Howard is expected to shift to the bench for Sunday's Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Heat, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. Howard made an impact early in the series, but his play has tailed off of late, and he was a glaring negative for the Lakers in Friday's Game 5 loss. As a result, the Lakers will shake up the lineup and go with a smaller unit featuring Alex Caruso as another perimeter-oriented option.
Howard finished with 12 points (5-6 FG, 2-3 FT), 11 rebounds, one assist and one steal in 23 minutes during Thursday's 114-108 victory over the Nuggets. Howard shifted into the starting lineup for Game 4, turning in a productive performance. He did most of his damage in the first quarter, tallying eight points and eight rebounds in just eight minutes. Based on what we have seen thus far during the series, Howard appears as though he will remain in the starting lineup moving forward. JaVale McGee played only five minutes in the victory and has struggled to have any impact on either end of the floor.
Howard will start Thursday's Game 4 against the Nuggets, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. Howard's move to the starting lineup will send JaVale McGee to bench. After a strong performance in Game 1, the big man posted a pair of quiet performances the past two contests. He'll be used primarily as a defensive asset to match up with Nikola Jokic, but Howard has shown he can score when given the opportunity.
Howard saw 13 minutes of action in Sunday's Game 2 against Denver, finishing with three points (1-1 FG, 1-1 FT), two rebounds and a steal. Howard was a major difference-maker in Game 1, serving as a defensive antagonist to Nikola Jokic while scoring a postseason-high 13 points to go with three rebounds, two steals and two blocks. While he wasn't nearly as effective Sunday night, Howard still brought energy and athleticism to the Lakers' front line, though he was whistled for a technical foul on his way to finishing with five personals. Prior to Game 2, coach Frank Vogel hinted that he was considering starting Howard over JaVale McGee, but for now the Lakers appear set on sticking with their traditional starting five.
Howard may start Sunday's Game 2 against the Nuggets, Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times reports. Howard came off the bench to play 16 minutes in Game 1 and was extremely productive, posting 13 points, three rebounds, two steals and two blocks while JaVale McGee posted just one block in 11 minutes. If Howard does draw the start Sunday, he could serve as an intriguing flier in single-game DFS contests.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||55||312||58.8||0||0.0||196||55.8||821||14.93||1627|