is to the team:

WINS (36): 18.7 ppg, 59.1% FG’s, 50.2% FT’s, 13.1 rpg, 2.9 bpg, 1.4 spg, 35.5 mpg
LOSSES (33): 13.9 ppg, 52.4% FG’s, 47.6% FT’s, 11.8 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 0.7 spg, 35.3 mpg

Howard’s general play has improved considerably of late as he gets healthier and more comfortable with his role, and indeed, his numbers are generally up since the All-Star break. His biggest improvement has come on the glass (14.7 up from 11.8) and on defense in general, while the rest of the numbers are similar (16.8 ppg from 16.3).

But, clearly, the team has gone as he has, the difference as plain as day in those W/L splits.