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Daily Digits: Dwight Howard hasn’t fixed the Wizards’ defensive issues

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Brooklyn Nets v Washington Wizards Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

Daily Digits is a new daily feature we’re doing at Bullets Forever this year where we take a look at stats about the Wizards. We’ll dive into the numbers, add some context, and discuss how they affect the product on the court.

Today’s stat is the Wizards’ defensive rating with Dwight Howard on the floor this season, which is...

111.9

Friday’s game marked Dwight Howard’s eighth game with the Wizards this season. While it in and of itself is not a huge sample, it signifies that the Wizards now have more games under their belt with Howard (8) than they do without him (7).

Given that, you’d think there would be some data to show how he’s made a difference defensively, since he’s cleaned up Washington rebounding issues and gives Washington a more imposing threat in the paint.

Here’s the problem: Only three teams in the league give up more than 111.9 points per 100 possessions on average. Even worse, the Wizards defensive rating has been slightly better (110.8) when he hasn’t been on the floor this season.

To be fair to Howard, he still isn’t back to 100 percent from his injury and he’s learning a new system on the fly. There is plenty of time for those numbers to get better. However, the fact that he hasn’t made a clear difference right away is a reminder that the Wizards have a long way to go to get their defense where it needs to be and there are no easy fixes for it.