Sports Out West

Lakers news: Robert Sacre set to fill Dwight Howard’s energy void

Photo Credit: Rob Carr | Getty Images

Even though everyone around the Los Angeles Lakers’ organization is trying to move past the sting of losing Dwight Howard to the Houston Rockets, there are still questions remaining about what they’ll be missing without him in the lineup in 2013-14.  

One such aspect is keeping the energy level up in the locker room, and newly-crowned purveyor of team entertainment Robert Sacre told Sports Out West on Saturday during media day that he’s ready to take on the challenge. 

“Whatever my team needs me to do, I’m coming in and I’m bringing a lot of energy and fun with it, Sacre said. You need to have a little light party in the room. So I just have fun with it and enjoy myself.” 

Any topic involving Howard is a sensitive one for the Lakers faithful after he spurned the Lakers in free agency despite them having a financial advantage. His often jovial attitude and tendency to keep smiling while things were going wrong last season rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Despite the team’s struggles, Howard had a strong individual year where he averaged 17.1 points and a league-leading 12.4 rebounds per game. 

Losing that production has many experts picking the Lakers to miss the playoffs and even be in line for a potential lottery pick. Every Lakers player asked said unequivocally that they’re taking that as a challenge to prove doubters wrong.

ESPN’s power rankings have the Lakers ranked 21st out of 30 NBA teams, citing Kobe Bryant‘s Achilles’ injury and the uncertainty surrounding his return as one of the main reasons for the low ranking. Las Vegas set the over/under number of Lakers’ wins at 33.5, so it’s clear that few this team will have any measure of success. 

“Everyone has us out to lose, so I don’t really feel any expectations and I think we can surprise a bunch of people,” Sacre added. 

Though that’s new territory for the Lakers, it could work in their favor if they embrace the mantra that they’re playing for one another and no one else. These Lakers could surprise people, and from the looks of things, they won’t have to do much of anything in order to do that. 

Photo Credit: Rob Carr | Getty Images

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.