DwightLife – Chapter 9: Schooling

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.”

Saturday night’s game against Detroit wasn’t meant to be remembered.  It was a lopsided matchup in a half-empty arena. Local broadcasts only.

Dwight Howard changed all that by kicking his successor in the teeth. [read more…]

in columns


Dwight Howard has no post game.

That is what has always been said about Howard; if not that, the free throws.  Rockets fans should know this better than anyone else – how many, during the Yao/Howard debates, cited Yao’s jumper, his excellent free throw shooting, and his touch as proof that Yao was superior?  Never mind the fronting problem, or the pick and roll.  When Dwight has been discussed, there is always the “but” coming.

Yeah, he’s good.  Three-time Defensive Players of the Year.  But….

It is one reason why Howard came to Houston.  To learn with two of the most skilled big men to ever play in Olajuwon and McHale.  A sharp contrast to the Lakers, where Kobe Bryant seemed to view Howard as only a more athletic Tyson Chandler.  Many were skeptical that Howard would in fact learn better, and with good reason.

But tonight, right after the most devastating loss of the season, with injuries so bad that one began to wonder whether there would be even five Rockets on the court by the end, Dwight Howard went full Superman and completely willed the team from the beginning to the end.  And this time, there was a post-game.

[read more…]

in game coverage


Has Houston found its missing piece?

My latest at ESPN hit the press yesterday:

One of the more entertaining spectacles from each Rockets game involves Jones corralling the rebound and leading the break on his own. In these moments, Houston’s guards stroll the other way, confident Jones will finish the play. And with a surprisingly accurate shooting stroke, Jones can spread the floor and give Houston’s stars the space they need to operate inside. He is always moving, either in transition or in the half court, finishing the passes off cuts to the rim that Asik couldn’t handle.

Jones’ numbers have come down to earth a bit, in recent games, as was to be expected.  But make no mistake, his replacement of Omer Asik in the starting lineup has been the catalyst to the Rockets’ offensive surge.

Right now, I think the 21-year-old still has a very long way to go.  In fact, it scares me heading into the postseason with Jones as our second best big man.  I don’t know if he’s shown anything to prove that he can rotate consistently and defend the paint.  And even in the new era, you can’t expect to win in the second season without strong interior defense.

Still, the emergence of Jones has had its effects.  Had he not shown he could fill the role for the time being, Daryl Morey might have been more desperate to get a deal done, opting to include a draft pick to acquire the ‘4’ of his choice.  Instead, Morey stood firm by his stance and some of that has to be attributed to Jones – the sophomore’s play has allowed him to buy some more time.

in musings

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