Quick Links

A timeline of Dwight Howard's brief, but interesting moments as a Washington Wizard

A timeline of Dwight Howard's brief, but interesting moments as a Washington Wizard

The Washington Wizards decided to move on from center Dwight Howard, while also addressing a void at the small forward position, Friday night. Howard was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for C.J. Miles. Howard's time with the team was brief but never lacked intrigue on and off the court (more so the latter). Howard's career stat line with the Wizards will read: nine games played, 12.8 points on 62 percent shooting from the field, and 9.2 rebounds.

In honor of the most recent roster move by interim team President, Tommy Sheppard and owner Ted Leonsis, it's only right that we look back on Howard's brief, but interesting, time with the team. 

July 6, 2018:  The Brooklyn Nets finalized a contract buyout with Howard after the draft-day trade that sent Timofey Mozgov and the 45th pick to the Charlotte Hornets. Howard4 signed a two-year, $11 million free-agent deal with the Wizards; the deal included a year-two player option. 

July 23, 2018: During Howard's introductory press conference he delivered what's likely the most creative career description in NBA history: 

September 26, 2018: Howard missed the beginning of training camp due to back soreness. The Wizards referred to Howard's injury as "minor" and Howard himself believed it was sustained from "flying on cramped planes during the offseason."

October 9, 2018: After missing the full slate of preseason games, Howard visited a specialist in New York and was diagnosed with a piriformis injury.

November 2, 2018: After missing the first seven games of the season, Howard made his Wizards debut against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He finished with 20 points, shot 7-of-8 from the field, 6-of-8 from the foul line. He started and played 23 minutes in the 132-111 loss. 

November 18, 2018: At halftime of the Wizards game against the Portland Trailblazers Howard left the court with gluteal soreness; he did not return. 

November 30, 2018: Howard underwent lumbar microdiscectomy surgery and had his sights set on returning within eight weeks. The procedure was performed by Dr. Robert Watkins in Marina Del Rey, CA.

March 27, 2019: Wizards head coach Scott Brooks told media "It's pretty safe to say” that Dwight Howard will not return to play for the rest of the year." 

April 18, 2019: Howard opted into his $5.6 million player option for the upcoming season. 

July 5, 2019: Howard traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for 32-year-old forward, C.J. Miles. 

The Wizards have been fairly active this offseason, one can only imagine what's next?



Quick Links

Rui Hachimura has a great matchup against Boston Wednesday

Rui Hachimura has a great matchup against Boston Wednesday

The Wizards travel to Boston Wednesday to take on a surging Celtics team that currently boasts the best record in the Eastern Conference at 8-1.

While these two have had notable clashes in the past, these rosters have been almost entirely overhauled. 

The Morris brothers have moved on from both clubs. Isaiah Thomas went from Boston to Cleveland, to Los Angeles, to Denver, and now to Washington. Kelly Oubre is thriving in Phoenix, and Kelly Olynyk is now in South Beach. Avery Bradley is on the Lakers. Jae Crowder is on the Grizzlies. Marcin Gortat is out of the league, and Al Horford is in the City of Brotherly Love.

There are, however, similar faces on both rosters with Bradley Beal (26.1 PPG) thriving in the nation's capital and Marcus Smart, scrappy as can be, still as the energizer for Brad Stevens.

Some of the new faces on both rosters have been instrumental in reshaping the future of both teams.

Kemba Walker (25 PPG) departed Charlotte to join the Celtics this past offseason and has been a welcome addition to the city as well as the team.

In Washington, it's fair to say the Wizards have added the most talked-about NBA rookie on the planet, in Japanese forward Rui Hachimura (13.6 PPG). 

While Pelicans' star Zion Williamson is the biggest name to join the NBA since LeBron James, has yet to make his regular season debut. 

Hachimura, on the other hand, has exceeded all expectations in D.C. and is now looked upon as one of the building blocks of this Wizards' core to help the squad rejoin the Eastern Conference's elite after missing the postseason last year.

Hachimura's first career game in Boston will be a memorable one. 

While these rosters have changed immensely, there is still a semblance of a rivalry between these two franchises, and a standout performance from Hachimura and more importantly, a win, could help spark what was once considered a heated rivalry.

Boston's roster does not feature any top tier, big men. Enes Kanter was brought in during the offseason for offensive rebounding and a scoring punch. Robert Williams is still raw and drops jaws night-in and night-out but is mainly used as a rim protector and for lobs. Daniel Theis will most likely get the start for Boston at center but the German big-man is relatively undersized at 6'8'. 

Hachimura will have the opportunity Wednesday night to be the difference-maker with his unique blend of size, skill, and ability to play multiple positions. 

Boston can score with any team in the NBA. With Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown in the fold, the team's perimeter defense is as good if not better than anyone's. But in the frontcourt, they struggle. Jayson Tatum (19.4 PPG) is an exceptional scorer but is still developing on the defensive end. 

Swingmen that can play multiple positions have been the Celtics' Achilles heel this season.

Let's take a look at the leading scorers for each of their opponents through the first 9 games of the season.

10/23 at Philadelphia: Ben Simmons (6'10') 24 points, 9 assists, 8 rebounds.

10/25 vs. Toronto: Pascal Siakam (6'9') 33 points, 8 rebounds.

10/26 at New York: R.J. Barrett (6'6') 26 points, 7 rebounds.

10/30 vs. Milwaukee: Khris Middleton (6'7') 26 points, 6 rebounds.

11/1 vs. New York: Marcus Morris (6'8') 29 points, 7 rebounds.

11/5 at Cleveland: Collin Sexton (6'1') 21 points.

11/7 at Charlotte: Miles Bridges (6'6') 18 points, 10 rebounds.

11/9 at San Antonio: DeMar DeRozan (6'6') 22 points.

11/11 vs. Dallas: Luka Doncic (6'7') 34 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists.

With one outlier (Sexton), you can notice the trend. The Celtics struggle to defend swingmen that can switch between the 3 and the 4.

Rui Hachimura (6'8') should thrive against Boston on Wednesday night and prove to be yet another task for the Celtics' frontcourt defense.


Quick Links

Isaiah Thomas isn't ready to give up his reputation as a fourth quarter star

Isaiah Thomas isn't ready to give up his reputation as a fourth quarter star

During two dominant years with the Boston Celtics that saw Isaiah Thomas earn two All-Star nods as well as All-NBA honors during the 2016-17 season, the point guard became well-known for his play in the fourth quarter.

Throughout that stretch, Thomas always seemed to shine when the lights were the brightest. He could play well for three quarters, but then it seemed as if he'd find an extra gear. If a bucket was needed late, he was the guy. So much so that those final minutes became known as "IT time".

A few bumpy years removed from those iconic nights, Thomas is now with the Wizards working to make it back to that elite level of play. As for the Celtics, they now have a different point guard coming up clutch late in Kemba Walker. Walker, who signed with Boston in the offseason, is averaging 25 points per game for his 8-1 squad and has been a force down the stretch. His recent play has some in Boston wondering if he now wears the crown when it comes to fourth-quarter heroics. 

Thomas says hold on a minute.

There's no denying that Walker is at the top of his game right now, but Thomas' confidence isn't going anywhere. It's that attitude, always wanting to be the best, that has allowed him to work back to being a starter. Thomas will get a chance to make his point come Wednesday, as he makes his return to the arena he once thrived in when the Wizards visit the Celtics.

If the game is close late, there could be some good action between two guys who know a thing or two about getting a big basket.