Dwight Howard’s arrival in Houston signals the arrival of one of the most dominant players in basketball, along with one of the most polarizing personalities in sports. Here at Red94, we are embracing the drama of Superman’s first season as a Rocket with a regular column: “DwightLife.” This is the 14th installment.
Why is this working?
After all, we hold these truths to be self evident:
Dwight is not happy unless he is getting a lot of post touches.
Dwight is not happy unless he is the center of attention.
Dwight will not play well unless he is made happy by getting a lot of post touches and being the center of attention.
Yet there he is playing next to one of the most ball-dominant guards in the league in James Harden, he looks happy as a clam, and he’s holding down a top-ten defense. Read More
Posted in columns Tagged DwightLife
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Earlier this year, I took a look at the Houston Rockets performance during crunch time compared to that of other NBA teams. The results were ugly. With 30 seconds left in games in which the Houston Rockets were down by five or less, the Rockets offensive rating was 37 points per 100 possessions. That’s just abysmal, but probably wasn’t very surprising for Rockets fans who had become used to throwing things at their TVs during close games.
At the end of February, I grabbed updated crunch time data. Now I’m finally getting off my ass to do something with those data. The chart above visualizes data from both times when data were collected.
Posted in essays Tagged stats
I know you’ve been through a lot. I know what we all said at the beginning of the year. Meter your expectations. This takes time. Be happy with whatever happens. It’s different now. The season is different now. The Rockets are different now. The time for caution and trepidation is over. No more golf claps and hand-wringing. It doesn’t matter if you love Houston or hate Dwight Howard’s team. The time has come. It’s time to buy in on this Rockets team. It’s time to treat them like a real contender.
It’s time for the people of Houston to come to every game and completely lose their minds. It’s time for the commentariat to expect the Rockets to win against lesser opponents. It’s time for everyone to get on board with the place the players are already at. The standards and expectations have changed in the last month, and they know that they have to act like a real threat to win it all. Now you have to act like they are, too.
Not much news this weekend besides last night’s amazing game, so we’re going with an all-Twitter Daily today.
I know it’s cliche, but anytime you’re on a list with just Michael Jordan, you had a good night. (How did Allen Iverson never do this?) No one will ever confuse Harden for Andre Iguodala, but his early-season lapses seem to be a thing of the past. He still isn’t fighting over every pick-and-roll and he ball-watches some, but he’s at least playing hard on both ends of the court. Maybe Harden overestimated what it was like to have Dwight Howard cleaning up the rim early on; but whatever it was, he has been much more locked-in on defense lately and has always been a threat to pick off a few passes.
You never want to see the refs influence a game the way they did last night, but after the raw deal Houston was getting in the first half, it’s very difficult to feel sorry for Portland’s late-game plight. Not to mention, the no-call in the backcourt right before Patrick Beverley’s desperation heave at the end of regulation should have given the Rockets two free throws to win it. Read More
Houston amazingly, was in the game in the last minute. After losing the first three quarters by a combined 12 points, the Rockets woke up. It took Houston three quarters to recharge emotionally from their game against the Pacers two nights ago. For the first three quarters, Portland won every contested free ball, they were quicker to the boards (POR 56 HOU 48) and fate seemed destined in the Blazers’ favor. But, this is the NBA, so the Rockets had the ball with 11 seconds left and a chance to tie.
Jeremy Lin barely beat the five second inbound rule, and found Harden in the corner for a three. Harden hits nothing but net, giving Harden 17 for the quarter. Tie game. Portland had the ball with 8 seconds left and they threw an inbound pass that Lin tipped. With Houston out of timeouts, they had to rush upcourt and Beverley took an awkward three point, one-handed runner from the top of the key, that bounced off the iron twice before falling out.