The Houston Rockets were dealt a tough blow when Dwight Howard suffered a knee bruise in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday. Howard tried to play through the injury but sat out down the stretch of the Rockets’ 110-106 loss to the Golden State Warriors. However, the big man hopes to be ready for Game 2 on Thursday:
Rockets center Dwight Howard said he didn't consider his knee injury major and he is hopeful he will be ready for Game 2 after rest.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) May 20, 2015
The injury occurred when teammate Josh Smith fell into Howard’s knee in the first quarter. Howard helped Houston get off to a strong start in the paint, but the injury rendered him mostly ineffective the rest of the way. With Howard either out or ailing, the Warriors had a ton of success with their small ball lineup featuring Draymond Green at the 5.
The Rockets provided an injury update on Wednesday:
Dwight Howard diagnosed with a left knee sprain and is listed as questionable for Game 2.
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) May 20, 2015
Needless to say, Houston needs Howard to be at or close to peak effectiveness to pull off the upset in this series. He can be used to punish those smaller units, and if he can’t do that, Golden State will surely take advantage.