Howard’s willingness to buy into a role off of the bench has been key to the Lakers’ success this season, and in a concurrence call with reporters on Saturday, McGee, the team’s starting center, said he was relieved that Howard made the decision to come to Orlando.
“I’m happy about it,” McGee said. “That’s my brother, that’s my teammate, and the team wouldn’t be the same without him. I think like it’s crazy, me and him. Like we said at the beginning of the season (we’re like) the Twin Towers. Doing our thing, defending around, and helping our team win.”
Frank Vogel has been reluctant to play Anthony Davis big minutes at center this season, and while the likely motivating factor is to appease Davis, who’s made is to known he prefers to play power forward, Vogel’s only been able to do that because of how well McGee and Howard have played with Davis.
The two-man pairing of McGee and Davis has posted a net rating of +7.9, while Howard and Davis have posted a net rating of +5.7. In other words, Vogel hasn’t to compromise his team’s success to keep Davis happy.
However, there’s no denying that the Lakers have a few interesting five-man combinations they can play that feature Davis at center, and Vogel will likely test a few of them in the postseason. That means one of McGee or Davis will likely see their playing time cut into in favor of smaller players like Markieff Morris and Kyle Kuzma.
Still, having two productive centers is a luxury for the Lakers, and it could prove to be beneficial for them in certain matchups in the postseason. The team and its fans should be happy both of them made the trip, and it sounds like both parties are.