Lakers' Dwight Howard: NBA bubble is tough but staying positive is key to title run

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Lakers' Dwight Howard: NBA bubble is tough but staying positive is key to title run

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard admitted life in the bubble isn't easy but added that he and the rest of the have to give their best to stay positive as bad energy is contagious and can go from player to another player.

Howard, a three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, didn't play much in the series against the Houston Rockets because of the Rockets' small ball strategy. "Energy is very important, and if our spirits are down, like they always said, one bad apple can spoil a whole basket," Howard said Wednesday, speaking to reporters for the first time since mid-July.

"If we're down on our energy, it can get contagious, it can go to another player and another player. We just got to look at all the positives despite what we may be going through -- there's a lot of people going through things that are way worse and that are not here in the bubble, so we can always find a way to stay positive."

Howard set to get more minutes

The Lakers made it past the Rockets and they are set to meet the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals. Howard, an eight-time NBA All Star, will get more minutes as the Lakers will need the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year to stop Nuggets superstar big men Nikola Jokic.

Being in the bubble hasn't been easy for Howard but he is doing everything he can to stay in positive spirits as he is trying to motivate himself by several things. "There's really nothing to do," Howard said.

"If I can be honest with you, there's nowhere to go, there's no way to release anything. Any feeling that you might have, it's just like we're stuck. So, just try to find joy in the fact that I have my son with me, the fact that all we have to do is win eight games to win a championship.

"So I just try to stay positive with everything. But it is extremely difficult, being in a location I can't get out, can't see family, friends. You just in the hotel. So that is very difficult, seeing the same walls every day.

But at the end of the day ... can't allow it to really affect us too much, but it is extremely difficult." The first-seeded Lakers enter the series against the Nuggets as the big favorites.