The Houston Rockets have five players on the 2014 All-Star Ballot this season. Some of them, like James Harden and Dwight Howard, look like shoo-in candidates for the All-Star game. Jeremy Lin is getting votes but seems unlikely to make the trip to New Orleans. Ömer Aşık being on the ballot is now more embarrassing than anything else. One player, however, occupies a different space. When Chandler Parsons was revealed on the All-Star Ballot, many wrote him off as being another cursory inclusion, and his chances of getting in seemed slim at best. Now, however, the climate has altered. Could Parsons be an All-Star after all?
It’s true that Houston’s hope for Chandler Parsons has always been an All-Star appearance. It’s also true that this is their hope for literally every player they ever sign to any contract. Ask general manager Daryl Morey about the long-term goals for rookie Robert Covington, and chances are he’ll slip in that he hopes one of the rookies develops into an All-Star caliber player. Parsons was selected 38th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft, putting him in the early second round. Expectations were low when he was drafted, and his under $1m a year contract reflected it. [read more…]
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 weekly column: “DwightLife.” This is the 11th installment.
Dwight Howard has no shooting touch; this much we know. Howard is also being mentored on his post moves by Hakeem Olajuwon, whose pure midrange fadeaway figures prominently in some of the Dream’s greatest moments. When you look back at many of the highlights of Hakeem’s post play, it’s obvious that he used the respect opponents gave to his jumper as a weapon to get into the paint. Of course, fadeaways are not option number one. They are a concession to a good defense that won’t yield shots in the paint.
Dwight Howard, on the other hand, has no baseline fadeaway. He finishes exclusively at the rim. The result is a shot chart that is a sabermetrician’s dream. [read more…]
After last playing on Friday, the Rockets will enjoy four full days off before facing the L.A. Lakers in Houston on Wednesday. With Kobe Bryant sidelined and Pau Gasol playing the worst basketball of his career (and hell, maybe even traded by then), this is a game the Rockets should easily win. So they’ll most likely lose. Expect Nick Young to go for 30 in a high scoring affair featuring many open three pointers. Houston then travels to Atlanta to take on a Hawks team that has lost center Al Horford for the remainder of the season. It’s a squad that features forward Paul Millsap, a player over whom I once said I’d prefer keeping Omer Asik…before I realized Brandon Bass was the alternative. So there’s that. Lastly, the good guys travel to Washington the very next night to face the team I wish I had picked in my League Pass 5 over the Bulls, especially now that three of my teams have been decimated (Cavaliers, Clippers, Bulls) and rendered unwatchable. The Wizards are 14-16 and fifth in the East; The Rockets are 22-13 and fifth in the West. Parity. John Wall is electrifying and worth his new contract. But this also once happened.
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Red94 is a blog about the NBA's Houston Rockets. It was created in 2009 by Rahat Huq and inducted into ESPN.com's TrueHoop Network that same year. Follow @redninetyfour on Twitter for all new post updates.