Key Matchup vs. San Antonio Spurs: Dwight Howard vs. LaMarcus Aldridge

A four-game, nine-day road trip for the Charlotte Hornets begins Friday night as they’ll take on the hometown San Antonio Spurs for the first of two meetings in November.

Dwight Howard has looked much like his old self through Charlotte’s first eight games of the season, posting averages of 14.1 points, 14.4 rebounds (second in NBA) and 1.5 blocks per contest. The eight-time All-Star has only had one season in his 14-year career in which he had a higher rebounding rate (14.5; 2011-12), earning him All-NBA First-Team honors at the time.

Look for Howard to spend a majority of his time guarding a more traditional, back-to-the-basket big man in LaMarcus Aldridge. The former Texas Longhorn and third-year Spur is currently having his best run in San Antonio with team-high marks in scoring (23.6 points; 13th in NBA) and rebounding (8.6) to go along with 1.9 assists and 1.4 blocks per game.

With Kawhi Leonard (quad) still sidelined for San Antonio, Aldridge will continue to be the focal point for the NBA’s third-worst offense. Howard’s proficiency in limiting Aldridge’s second-chance points (5.1 PPG; fourth in NBA) and mid-range game (2.1 FGM from 10-14 feet; third in NBA) could be the key to snapping Charlotte’s 10-game losing streak at AT&T Center.