Howard Soft in Psyche Only

AP Photo

After bearing smiles almost all season, Dwight Howard mostly maintains a stoic persona.

So what's bothering Howard?


He feels hurt because of an aggravated labrum in his right shoulder has left him vulnerable to opponents anytime he touches the ball. He feels hurt because a 10-month-old surgically repaired back still limits his timing and explosiveness. He feels hurt because principles - ranging from coach Mike D'Antoni and Kobe Bryant to Steve Nash - have implied he should bear at least some of the pain.

Howard, once considered the Lakers' key offseason acquisition from the Orlando Magic that would restore them to championship glory, suddenly has become the lightning rod for everything that ails...

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