Category Archives: Dwight Howard

Wizards Starting Lineup & Roster vs. Thunder

The Washington Wizards received some good news ahead of their matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday. After a 1-6 start to the season which has left the team looking for answers, they at least have some help on the way. The Wizards will have offseason signing Dwight Howard on the floor for this game, marking the official debut with his new team.
ESPN first revealed the news, which came from head coach Scott Brooks. Howard was able to practice on Thursday after missing the first seven games of the year with a strained muscle in his buttocks. While his return is certainly a big deal, it’s unknown how many minutes he’ll play, but the veteran center should provide an immediate spark.
To this point in the season, the Wizards have primarily started Ian Mahinmi at center. He’s drawn six starts with the other one going to Jason Smith in a game Mahinmi missed. Brooks has opted to play small-ball lineups more often than not to this point, though, as Mahinmi averages just 16.8 minutes per game.
Let’s take a look at how the Wizards’ starting lineup is projected to look Friday against the Thunder.

Wizards’ Projected Starting Lineup and Roster vs. Thunder
*Notates projected starter
C: Dwight Howard*, Ian Mahinmi, Thomas Bryant
PF: Markieff Morris*, Jason Smith
SF: Otto Porter Jr.*, Kelly Oubre, Jeff Green, Troy Brown Jr.
SG: Bradley Beal*, Tomas Satoransky, Jordan McRae
PG: John Wall*, Austin Rivers
It’s expected Howard will enter the starting lineup right out of the gate, but as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington revealed, he’s still dealing with quite a bit of pain at this point.
“It just doesn’t go away. It’s a lot better than it was,” he said. “I haven’t even been able to sit down. It hurts to sit down. Every time I get home, I can’t watch a movie sitting down. I’ve gotta lay down on the floor. It’s very painful.”
Of the Wizards’ seven games, they’ve seen Wall, Beal and Porter start each of them, with Morris starting six while missing one game due to injury. Green has also drawn one start, taking Morris’ place during his absence. The Wizards are likely to stick with this starting group throughout the bulk of the 2018-19 NBA season. Now, the hope is that the group can flip the script on what’s been a slow start to this point.
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Dwight Howard Injury: Latest on Status of Wizards Center

The Washington Wizards have had a tough start to the NBA season, going 1-6 thus far with the lone win coming in narrow 125-124 fashion over the Portland Trail Blazers. The Wizards need to right the ship sooner than later, and a large part of making that happen will be the return of center Dwight Howard, who’s yet to play this season.
Howard was signed by the Wizards this offseason, addressing a big need for the team. The obvious hope is that Washington has added a player with the upside to dominate inside while playing alongside two top-tier NBA guards in John Wall and Bradley Beal. And after the slow start, his return to the floor can’t come fast enough.
Let’s take a look at the latest on Howard’s status and any news on his potential role when he returns to the floor.

Dwight Howard Set to Debut Friday vs. Thunder
Wizards coach Scott Brooks provided some good news on Howard ahead of the team’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday. As ESPN revealed, Brooks made it known Howard’s debut is set for this intriguing early-season matchup. The news comes after the veteran center was able to practice on Thursday with a strained muscle in his buttocks.
Howard is expected to start immediately, which will push Ian Mahinmi to the bench after starting all six games he played in. Over that stretch, Mahinmi averaged 4.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game while playing just 16.8 minutes per game. The Wizards often opted to play small ball instead of using a prototypical center.

Howard’s Role & Comments on Return
Although Howard will play in this game, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington revealed the  32-year-old said he still can’t sit without pain but does feel better than before.
“It just doesn’t go away. It’s a lot better than it was,” he said. “I haven’t even been able to sit down. It hurts to sit down. Every time I get home, I can’t watch a movie sitting down. I’ve gotta lay down on the floor. It’s very painful.”
Howard sounds like he’s just excited to return to the floor and told Hughes that he’s “just looking forward to doing what I can to help this team win.”
As far as his role goes, ESPN revealed that Brooks didn’t shy away from the obvious fact that the Wizards want to get Howard rolling to the rim. The team is also interested in trying to get their big man some mid-range looks as well.
“His strength of his game is rolling. His strength of his game is finishing around the the rim, but he’s also a good mid-range shooter. … He’s going to get his share of those.”
This is Howard’s sixth NBA team and he spent last season with the Charlotte Hornets. The former No. 1 pick in the 2004 NBA Draft averaged 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game while playing 81 games in 2017-18.
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