The Pelicans came in to Toyota center for the preseason opener, and while there was speculation how much time new addition Dwight Howard would play, after sitting out practice earlier in the week (Tuesday) with a sore foot he ended up playing major minutes in the game. Howard started the game and played 27 minutes and change through 3 quarters collecting 19 points on 6 for 11 shooting and also only missed 4 FT’s going 7 for 11 with 3 assists. Defensively Howard was able to snag 9 rebounds and change multiple shots while patrolling the paint. The Rockets lost the game 116 to 115, but there were signs of a great team, head coach Kevin McHale was very complimentary of the 1st team saying “that group I liked what I saw, the other group not so much”. James Harden post game shared Howard is what they were looking for last year “we were looking for somebody to feed the ball to and relief pressure off the guards”.
Howard on the offensive end not only was able to establish himself on the post but when his shot wasn’t there he was able to pass the ball out effectively. It’s just 1 game and we have yet to see last years starting Center Omer Asik be worked in to live action, but it’s nice to see Howard come in and show Rockets fans a taste of what the Rockets could be with a true top Center. The Rockets will be playing the Pacers on Thursday and Sunday in the Philippines and Taiwan respectably. Hopefully Howard can continue getting comfortable as he keeps getting worked in to the up and down system the Rockets run.
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