All of a sudden the middle has opened up for the Wizards in the Southeast Division as Orlando shipped out all-star center Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers as part of a four-team trade. This is great news for the Wizards who always struggled defending the 7-foot Howard. Instead of facing Howard and Orlando four times a season, they only have to face him twice now that he's with a western conference team.
Howard has owned the Wizards. Last season, he went for 28 points and 20 rebounds in a Magic win over D.C. in January. Howard followed that up in February with 23 points and 18 rebounds in yet another win against the Wizards. In the 2010-11 season, Orlando never lost to Washington, with Howard leading the way averaging 27 points and 11 rebounds a game. In fact, the last time Orlando with Howard playing lost to the Wizards was in February of 2010 when Brendan Haywood started at center for Washington.
With Howard out of the picture the Magic have to figure out who is going to be the new man in the middle because right now they don't have a true center on the roster, only several power forwards like Justin Harper and Gustavo Ayon. Those are names that don't strike fear into anyone and the Wizards are just fine with that, as centers Nene and power forward Emeka Okafor should have their way with the Magic down in the interior.
The Lakers are once again an NBA title contender but at least the Wizards don't have to see Howard as much as they used to. Things are looking up in D.C.
The Redskins are very thin at running back right now.
Today at practice the Redskins had three running backs on the field. Rob Kelley and Kapri Bibbs are fully healthy while Chris Thompson is limited as he recovers from a broken leg he suffered last November.
Injuries have hit the depth at running back. The most recent casualty was Martez Carter, who was waived with an injury designation.
The move was surprising since Carter had some good runs against the Jets during their preseason game on Thursday and he did not appear to be injured during the game.
Coach Jay Gruden did not offer any more details as to what the injury to Carter was, only that he is no longer with the team.
Also sidelined with lower leg injuries are Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall. According to media reports, Perine will be out one week and Marshall for two to four. Gruden would not confirm the timelines, saying only that they are undergoing treatment and the timetable for their returns in unknown.
The Redskins will bring in some running backs to try out on Sunday. They will need at least one and probably two in order to get through the upcoming preseason game against the Broncos on Friday.
In other personnel moves, the Redskins waived linebacker Jeff Knox and defensive end Jalen Wilkerson and signed offensive tackle Kendall Calhoun, defensive back Darius Hillary, and wide receiver Allenzae Staggers.
More Redskins news
-Redskins vs Jets: Must-see photos from the game
-Analysis: Five Redskins-Jets observations
Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler.
After lifting the Stanley Cup just over two months ago, something else very exciting has happened in Alex Ovechkin's life.
Saturday morning, Nastya and Alex Ovechkin welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Sergei, after Ovechkin's late brother.
Ovi spent this week practicing at the Florida Panthers' facilities with other NHL players living in the surrounding area.
After the Cup's visit to Moscow, Nastya and Alex settled down at their apartment in Miami, staying put and preparing for the birth.
The couple were married two years ago but didn't hold an official ceremony until July of last year. The celebration was as lavish as you'd expect.
She revealed her pregnancy shortly after the Cup victory, and has kept us up to date on life this summer via Instagram. A few weeks ago, the Ovechkins graced HELLO! Russia magazine, showing off Nastya's baby bump among their glamour shots.
Congratulations to Ovi and Nastya, and all our best wishes for health and happiness!
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