Dwight Howard, who signed with the Wizards in July, appears ready to make his debut for his new team, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to Charania, Howard plans to suit up for the Wizards when they host the Thunder this Friday.
Howard, who has been on the shelf so far this season due to an issue with his piriformis muscle, is capable of providing a major boost to a Wizards club that has struggled mightily on defense and on the glass so far this season, as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington wrote earlier this week.
Washington has allowed 122.4 points per game and ranks in the NBA’s bottom three in both offensive and defensive rebounding rates. Howard, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, is one of the league’s best rebounders, having averaged 12.5 RPG for Charlotte last season.
Here’s more on the Wizards:
- With the Wizards off to a 1-6 start, there have been several theories about why the team has struggled so much to open the season, says ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. According to Windhorst, one theme brought up by a few Wizards players he spoke to was the number of 2019 free-agents-to-be on the roster. Some players may have to recommit to prioritizing the team over individual stats as they approach free agency.
- History shows that the Wizards’ ugly start doesn’t mean they should throw in the towel on the 2018/19 season, writes Nick Ashooh of NBC Sports Washington. As Ashooh outlines, it was just two years ago that Washington started 2-8 and eventually finished with 49 wins.
- Acquired in a June trade with the Clippers, Austin Rivers hasn’t made the impact that many predicted he would, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington, who suggests that Rivers has “appeared lost” while adjusting to his new role and new team.