12 things to watch in 2011-12

We're tracking Dwight Howard's future, late-game LeBron, dark horses, and more

Updated: December 21, 2011, 9:38 PM ET
By David Thorpe | Scouts Inc.
Chris PaulEvan Gole/NBAE/Getty Images

From the lockout to "where in the world is (insert star player's name here) going to play" to power teams and much improved lotto teams, so much has happened in the past few months. Except for games being played, of course. But that's about to change. The preseason begins Friday night and the regular season is just days away.