Dwight Howard Injury Update: Orlando Magic Center Doubtful for Atlanta Hawks Game

Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

The Orlando Magic host the Atlanta Hawks on Friday in a key Eastern Conference matchup with playoff implications, but they'll likely have to do so without All-Star center Dwight Howard, who is still suffering from a sore back. "I don't think I'm going to play," Howard told the media following Thursday's practice. Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy pegged Howard's chances of playing as "50/50."

Howard has missed four of Orlando's last six games since initially coming down with back spasms, forcing the Magic to play the likes of Glen Davis, Ryan Anderson, and Earl Clark in the pivot.

Orlando and Atlanta have identical 34-24 records with just eight games remaining. The Hawks own the tiebreaker over the Magic, so Orlando must finish with a better record than Atlanta to earn a higher playoff seed. Both clubs are battling the resurgent Boston Celtics, also 34-24, for postseason positioning. Boston, the current Atlanta Division winner, cannot be seeded lower than fourth if it clinches the Atlantic crown.

Now in his eighth season, Howard is averaging 20.6 points, a league-best 14.5 rebounds, and 2.1 blocked shots for Orlando. He posted 27 points, 15.5 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks against Atlanta, his hometown team, in the 2011 Playoffs; the Hawks prevailed in the six-game series, eliminating the Magic in the quarterfinals for the first time in Van Gundy's tenure. They won the first two meetings between the teams since the playoffs by a combined seven points.

We invite you to follow Orlando Pinstriped Post on Twitter and like Orlando Pinstriped Post on Facebook.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Orlando Pinstriped Post

You must be a member of Orlando Pinstriped Post to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Orlando Pinstriped Post. You should read them.

Join Orlando Pinstriped Post

You must be a member of Orlando Pinstriped Post to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Orlando Pinstriped Post. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker