Don't expect Dwight Howard for training camp

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Don't expect Dwight Howard for training camp

From Comcast SportsNetLOS ANGELES (AP) -- Dwight Howard won't finish his rehabilitation from back surgery in time for the start of the Los Angeles Lakers' training camp or their first preseason game next month.The Lakers provided an update on the newly acquired center's condition on their website Thursday night, confirming their long-anticipated decision to take it easy in Howard's return from spinal surgery.The team doesn't intend to announce a timetable for Howard's recovery, but says he won't participate in the start of training camp on Oct. 2, or the preseason opener in Fresno five days later.The six-time All-Star has said he hopes to be ready for the start of the regular season Oct. 30, but the team isn't speculating.Howard recently began working with the Lakers' training staff on his recovery from surgery last April repairing a herniated disc and doing additional cleanup. Howard's personal trainer is working alongside the Lakers' staff, and the center has experienced no setbacks.Howard is doing core stabilization training while also getting in a little light running and shooting.The Lakers can afford to be cautious with their new big man, acquired from Orlando in a four-team trade on Aug. 10 that sent All-Star center Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia.Pau Gasol will be ready to play in the middle when training camp opens in two weeks, and the Lakers have years of experience in dealing with injured centers during Bynum's injury struggles.

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Caps' biggest fan from the UAE is headed back to Washington for the playoffs

Caps' biggest fan from the UAE is headed back to Washington for the playoffs

Remember Fatima Al Ali? The incredibly skilled hockey player from Abu Dhabi caught the eye of Peter Bondra with her stickhandling skills and was hosted by the Capitals back in February where she got to participate in practice and meet the team. She also got to drop the puck for a ceremonial puck drop as part of the NHL's Hockey is for Everyone month where she snuck a quick selfie at center ice.

Well, now she's coming back.

This trip seems to be a bit more low-key than her previous visit. Playoffs are all about business, after all. But if you want to really experience NHL hockey, there's nothing like playoff hockey.

RELATED: Former speechwriter laments congratulatory speech for Penguins

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NBA Playoffs 2017 Wizards at Hawks Game 6: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

NBA Playoffs 2017 Wizards at Hawks Game 6: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards battle Dwight Howard, Paul Millsap and the Atlanta Hawks in Game 6 of their first round series in the 2017 NBA Playoffs on Friday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…

GAME 6: WASHINGTON WIZARDS at ATLANTA HAWKS

Series: Wizards lead 3-2
Where: Philips Arena
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m.
TV: CSN (coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Chance to clinch

Game 6 was a close one, decided by just four points, and now the Wizards hold a chance to clinch a spot in the second round. They have two opportunities, technically, but would obviously prefer to get this over quickly and move on.

The Wizards haven't been able to win in Atlanta so far this series, as each team has held serve at home. Washington was much better in Game 4 than in Game 3 at Philips Arena, but now they face a team playing to keep their season alive. It won't be easy knocking them out. Atlanta played well when desperate once they went down 0-2 and will hope to catch the Wizards complacent now after taking a series lead.

[RELATED: Hawks' player got away with a blatant travel against Wizards in Game 3]

Can Porter keep it going?

Otto Porter emerged as a much-needed third scorer to help out John Wall and Bradley Beal in Wednesday's Game 5 win for the Wizards. Porter added 17 points and got them the hard way, needing career-highs in both free throw attempts (10) and makes (9). Porter took just four official shots on the night, as Porter made the Hawks pay for their physical approach to guarding him.

The question now is whether Porter can continue making an impact on the offensive end. Consistency has eluded him for months now, but he's hit double figures in two straight games. This is just the second time he's done that since March 18. If the Wizards can get Porter into a rhythm, particularly from three-point range, it will change their outlook dramatically.

[RELATED: Foul trouble continues to haunt Morris vs. Hawks]

Frontcourt depth

Both of the Wizards' backup centers are now banged up with left calf strains. Ian Mahinmi has yet to play in the postseason and is likely to miss Game 6, as well. Head coach Scott Brooks said on Tuesday he doubts Mahinmi will be ready to go Friday night despite Mahinmi saying he plans to return by the end of the series. Mahinmi seems close, he just isn't quite ready yet.

Jason Smith is the other injured big man and as of Thursday morning he was considered a gametime decision. If the Wizards have to go without Smith, they will be in major trouble at the center position with both of their backups out of commission. That would leave Marcin Gortat to play a lot of minutes and hope to stay out of foul trouble. The same applies to Markieff Morris, who would have to play some at center in smallball lineups. It would not be ideal whatsoever and it could force Scott Brooks to turn to undrafted rookie Daniel Ochefu in an emergency scenario.

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