On the court, Dwight Howard is still a useful player and a lot is riding on that fact for the Washington Wizards. Even in his aged and physically deteriorated form he is still a capable pick-and-roll threat and a better interior defender than Marcin Gortat. If John Wall bounces back, Howard stays Howard, and some of the young pieces take another step forward they could make some noise in the East.
Off the court, Howard’s personality has proven to be gasoline and this Wizards locker room certainly looks, to the outside, like a mountainous pile of dry tinder waiting for a spark. The most interesting variables to track for Washington this season will be ones of chemistry. If they can avoid an explosion on that front, they could be pretty good. If they can’t, the center of the earth is the limit.