Dwight Howard made his feelings on bringing Josh Smith to the Rockets known before a deal was in place, and James Harden gave a glimpse about how he thinks Smith should be utilized. Harden was asked after Sunday’s practice for his assessment of Smith’s first 10 games, to which he replied,
“Uh, he’s done a pretty good job. Ya know, it’s kinda tough to adjust to a new team, but for him he’s done a really good job. The first game he came off the bench, and then after that we tried to start him, but that didn’t kinda work out, and so, these last couple games he’s been coming off the bench and been changing the game. He’s been a game changer for us.”
While Harden did not say anything that has not been seen and/or said by anyone who has watched the Rockets since Smith has arrived, the statement seems to outline that in the NBA’s leading scorer’s mind, Josh Smith best serves the team coming off the bench. The conversation of Smith’s playing time stems from rumors shortly after his release from Detroit that he would only go to a team where he would be a starter.
Kevin McHale addressed questions about team chemistry since Smith’s addition to the team by saying, “I think everything he’s done has been positive. He’s been a good teammate. He’s working hard and stuff, but it takes awhile for everybody to get, for team chemistry to gel. We got a long way to go. I said this, and I say this if we hadn’t made any moves just incorporating Dwight back in the lineup. Every time you put new people in the lineup things change. He’s been great.”
When the inevitable questions on whether Josh Smith would return to the starting line up though, the coach had the much shorter answer of, “That’s the least of my concerns right now. I’m trying to beat Brooklyn.”
The Rockets travel to the Barclays Center to face the Nets Monday at 6:30.
Follow Leslie on Twitter @LK_Comm.
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