Key Matchup vs. Houston Rockets: Dwight Howard vs. Clint Capela
Look for a center matchup featuring a pair of former teammates to play a big role on Wednesday night when the Charlotte Hornets take on the Houston Rockets for the final time this season.
Dwight Howard has been everything the Hornets hoped for down low when they acquired him from the Atlanta Hawks back in June. The 32-year-old big man is averaging 23.0 points, 13.0 boards and 3.3 blocks over his last three outings and currently ranks fourth overall in the NBA in rebounding (12.2) and eighth in field-goal percentage (56.2 percent).
Howard will try to outduel one of the league’s rising young stars in Clint Capela, who is in the midst of a breakout season for the Rockets. The fourth-year Swiss National is coming off a career-high 28 points (13-of-14 shooting) on Monday night and ranks first in the NBA in field-goal percentage (67.7 percent), fifth in blocks (1.80) and seventh in rebounding (11.0).
The facilitating capabilities of James Harden and Chris Paul have helped make Capela the third-highest scoring pick-and-roll man in the NBA this season (5.6 points per game). Howard and the rest of the Charlotte frontcourt will need to be locked in defensively on switches and be wary of allowing easy, uncontested shots to Capela.