Dwight Howard has been diagnosed with a herniated disc in his back and will be missing some time, though there are conflicting reports as to how long he'll be out. Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM reports Howard has been advised to rest for 10 to 15 days after getting a second opinion today in Los Angeles. Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports that a team spokesman has told him there is no timetable, but his colleague Brian Schmitz says Howard will miss 14 to 16 days (Twitter links). That would put his return right around the start of the playoffs, though Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld tweets that there's "serious doubt" Howard will be ready in time. While drama and Dwight seem synonymous this season, let's check in with what else is stirring with the Magic and the rest of the Southeast Division:
- Jason Richardson, who signed a four-year, $24MM deal in December, admitted to Schmitz that he's 6'4", not his listed height of 6'6". It's certainly not the first time a player has fudged his height, but because Richardson has been forced to play small forward with Hedo Turkoglu out, those missing two inches become a disadvantage for the Magic.
- HoopsWorld's Derek Page takes a stab at figuring out how to fix the moribund Bobcats. He identifies center and small forward as the positions in need of the most help on a team with plenty of holes.
- Hawks big man Ivan Johnson missed tonight's game against the Magic after the team sent him home for getting into a "verbal altercation" during Wednesday's game against the Celtics, writes Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He's expected to rejoin the team Saturday, but the incident can't help Johnson, whose minimum-salary deal is not guaranteed for next season.