Dwight Howard is officially listed as questionable for Game 2 of the Western Conference finals after tweaking his left knee in Game 1. As Jonathan Feigen reports, Howard hurt his knee when Josh Smith collided with him going after a rebound early in the game.
Even though Howard returned to the game after the injury, he was clearly not himself.
Howard returned and played 26 minutes but scored just seven points to go along with 13 rebounds. He only had three rebounds in the second half and sat out all but 51 seconds of the fourth quarter.
Feigen says that Howard underwent an MRI today, but that the results haven’t been released.
“It’s very painful,” Howard said after losing Game 1 in Oakland. “I tried to play it off as much as possible, but I couldn’t give my teammates what I needed to give them.”
Part of his drive to return to the court involved riding a bicycle near the tunnel. As we know, it wasn’t exactly the most hospitable spot in Oracle Arena.
Howard returning to his dominant self has been one of the best storylines of the postseason, especially considering how limited he looked in the regular season. With that version of Howard, the Rockets presented a looming presence at the basket for the Warriors. If Howard still plays but is limited even the slightest bit, that advantage diminishes (and obviously goes away completely if Howard can’t play).