The last time the Nets faced Howard, he had 23 points and 15 rebounds in a 95-90 Los Angeles win. In fact, Howard has won his last 11 games against the Nets since April 11, 2009 and has averaged 17.3 points and 13 rebounds in 29 career games.
If Howard sits out, the Nets will contend with Pau Gasol at center. Gasol had 45 points and 22 rebounds as the starting center while opposing Detroit’s Greg Monroe and Minnesota’s Nikola Pekovic over the past two games.
Unlike many big men, Gasol has a more than capable mid-range game, which is why Carlesimo is going to be wary when he spots up from about 12-to-15 feet out, especially on the left elbow. Gasol also has hurt the Nets inside by posting six doubles-doubles in nine games since joining the Lakers five years ago.
“He looks good whether he’s playing center or whether he’s playing [the] four,” Carlesimo said. “I don’t think it’s a big difference. Pau’s versatility has always been one of the things that make him so special. He can play inside, he’s got incredible length and he’s got very skills in terms of catching and shooting the ball whether he’s inside or outside.
“If they post him up, it’s a problem because he can score. He’s also a very good passer and when he stretches the floor, it’s a really tough cover. That elbow shot is like a layup for him and when you’ve got another big like Dwight underneath and a guy as big and long as Pau up top, they can run a lot of stuff off the elbow.”
Nets notes …
— The Nets could be without three reserves Tuesday.
Jerry Stackhouse (stiff neck) and C.J. Watson (sprained ankle) missed practice and are considered game-time decisions. Marshon Brooks also sprained his ankle in practice and though he is considered a game-time decision, he said he expected to play.
— After practice, Watson met with 30 fourth and fifth graders from P.S. 282 in Park Slope to honor the legacy of Brooklyn’s African-American basketball history through the installation of six large pictures of the Black Fives. The Black Fives were an early 20th century African-American basketball league and Watson was joined by founder Claude Johnson and descendants of the team.
“It’s pretty big just to be there to represent the Brooklyn Nets and for something of that caliber of a team and there’s a lot of history there,” Watson said.
Follow Nets beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.