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Lakers’ Dwight Howard reacts to being back in the Finals, Anthony Davis’ dominance

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The Los Angeles Lakers were on fire Wednesday night, as they made quick work of the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Finals. Dwight Howard got the start again for the Lakers, being paired with Anthony Davis to form a terrifying L.A. frontcourt.

After the game, Howard opened up about making it back to the Finals for the first time in over a decade:

“I’m just very thankful to have the opportunity to play in the Finals again,” Howard said, via Ryan Ward. “I’ve been praying for this moment and it’s here. I’m just trying to take advantage of every second I have on the floor, every second that we have to play a game, practice. All these moments are very special. Just trying to do whatever I can to help this team win.”

Back in 2009, it was Dwight Howard who led the Orlando Magic to a Finals berth against, ironically, the Lakers as well. He is clearly no longer the dominant player he once was, and his role has been reduced significantly in L.A. this season. Nevertheless, as the 34-year-old implied in his statement above, he’s just happy to be here.

When asked to provide an assessment of how Davis has progressed for the Lakers this term, Howard had nothing but good things to say about his All-Star teammate.

“Very proud of him,” Howard stated. “It takes a lot to get to the level that he is on. He’s done an amazing job of providing confidence to the rest of the team but also just being that guy in the paint, scoring at will getting rebounds, blocking shots. Just doing everything as he should. I’m very happy for all of his success & proud to see that we’ve helped him get his 1st Finals win. I know this means a lot to him w/ all the things he’s been through in his career. Whatever I can provide for him, I try to be there for him.”

Howard has accepted the role of being a role player for his team. His focus now lies on helping his teammates be the best version of themselves they can be. Howard has set his ego aside, and it has worked wonders for him and his team.