Dwight Howard and Anthony Davis Scuffle: Los Angeles Lakers stars in on-court bust up
The Los Angeles Lakers were hotly tipped to make a real impact this season, chiefly due to the great work by GM Rob Pelinka in the offseason, but things haven't gone quite according to plan thus far.
During their recent 105-115 loss to the Phoenix Suns, there was an unseemly incident involving Lakers teammates Dwight Howard and Anthony Davis. The players came to a head on the bench, the argument led to the players having to be separated, and it's not a good look for the Staples Center side.
The addition of the likes of Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and a host of others led Frank Vogel's side to be one of the NBA best bets for this season, with the Lakers being second only to the Brooklyn Nets in the early season betting. Preseason went poorly, the Lakers going 0-6, and their 1-2 record thus far isn't particularly glorious, albeit it is very early days in the 82-game regular season.
Of the altercation between Howard and Davis, Vogel was very measured in his response, stating;
"When you're getting your ass kicked, sometimes those conversations get heated," Vogel told the press. "Those guys love each other. They talked it out. That's going to happen from time to time. I'd rather our guys care than not care."
Howard, who returned to the Lakers this summer after a season away at the 76ers, also moved to play down the spat.
"We already talked, squashed it. There's no issue between me and [Davis]," Howard said. "That's my brother, that's my teammate. That's what I told him. I said, 'I'll always be here for you. No matter what. I'll always fight for you and do whatever I can to help this team win.' He said the same thing. So, we're good."
Some may well claim that a bit of bad blood during a defeat is actually a good thing. Indeed a difference of opinion between players shows that they are not indifferent to a loss, and that's better than a side that sits back and takes it.
Vogel has a lot to prove this season after his side limped out of the playoffs last season and saw their NBA title go to the Milwaukee Bucks, and his assembled squad of stars will now need to mature into a team.
There are plenty of old heads in the Lakers roster, and the likes of LeBron James, Howard, and Westbrook will need to get things into gear if they are to mount a genuine NBA title challenge.
A lot of complaints about the moves made by Pelinka were around the aging nature of the roster available to Vogel, and that mature squad must now work in his and the Lakers' favor as they seek to go as deep into the postseason as possible.
Whether or not the Lakers will deliver the goods won’t be decided in the early weeks of the season but by the mid-way point, Frank Vogel will be well aware of what his roster is capable of achieving.