Key Matchup vs. Detroit Pistons: Dwight Howard vs. Andre Drummond

Look for the battle between two of the NBA’s best rebounders to be a potential deciding factor when the Charlotte Hornets open their 2017-18 season on the road against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

Sixth-year veteran Andre Drummond (13.8) and eight-time All-NBA honoree Dwight Howard (12.7) were ranked tied for second and fifth, respectively, in rebounds per game last season. Additionally, they were also the only two players in the league to average at least 4.0 offensive rebounds per appearance as well.

Howard might have a bit of an advantage on the offensive end though, finishing fourth in the league in field-goal percentage last year (63.3 percent) while Drummond ranked 16th (53.0 percent). Detroit also has the option of turning to 7-3 Serbian reserve center Boban Marjanovic, who erupted for 15 points and a career-high 19 rebounds in a home win over the Hornets on Jan. 5, 2017.

Charlotte was just 16-33 when getting outrebounded by opponents last season, which included a 6-21 mark on the road in such performances. Howard having a big night on the boards could put the Hornets in line for a season-opening victory on Wednesday night.