HOUSTON (CBS Houston) - As CBS Sports reported Friday that free agent center Dwight Howard will join the Houston Rockets, the announcement comes after Howard was highly pursued by Houston, Dallas, Golden State, Atlanta and his former team, the Los Angeles Lakers.
Which Dwight Will Houston Get?
Dwight Howard, the best center in the NBA. That used to roll off the tongue. But trade requests, opt-ins, and a Hollywood horror movie have made that much harder to say. Superman has an image problem. But when healthy (mind and body) he’s an imposing force capable of all but guaranteeing 50 wins and a playoff run. From 2007 to 2011 Howard lead the Magic to win totals of 52, 59, 59, and 52. When was the last time the Rockets won 59 games in a season? Never. Even more impressive is the fact that during those four seasons Howard never played with another 20-point scorer. That Howard has been gone for two years.
Daryl Morey knows that to maximize his newest investment the style of play will have to change. Last season the Rockets ranked 2nd in the NBA with 18 fast break points per game but the addition of Howard will slow down the pace. James Harden’s fast break jams will be traded for corner threes or well executed pick and rolls. Howard will bring with him the same inside-out style we saw with Yao Ming where defense actually gets played and games are “grinded out”.
Is Superman Worth It?
Howard has gone through 3 teams and 4 head coaches in just two years. It doesn’t take advanced analytics to realize that if Dwight isn’t happy, nobody’s happy. When upset, his wrath is capable of destroying an entire organization. When in the right mindset, he can take a team to the NBA Finals.
Yes, it’s a gamble… but to be a champion you need stars. You have to bet big to win big.
Daryl Morey can’t rob OKC in broad daylight again and the Rockets won’t be able to attract LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony in a couple of years. Howard offers a chance that is too good to pass up. The window is right now. James Harden is entering his prime and Chandler Parsons is basically playing for free ($926,500 this year and $964,750 the next) leaving the Rockets with enough cap space to pursue a sign and trade for a 3rd star.
Not many teams get the opportunity to build a big three. This is Daryl Morey’s chance and he’s taking it.
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