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UPDATE: Houston Rockets Expect Dwight Howard to Return Wednesday vs. Pelicans

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Mar 15, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) on the court during pre-game warmups before the Rockets game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Howard’s Return

After 26 long games and a stretch of injuries that showed up at exactly the wrong time, Dwight Howard looks to return to the Houston Rockets lineup tomorrow night. No word on his expected playing time, but against Anthony Davis and a good New Orleans Pelicans team, the Rockets will need all hands on deck.

I watched Dwight Howard at practice for a few minutes today – was moving well in the paint. Was going head to head with Dorsey.

— Jenny Dial Creech (@jennydialcreech) March 24, 2015

Now that he is back to playing shape and his knee is healed, where does Dwight fit back into this Rockets team for the rest of the season? The team has gelled without him, although they have seen some ugly games on the defensive and rebounding totals. NT Maddox says Superman should come off the bench to help defensive strategies and limit the time without a star on the court.

The Rockets are planning for Dwight Howard to return to the floor Wednesday at New Orleans http://t.co/TnHFiTizSd

— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) March 24, 2015

James Harden sat down with USA Today’s Sam Amrick and shared Dwight’s encouraging words for him, even with the return looming, “He said, ‘I’ll adjust to you,’ and that right there gave me confidence to just play, and play my game and not worry about anything else. Once you hear that from your other leader, then you know you can just go out there and play the way that I’ve been playing.”

So don’t expect Harden to slow down heading into a playoff push for seeding as well as an attempt to cap off an MVP campaign. Harden does refer to Dwight as the “other leader” of the team, so it seems as if Harden is aware he needs his big man.

James Harden told @sam_amick today that he won’t change even as Dwight Howard returns: http://t.co/ZYYmjDQFTZ pic.twitter.com/DLix2PluxW

— USA TODAY Sports NBA (@usatodaynba) March 24, 2015

As of Tuesday afternoon the injury report was looking a little less grim, with Corey Brewer and Josh Smith both “Probable” and everyone pressing the Dwight comeback, things may pan out for the Rockets tomorrow. Anthony Davis has been a monster since returning from injury, averaging 29 and 11 boards, so Howard, Smith, Joey Dorsey and Donatas Motiejunas better all bring a solid effort to the Smoothie King Center tomorrow night.

Houston Rockets @ Pelicans – March 25th, 2015

Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

7:00pm/CT (8pm/ET)

Next: Harden embraces leadership role

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