Dwight Howard C HOU 2 Days

Dwight Howard intends to be more committed to demanding the ball.

After losing Game 1 in overtime to the Blazers, D12 is bringing a more aggressive approach to Game 2. "We have to play inside out, play their bigs and make it a long night for those guys," Howard said on Tuesday. "I have to demand the ball, get it and go to work." Howard is hoping an increased post presence will help tire down LaMarcus Aldridge, who torched the Rockets for 46 points on Sunday. "We have to go right back at him," Howard said of Aldridge. "You have to make him play defense and make him use his energy on defense. Make him have to run around and guard." Whether or not Howard's strategy will work remains to be seen, but hindering Aldridge while increasing his own offensive output could place Howard in the proverbial two birds with one stone situation.

Dwight Howard C HOU 2 Days

The NBA issued a statement on Monday that a foul called on Dwight Howard with 10.8 seconds left in overtime during Sunday's game vs. the Blazers should have been called on Joel Freeland.

It was a huge call for a few reasons: Howard fouled out because of this mistake, he would have had two shots, and it led to two free throws from Freeland, of which he made one of them. The Blazers won the game 122-120 after the made free throw and James Harden's shot just before the buzzer didn't fall. It's not a foregone conclusion this call altered the game because Dwight is far from a lock to make free throws, but it certainly casts some doubt.

Dwight Howard C HOU 3 Days

Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts joked that he will use the 'Hack-a-Howard' strategy on the "first possession" of Game 2.

Dwight Howard finished 9-of-17 from the FT line on Sunday, including 6-of-7 late in the fourth quarter and overtime, but he bricked four straight once the Blazers intentionally fouled him with five minutes remaining. That forced the Rockets to pull Dwight until the two-minute mark of the fourth quarter, spoiling the Rockets' momentum and slowly eroding their 11-point lead. Stotts may have been kidding about using the strategy in the first quarter, but it would be surprising if he doesn't use it at some point during Wednesday's game.

Dwight Howard C HOU 11 Days

Dwight Howard returned from his ankle injury on Saturday and had 13 points, six rebounds, a steal and two blocks in Saturday's win.

It looks like he'll play in the two remaining games for the Rockets as he prepares to work himself back into game shape for the playoffs. Omer Asik had nine points and eight rebounds in 19 minutes, while Terrence Jones added 10 points and two rebounds in 24 minutes. Both guys should take a hit with Howard back on the court.

Dwight Howard C HOU 11 Days

Dwight Howard (ankle) and Patrick Beverley (knee) will both return to action vs. New Orleans on Saturday.

This gives them three games to regain their conditioning and find a rhythm before the playoffs. At the moment it seems that Houston is bound for a first-round matchup with Portland, but the fourth-seed Rockets are only a half-game up on the fifth-seed Blazers. With Dwight back in the starting lineup, Omer Asik will shift to the bench and lose substantial fantasy value.

Dwight Howard C HOU 12 Days

Dwight Howard (ankle) and Patrick Beverley (knee) will not play in Friday's game against the Wolves.

Both starters have stepped up their workouts in recent days and are close to a return, but the Rockets are going to play it safe. Howard and Beverley are both listed as questionable for Friday's game against the Pelicans. Backup center Omer Asik is averaging 11.7 points, 16.7 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 1.0 steals while shooting 59.1 percent over the last six games.

Dwight Howard C HOU 12 Days

Dwight Howard (ankle) has stepped up his workouts in recent days.

It looks like Howard has a realistic chance to return either Friday against the Wolves or Saturday against the Pelicans. It will likely come down to a game-time call. We should know more on him and Pat Beverley (questionable, knee) after the shootaround.

Dwight Howard C HOU 14 Days

Dwight Howard (ankle) will not play against the Nuggets on Wednesday.

Patrick Beverley is also out, but the Rockets will have their other players in the lineup. Howard should be considered questionable to face the Wolves on Wednesday night. Omer Asik is a must-start player against a very thin, weak Denver frontcourt.

Dwight Howard C HOU 15 Days

Dwight Howard (ankle) will not play on Tuesday, as expected.

Howard remains day-to-day and may return as soon as Wednesday's road game in Denver. This means at least one more start at center for Omer Asik, who during Dwight's current five-game absence has averaged a healthy 12.0 points on 57.9 percent shooting, 16.8 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.2 blocks. Keep him active until we get word that Dwight is officially returning.

Dwight Howard C HOU 16 Days

Dwight Howard (ankle) is not expected to make his return to action on Tuesday vs. the Lakers.

It would have been fun to see Dwight come back vs. his former team, but it sounds like he'll need at least a couple more days. The Rockets take on the Nuggets on Wednesday, which makes Howard questionable for that outing. Omer Asik will be worth starting in a terrific matchup on Tuesday.