Dwight Howard is expected to return to the Rockets line-up tonight versus the Denver Nuggets. This afternoon twitter was abuzz as several outlets posted Howard has been upgraded from questionable to probable.
Dwight Howard (knee) upgraded to probable http://t.co/R2zDHSYRJ9
— Rotoworld Basketball (@Rotoworld_BK) December 13, 2014
After missing 11-consecutive games Howard appears poised to return to action. In Howard’s absence James Harden has carried the offensive load leading the Rockets to an 8-3 record over this period. None more impressive than the overtime win Thursday versus Sacramento when Harden registered a season high 44-points.
Prior to his knee injury Howard was averaging 18.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game this year. Howard first felt the knee become an issue in the November 17th game versus Memphis and underwent blood plasma therapy shortly afterward. Howard’s return to the line-up will automatically improve the product on the floor, increasing their rebounding, rim protection and options for paint scoring.
Arguably his key contribution will be allowing the Rockets who take the most 3-point attempts per game (34.4) in the Association to improve their floor spacing. After Howard practiced with the team recently many expected his return vs. Sacramento, but he elected to wait until he had improved his conditioning. As per playing time, my guess is Kevin McHale will keep a close eye on Howard and limit his initial outing to see how he transitions back into game shape.
For the Nuggets and the rest of the NBA, Howard’s return to the West’s third place Rockets is sure to make game preparations just that much more difficult.